Monday, January 13 2020

back spasms, egg yolks, pork chops, and ethernet cables

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Today was kind of a weird start to the morning and this work week. I woke up at three in the morning last night in the middle of a pretty bad back spasms. I paced around the house, took a hot shower, and eventually fell asleep with some hand warmers stuffed behind my neck about two hours later. I decided to use some sick leave to sleep in and schedule some appointments. Since it seems I'm back on the weekly back spasms, I think it's time to go back to physical therapy.

I'm feeling pretty discouraged about it. Where we left things last session, my neck pillow and arm braces had magically fixed all the problems I was having, and my therapist happily advised that there was no more need for regular sessions with her. I agreed to continue to do my arm stretches and take frequent breaks at work, and my posture even started to improve. So to say the least, the spasms suddenly returning with the same frequency that made me seek therapy to begin with is worrying.

So thanks to my crummy back and pissed off nerves, this week is off to a rough start. I haven't decided if I'm going to head into the office, or just open my work laptop here at my desk, and I'm hoping by the time I've finished writing this morning journal entry, I'll have made up my mind.

All things aside, this weekend was pretty great. Yesterday morning, Rodney and I hung around the house. He continued watching his water slide videos, then around 11, he wandered into the kitchen looking for something to do. I let him pick two bags from my tech bin into his bedroom, where I folded laundry while he fiddled with some velcro tape. Be both went down into the kitchen to make some lunch. Rodney and I made some soft boiled eggs to serve with his peanut butter and jelly and cucumber slices. He was unsure about the egg. "Dude, you made this. There's no point in making food if you're not even going to eat it," I advised. He gingerly took a bite of egg white and smiled, yelling "TASTY!".

Off to a great start with this soft boiled egg adventure, I pushed our luck a little further. "Try some of the yellow part," I said. Rodney looked at it between his little fingers and crossed his eyes. "No dees", he said in lieu of "no thanks."

"Just a little bit," I urged.

Rodney stared at the egg in thought, repeating my words lil bit, then he took another sheepish bite. This time, his brow furrowed and he winced. "SOUR." he stated.

"That's not surprising," Marissa said later that night. "You must get that from me, momma doesn't like the yellow part either."

"What?" I questioned. "That doesn't even make any sense. That's where all the flavor is - who doesn't like egg yolks?"

"We don't," Marissa replied. "We got a thing with textures, and egg yolks are a weird texture."

Marissa returned home from agility just before dinner and took a nap on the couch while I took Rodney to Hy-Vee. Thanks to the Packer game, the store was practically empty. We were able to quickly zip in and out, picking up pork chops, arugula lettuce, and a nice fresh loaf of bread. We also picked up a chocolate egg, as usual. As the butcher was grabbing the pork for us, he commented on how empty the score was. "Yeah on games it will be busy just before while people pick up dinner and snacks, then once the game starts it's totally quiet like this," he said. "I'm a Rams fan myself. Well, they're the LA Rams now, but whatever, they're still my team."

"They shouldn't be allowed to just relocate a team like that," I said empathetically.

At home, Rodney ate his chocolate egg at the dining room table, then joined me in the kitchen just in time to help me peel some garlic. "Rodney do it," he said, palming a clove in his fist. I peeled three cloves, then to my surprise, Rodney dropped a fourth clove on the cutting board. I inspected the clove for paper remnants. "Wow - nice job dude. You actually peeled this one," I said. His reward was getting to use the garlic press. Who doesn't like the satisfying sensation of popping and pressing a clove of garlic?

For dinner, we had pork chops in an apple juice glaze pan sauce with a side of berry & green apple salad. My appreciate for pork chops continues to grow. Pork chops are cheap, and they seemingly always come out amazing. Cooking a pork chop is like cooking a steak in slow motion. You still get the buttery, salty crust with the juicy pink center, but the stakes aren't so high. Instead of dealing with ripping hot, smoking canola oil, it's just some melted brown butter, and you can take as much time as you want. Last night, I didn't even need to take the batteries out of my smoke detector.

After dinner, Marissa and I got to work. I tackled rewiring the dining room computer and Marissa later joined me in the dining room to make some Ethernet cables. At this point in my IT career, I've given up on making Ethernet cables. I don't think it's something I was ever meant to do. Marissa, on the other hand, is a natural. Having her around, we also took another pass at my cable management. What became clear to me last night is that while I can consolidate cables, I don't have a good eye when it comes to hiding them. "It's tidy, but a little in your face, you know?" said Marissa, tip toeing around my feelings. We retired on the couch just long enough to watch one season of Office bloopers, then called it a night. The dining room wireless card would have to last another day or so, as I didn't get a chance to set up the software.

Today is already starting to feel like a regular day. My head was all over the place, and my body was still a little sore from last night, but getting it all down in a journal entry evened everything out and helped me gather my thoughts. I suppose it's never too late to start having a good week. This week, I'm going to try to get excited about taking another crack at physical therapy. What I remember about last time is that the spasms are the body's way of communicating it's not happy - almost as if the real underlying cause is still out there waiting to be found. Through that lens, it sounds like it could be an adventure.

Have a great Monday, everyone. Be good to your back - drink water and take lots of breaks to stretch. Have a great work week.