Convalescing with back pain? If so, you may be looking for meaningful – but light duty - ways to spend your time. One very versatile activity that often gets relegated to last place on the to do list when you're out and about is writing.
If your back pain has you down for the count, consider the virtues of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during your healing period. Here are 3 types of writing you could get caught up on if you find yourself scaling back on physical activity due to spine pain, injury or a condition.
Journaling about your feelings, symptoms, pain levels and other health signs may help you manage the day to day experience that comes with a back condition.
You can bring your journal to your doctor and physical therapy visits, too. Many people report feeling rushed or intimidated at the doctor’s. If this rings true for you, referring to your journal while speaking with your provider may help you make the best possible use of your appointment time.
If you understand the kinds of things doctors need to know in order to diagnose you accurately and treat you appropriately, keep track of them in your journal. (If not, read this article.) As a tangible piece of evidence as to how you experience your condition, pain, etc., the journal has the potential to link you and doctor or physical therapist as partners in your health care journey. You might even consider providing your doctor with copies of relevant pages.
Journals come in many forms, from your typical 3 ring spiral notebook to a full featured symptom log and personal wellness journey interactive book. Here are a few examples designed specifically for people with health conditions:
If you're looking for a simple way to record your daily pain intensities, you might copy or recreated one of the following charts: VAS (visual analog scale) Charts.
Catching Up With Correspondence
Whether by email or snail mail, down time may be the best time to get caught up on your written correspondence.
Let’s talk about snail mail first. Do you have friends who refuse to do email?. I know they are the rare birds these days, but I also know they exist. Or have you gone on an interview recently? About.com Job Search Guide Alison Doyle says email is the fastest way to follow up on an interview. But she also suggests sending a hand written thank you note to your potential employer. A period of convalescence could be a great time to do this, as long as the two events - job interview and bed rest - happen to be relatively in synch with one another. It's also a good time to stay in contact with your non-online friend, letting her know – on her terms - that you’re thinking of her.
As far as email goes, a stint in bed may be the perfect time to catch up on that, too. But if interacting with the computer creates neck, shoulder, arm wrist or even low back pain, you might consider using software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking. It takes dictation (quite accurately, I might add) into any of the major word processing programs (ie. MS Word, Word Perfect and Open Office and more). Dragon also surfs the net and does email, both via voice commands. You set it up by making a short voice recognition recording. Then, you simply push a few buttons (mainly "next" buttons), learn a couple of commands, and in no time it’s up and running. I have Dragon and I love it.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is made by Nuance, and there are a number of different products in the line. Check out a few here.
By the way, you may want to spend some of your convalescence time brushing up on or forge ahead with your email skills. About.com Email Guide Heinz Tschabitscher has great tips and tutorials on the topic of email.
Discover Your Hidden Wordsmith
Perhaps there is a wordsmith hiding somewhere deep within you. In this case, exploring your inner writer may prove to be a rewarding way to spend your down time.
Even if you are not a writer by trade, being bedridden may provide you with the perfect opportunity to develop your natural ability. My guess is this talent has always been there, but you've not had the time, or you've not been encouraged to express it. Or both. Now that your schedule has been lightened, you've just lost one excuse (no time). As for the second (no one cares), consider this article as permission to let it out!
If you feel you need some guidance from experts in the area of writing, About.com com sports some great sites. Here are some of my favorites: