SUMMARY: No photos, just a note.
I took Handsome and the Beast (aka Chip and Luke) on a mile walk first thing this morning. Got up out of bed. Got dressed and walked downstairs. Put on my windwall fleece and flannel-lined coat. Leashed them up and out we went.
Once upon a time, this would have been normal for me, nothing even noteworthy. Did it a lot. Used to do it nearly every day for many years.
Then The Spine Thing happened. I haven't talked much about it here. Keep meaning to, but somehow it's hard to qualify. But here's the thing:
- Got up and out of bed. Without screaming in pain. Without pain. Without a twinge. Yeah, being careful (as my whole physical life is now, but that's OK and becoming habit). But no pain that made me have a second thought.
- Got dressed and walked downstairs. For well over a year, walking downstairs and doing anything else without a warmup (hobbling to the exercycle and gradually increasing the pedaling as the pain eased over 10 minutes or so), then strengthening exercises and many stretches. Then maybe I could tentatively sit and eat breakfast and then lie in wait for the assorted pain-controlling meds to fully kick in after an hour or so. Then maybe I could walk around and do some small chores.
- Leashed them up. Haven't walked these 2 dogs much at all until very recently. Bending to put their harnesses on has, at times, been excruciating for my back, hence a deterrent. Also, they're not gentle on the leash and just a single tug in the wrong direction could put me back into agony & returning home for icing and stretching. That I felt solid enough to try this with both of them amazes me.
- Went for a walk. There were a few months where simply doing that, with or without the dogs, was out of the question. I worked on it when I could. Some days it was to the end of the cul de sac and back. Some days going out to get the paper was too much. It wasn't perfect today, but we had a walk at a pretty normal clip and both of them tugged fairly often and I survived. And I was able to bend to pick up the poops without much pain at all--this also has been a deterrent to me taking them out, because if I bent the wrong way, the blast of pain would knock me to the ground, and besides being potentially dangerous, it was embarrassing doing so in front of other walkers.
Still, walking has been easier (that and lying down, which has always been OK) than standing still (e.g., for washing dishes) or sitting (e.g., for working), which are not as bad as they were, but remain problematic.
Yet--Today I did those walking things and felt pretty darned good. I hope that this lull in The Spine Thing's progression will last. I'm feeling content about all that this morning. And the dogs loved being out and about.