Why I am Not Staying at Home

If I had more time I would write you a shorter letter.

I can’t stay at home. I have to get out for my mental and physical health.

In March I suffered a wrenched back, for which help was a long time coming. I have what used to be called sciatica, now sometimes called radicular pain. This burning and pain on the left side of my body continues to severely bother me there, along with it spreading to my right side where it now badly impacts my right hand and wrist.

The normal course of treatment is with a combination of drugs and physical therapy. In the last two months my medicines have been dialed in, allowing me to get some sleep and more importantly to get me on the trail.

You see, the physical therapy people gave up on me after only two sessions, saying they couldn’t help me with the complexity of my condition. They referred me back to my general practitioner who said I should keep hiking and carrying weight as much as possible, to better strengthen my back and legs. This is now undirected exercise, instead of directed exercise which I would prefer to be doing under the guidance of the PTs.

This is all I can do, pending this miracle injection which I am promised for in January. In that operation, they will put a needle in me and push in some kind of steroid which is designed to travel to my frayed or otherwise damaged nerve endings. That might offer better relief for several months at a time, perhaps letting me reduce the prescription meds I am taking.

Adding to this are my age related cataracts. For this vision problem I shouldn’t be outside that much but I have to treat my back and my eyes are going to fail in a few months anyway. The eye doctor said I will probably need my left eye operated on in three months or so. Given that, I am out and about until failure. The hypersensitivity to light is very intense, though, and my screen time is very limited. Right now I am typing this while looking away from the monitor.

To finish, I live alone and impact no one save my cat. My parents have passed and our family no longer gathers for the holidays which were so important to celebrate with my Mom and Dad.

Doing these posts adds to the enjoyment I feel outdoors. I like being outside and it is vital for me to continue.I hope all of you can stay safe no matter your situation. I will be at Quartzsite for the PowWow, however, and I hope to see some of you there.

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