So today was my follow-up appointment with my doctor. The X-ray they’d taken showed some disc degeneration, and a little bit of arthritis starting in my lower back, and apparently that’s the reason I was an invalid for the holidays. But after a week and a half of physical therapy, I feel much better. Not back to normal, but good enough for now. And frankly, there’s no telling if I’ll ever get back to ‘normal’ again. But at least this is an improvement.
When I was talking to my doctor, I told her I’d been feeling much better, and better to the point that I went to stair practice and climbed 51 stories twice on Tuesday. Her first reaction was, “You did what?” But when I told her what I did and that it didn’t hurt my back when I did it, she said that it was all right. And the fact that I’m in pretty good physical condition should help me to recover from this. So with that in mind, I went downtown again this evening.
I had to take Lucinda to art class after work, so I got a late start. I got to the building at about 6:00, so I only had about an hour. But that was all right. I’m still experimenting with this, and I’m not going particularly fast. I was only planning on doing it twice, and even at a slow pace, an hour is plenty of time for that.
I wanted to try pushing the pace up slightly from last time, just to see how that felt. I started out trying for my 4 1/2 floors per minute pace that I used last year when I did the vertical mile. I was able to keep that up for about halfway, and then I slowed down a bit. That pace would get me to the 55th floor in about 11:15 or so, and I got there in 12:15. Can’t complain too much about that.
The second time up, I went slower. Part of that was because I wanted to try using the railing as little as possible. I wanted to see if that would feel different, since I kind of got the sense that I might be stressing my back a bit by using the railing to swing around the turns. In the end, it didn’t seem to make any difference. Stair climbing just isn’t hard on my back, and it doesn’t hurt, even when I’m not using the railing and just standing straight upright and climbing. So I guess that’s a good thing. We’ll just have to see, but as long as I’m not in pain, I’m not causing any more damage to my nerves. So I’ll take what I can get at this point.