Paying the piper

For the past four days I have been negligent in doing my exercises. Every morning was full of caring for the grandkids, feeding the cats, getting the household chores done. I seemed to be on a mad run to get it all accomplished, and so my exercise routine went south.

Driving back to Fresno brought it all home for me. My fingers became numb just as they did before I investigated the problem and got a diagnosis of spinal stenosis. Years ago my fingers would become numb as I drove all those miles taking students to DECA competitions throughout the state. I can only guess that I hold my head differently while driving than when sitting as a passenger or when doing other activities.

The other time my fingers go numb is while sleeping or while grading papers. Since I don’t grade papers any more, the numbness comes now while sleeping or driving if I miss those exercises. It’s when I pay the piper. Tonight I did my exercises.


13 responses to “Paying the piper

  1. I’m glad you got back to your exercises. It seems they are very important for your health. Happy Easter to you and yours, Delaine. I love your blog. 🙂

  2. It sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome. David had it in both hands and had surgery on them. I had it in my right hand and also had surgery. It is the only cure.

    • I was tested for carpal tunnel but that was not the case. Because only certain fingers go numb, the dr. thought it was connected to my neck as certain cervical vertebrae connect to certain fingers. An x-ray and MRI confirmed this. She sent me to a spinal specialist who said the stenosis was at the beginning stage and the exercise should keep it from getting worse for some time. It is degenerative, though, not curable. I’ve just got to keep doing those exercises and I’m fine, for now.

  3. Never heard is spinal stenosis, hope it recedes soon.

  4. I can relate. When the weather was so dreary and rainy for three weeks in March, I barely made myself move. Paying for it now as I get back on the horse.

  5. I get the same thing going on when I drive, or sit too long at the computer. I have spinal stenosis in my lower back and in my neck. Stretching is a must. Also, the repetitive movements of typing can just about do me in if I’m not careful. I try never to stay in the same place at the same time doing the same thing over and over again.

    • Movement is very important. Although I can sit as a passenger in the car for hours with no problem, I cannot do the same as the driver. I can only guess that I hold my neck differently when I drive.

      Even with hands on the steering wheel, I can turn my head certain ways to get the vertebrae off of the nerve and my fingers will un-numb immediately. However, it’s hard to watch the road and turn my head in crazy ways.

  6. Thanks for the reminder. I’m up against a few challenges since my fall and isn’t it weird how self-care falls to the bottom of the todo list?

  7. I have spinal stenosis and numb fingers too. Wondered what it was.

  8. Yoga seems to take care of all these problems for me. I do gentle yoga at my senior center with a highly qualified teacher. She spends about a third of the class on upper body exercises, especially for the neck and shoulders. We do spend a lot of time on flexing the spine and on posture, too and some strength building as well. I really recommend yoga. In fact, I recommend doing classes with other old people as the best way to stay fit in old age.
    For me it’s hard to find the discipline to exercise all on my own. It is good to see others confronting the same physical problems and working to overcome them or keep them from progressing, and that’s what classes do. I also avoid exercise classes full of younger people, because it’s too hard to keep up.
    I know many people avoid senior centers for fear of being thought of as old, but people are going to think you are old anyway, if that is what you are!

    • My daughter who does yoga has seen me do my exercises for sciatica and the stenosis and says they look like yoga poses. All i know, they work for me.

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