Back to the grind

June 5th, 2007

I started back to work yesterday. Didn’t get in at my usual early hour because I had to check in through the company nurse before resuming my duties. I had to show her my doctor’s permission slip, then she printed another permission form, signed it, and sent me to my boss.

Of course, everybody wants to know where I’ve been, and the sling I’m still wearing makes it hard to lie and say I was on a supersecret spy mission to Russia. So I’ve had to tell the story about a dozen times so far. What I’ve learned is that most people don’t consider tree climbing to be a moral imperative, because most people have asked me “WHY were you climbing a tree?”

Getting through the day wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, although I really missed my post-lunch nap. One of the bad habits I developed while I was away was taking a nap whenever I felt the need. At first that was a survival strategy, and I’m grateful that I was able to sleep so much right after the injury, because it was a great way to escape the pain. (The Vicodin didn’t kill the pain, but it took the edge off enough to enable me to sleep.)

I felt pretty good yesterday. The only discomfort I felt was the same nagging ache in my back that I’ve felt since getting back on my feet. At times I think it’s related to the fractured ribs, and at other times I think it’s just muscle fatigue. When I’m on my feet or sitting upright for more than about ten minutes, the ache begins to set in, and it eventually becomes enough that I have to sit down or lean against something to realign my back. It’s not too bad, and I’ve learned some coping strategies: first, I take three Advil every four hours. Second, I slouch. That’s right — I’ve found that poor posture while sitting makes the ache go away entirely.

All complaints aside, I’m happy to be back to work, and back to my old routine. The part of my routine I won’t be able to resume is my weekly riding. It’ll be at least six weeks — after the doctor removes the screw in my shoulder — and maybe longer before I’m allowed back onto a horse. That’s something I really miss.

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