Monday, April 29, 2013
I saw the above image on Facebook yesterday and it really struck a chord with me. It's from Team Beachbody, so I know it has to do with fitness/health, but for me it made me think of the problems I've had with my back for the last three months. Three months, you guys. If you've been reading the blog, you'll know that I have a bulging disc in my back and it's taking forever to heal. I've run the gamut of symptoms from extreme pain in my back to pain and burning in my legs, muscle spasms, pins and needles in my legs and feet, you name it. When I went to see the doctor seven weeks ago, he told me it should heal 100% I'd just have to be patient. I've been patient, and now I'm just ready for life to return to normal.
But I can feel myself getting closer every day. I don't limp anymore and I've regained feeling in my right toes, although my left toes remain stubbornly semi-numb. I have a bit of pain in my upper thighs when I walk sometimes, but it's not bad. Shopping is an ordeal - that's usually when I end up in the most pain. My sciatic nerve seems to be fine now - I was having sharp pain down the outside of my right leg for several weeks whenever I walked or moved it a certain way and it doesn't do that anymore. I still haven't been able to take the bus anywhere, which really sucks. I'm afraid of jarring my back, and I'm also afraid of the pain in my legs and making it worse.
I'm just ready to get out there and LIVE again.
But I have learned quite a bit over the last almost 13 weeks. I've learned who my real friends are. I told my two best childhood friends - both of whom live in town - that I had hurt myself and that I couldn't really go out. Neither of them has bothered to ask how I am or offered to help me in any way. Another person has gone to doctor's appointments with me, seen me when I freeze up and can't walk because I'm in so much pain, and knows that I can't go out, but hasn't asked for progress updates or offered to do anything for me. It's seriously frustrating and it makes me angry too because I feel like there's no one I can really count on. My online friends, however, have been amazing. They've sympathized, asked how I'm doing, sent well-wishes and prayers. It's a bittersweet feeling - I'm so grateful to have them, but it also makes me sad that people who I've never even met care more about me than people I've known most of my life. If it weren't for them and for my mum, who has been an absolute godsend during this time, I'd have lost my mind ages ago.
This injury has also taught me not to take my health and mobility for granted. I've been a bit of a hermit the last few years - always working, rarely going out, very much a homebody, plus I hate taking the bus and that's pretty much my only mode of transportation - and I had gotten into the habit of sticking close to home. I didn't make much of an effort to go out other than to the library, to visit my Grama (my hermit status became worse after she died), and to grocery shop. There was nothing fun, new, or exciting to do, so I just stayed home. Now I'd give just about anything to be able to take the bus and go ANYWHERE. As soon as I'm better and able to ride the bus again, I'll be going out more often. I'll make my own fun, find my own adventures, and never ever forget the hell I've been through with this injury and how it's taken away my freedom.
I had also gotten lazy about my health in general. I need to lose a lot of weight and I've worked on it on and off for years, but I would get lazy about exercising or tired of eating healthy. I had gotten into a bit of a walking routine in the weeks before I hurt myself but that obviously ended the day the disc bulged and changed everything about the way I live. I haven't been able to exercise, but I have gotten in the habit or getting up and moving around often. I don't sit for long periods of time anymore, and as soon as I'm able to I'll get outside and start walking. I need to lose weight and build up strength in my legs and back so this hopefully never happens again. Any time I feel like being lazy I'll remember the pain, the loneliness, the monotony, and I'll get my ass in gear.
For now I have to focus on the progress I've made and hold onto the hope that I'll soon be 100% better. *I may not be there yet but I'm closer than yesterday.* This is going to be my new mantra until I'm better, and then it'll be my mantra for weight loss. It's not always easy to stay positive, but I'm getting it my best shot!