My back is still bothering me and it’s getting old. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as those couple of days when I had the raging headaches, so I guess that’s a good sign, but every day there is something. Sometimes it’s just a minor ache between my shoulder blades and other times I can feel a big knot back there that sends pain up my neck and into my head. I’m starting to wonder if I’m becoming a hypochondriac. Maybe I am so worried about waking up with back pain that I talk myself into it. It’s not like it’s debilitating though and I’m not letting it drag me down. It’s just annoying and frustrating at times. I keep looking for triggers and trying different things to help me feel better. I’m eating better than ever, exercising more, and I’m making frequent use of an ice pack.
(Hmmmm… just a thought. Maybe my body was HAPPY with the unhealthy lifestyle to which it had grown accustomed. Maybe my back is protesting and demanding I bring back the chocolate and caffeine. It could be!)
Everyone who is aware of my problem has their own idea about the cause. Personally, I think my chiropractor may be on to something when he suggests it is stress related. I think subconsciously, I thrive on being stressed out to some degree. Others have their own ideas for a solution for me. Someone suggested that I need to make regular visits to a massage therapist. Another wonders if I need a new mattress. I should get a body pillow. I need to sit up straighter at my desk. I need to quit running. (Not an option. Running is one of my best stress relievers.) A different sports bra. (Ummm… okayyy.) More calcium. Iron supplements. Better vitamins.
I don’t think any one of these is the easy answer, although some combination of a few of these may help. For years I have taken a multi-vitamin every day. I just buy one of the well known brands that you can purchase at Target or the grocery store. Several times I have read articles stating that your body doesn’t really absorb these vitamins and they’re not as effective as the advertising might have you believe. So while visiting the chiropractor, I asked about the vitamins and supplements they sell. Caroline was more than happy to show me a bottle of high-quality multi-vitamins. She also suggested fish oil tablets.
“Everyone should take fish oil,” she advised me in a very serious tone.
“Really? What exactly do fish oil tablets do for you?”
“Oh, these are BRAIN food,” she exclaimed!
“Oh, I NEED some of those. I’ll take the vitamins too,” I told her without hesitation.
I don’t want to say what I spent for “good” vitamins and a bottle of brain food. Suffice it to say that for the same price I could get my favorite coffee drink at Starbucks every day for a couple of weeks. These better be good. I took some already when I got home from the chiropractor, so I’m hoping that brain food kicks in overnight and I wake up a genius or at least mildly creative.
I’ve also started getting out of the office for a while every day. Ten hours a day is a long time to be cooped up inside the office and sitting at a desk for the majority of that time. I’ve been changing into my tennis shoes and going outside with a couple of coworkers over lunch break. We take a brisk walk around downtown St. Paul. It’s funny. I never really stopped to notice what a beautiful place it is. Going out for a walk allows me not only to stretch my muscles but to take in a much needed change of scenery.
We usually walk a few blocks from the office and cross this bridge over the Mississippi River. Once we reach the far side and turn around to make the trek back, it’s a nice uphill climb. The walk across the bridge and back takes up most of our lunch break and makes it so much easier to get through the second half of the day. And when the weather isn’t cooperative, we can walk through the maze of skyways instead. Once back at our building, we skip the elevators and take the stairs.
Hopefully, the new, healthier habits will add up to me feeling back to normal again soon, because if not, I may have to admit that it has something to do with the “O” word.
But I refuse to admit to getting OLD just yet.