File:Arm posterior.jpgBeen “feeling mostly dead all day” recently… realizing that I need to take better care of the only body I’m likely to occupy. I’ve already talked about the gradual degradation of my eye sight and the challenge that brings. I’m very good at losing things [which also makes me good at finding things, but oh, the time I waste.] so glasses are hard to hold onto.

To misquote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Consistency is the foolish hobgoblin of my mind.” I have trouble focusing. No, really? Easily distractible? That’s me. Not always a bad thing. I’m NEVER bored. But, oh shiny, I flit. Why was I talking about consistency? Oh, the human body at 49…

My body has served me well, I’m happy with it. Well, I would really like Alopecia Areata to give me back my eyebrows and eyelashes, but that’s minor. I’ve grown out of most of my childhood health problems: allergies, asthma and the related bouts with pneumonia. Those isses have been replaced by a few repetitive issues as I approach 50 years of occupation.

I have always been extremely right handed. I’m a writer, right hand with pen or pencil, both hands with a computer, plus right hand for the mouse. I’m a teacher. Grading papers with the tools mentioned above, plus writing on a whiteboard/chalkboard. Right hand. Other hobbies: primary cook for my family for the last 30 years. Right handed knife work, mixing/blending, cracking eggs, flipping pancakes… I also play guitar. Most of the muscle work? Right handed. Six kids over 19 years. Carrying car-seats with babies inside. Tendancy? Right-handed.

So at some point in the last 15 years, my body said enough! Repetitive Stress Injury. Right shoulder adhesion around the shoulder blade. It could be worse. I could have actual rotator cuff issues. Thank goodness, I don’t. So, I’ve done physical therapy. I switched to a left handed mouse. I use the right handed mouse set-up. That way when I am working on a student computer, or someone else’s computer I can just switch sides. That helped. A lot. When I forget and use my right side for the mouse. My shoulder hurts within five minutes! I tried learning how to write left-handed on the whiteboard. My handwriting has gotten fairly legible that way, but my right shoulder still engages, so it only helps a little. And it takes longer. So, when I am teaching a class like Spanish that requires taking advantage of questions that help understand the language, I need to be able to put it on the board where students can see it. Sigh…

So, at the moment my shoulder is aching. I have a new doctor’s orders for physical therapy. Now if only I can do the exercises. Along with my shoulder, I was also diagnosed with plantar fasciitis on my right heel. What can I do about it? Ice. Stretch the muscles that run up the back of my legs. How to do this? Consistent stretching. The number of folks who have suggested yoga to me recently continues to grow. I’m going to try it, though I worry that, like everything else, the habits required for success seem to escape me.

My recommendations. Don’t wait until you’re almost 50 to start taking care of your body. It hurts. 😉