Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where Have YOU Been?

It has been a while since Cindy and I went out to Carmel Valley to work on the Arnold Cabin.  I gave you a peek at the emotional perspective in my previous post on the subject, The Arnold Cabin Project Part 3: The Real Story, but there's always more to say, isn't there?  For the more nuts-and-bolts perspective, I will kick off a little series of "how did" posts (as opposed to "how to").  And, as luck would have it, I've been invited to attend a family function out at Hastings this weekend.  I'll use the occasion to take some update photos of how things look after the Winter.

But first, a word on where I've been: We got back from the cabin project in August of last year.  I've written before about my neuropathy (numbness and nerve pain in my arms and hands), and through the paleo/primal diet and some great work by our chiropractor/functional medicine guy, Dr. Mango, I thought I had put that stuff behind me.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  By the end of our week working on the cabin, the numbness and pain in my right arm and hand were back.  Working on my computer made the aching worse, and since I have to do so much computer work for my job, I kept it to a minimum at home.  That helped.

Then, in October of last year, I was raking through the drainage rocks on the green roof to wash the silt out of them (so we can collect the rain water from the roof without having to worry so much about filtration).  I was using a little hand fork to move the rocks around... for days.  You know how you can get absorbed in work and not notice what's happening to your body?  Well, I screwed up my elbow and became unable to use my right arm for any real work for months.  I switched to using my left hand to work the mouse on my computer at home and work, which helped a little.  But through January, I still couldn't grasp with my right hand without a sharp pain in my elbow.  Honestly, it was depressing.

Again, Dr. Mango came to the rescue with some intense muscle work.  I've also been working daily to improve my posture (with stretches and mindfulness), keep my inflammation down (by eating primal/paleo and avoiding sugar - within reason), and strengthen my back (with exercises and converting to a standing desk at home).  In March, my elbow finally started to improve.  It's not fully healed yet - I can tell the difference when I work the track pad on my laptop with my right hand for a few hours vs. my left.  But, I'm learning how to keep my shoulders and arms healthy and can add some more typing and computer time back into my life - just in time for Spring green roof updates!

Speaking of the green roof, here's Cindy mixing and adding some store-bought cow poo to our potting soil on the roof last weekend.