Saturday, August 17, 2013

What now?

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” 

~Arnold Schwarzenegger

Needless to say there have been some tough days recently. Some definite wake up calls. Some life changing experiences. 

What I do know is it can always be worse. Yes I have worked around death and tragedy for years. I know. Does that necessarily make my circumstance any easier. Well not really but it's something I need to be aware of. It gives me something to be thankful for. No matter what happens we always have something in our life where we can find some peace and happiness. 

So what do I know? I know that when I saw a doctor yesterday he told me that I had degenerative disk disease with a annular tear at L4-L5 and L5-S1. You may be thinking I am speaking another language right now unless you have experience with this terminology. It basically means I have a tear in a couple disks in my back. Which from what I have heard is not always painful but wouldn't it just make since that I would get to be part of the percentage experiencing severe pain. Maybe I should feel special. 

What I was told by an orthopedic surgeon yesterday was that this condition will never go away, that I will be in pain forever and if I ever lifted heavy weight again I put myself at really high risk. Now it wasn't really the sweetest way to break this to someone especially when he told me there was absolutely nothing he could do for me. It makes you wonder why you were so eager to hear results like this. But without answers I would't be able to continue to move forward. 

Since this wasn't necessarily caused by one event. Working in healthcare since I was very young I have spent many years pulling and lifting patients. This would be problem number one. Then after probably already doing a tremendous amount of damage to my back I took up heavy weightlifting. Oh and not to forget about the fact that I weighed a couple hundred pounds myself for a few of these  years putting even more strain on my back. Now when I talk about heavy weightlifting I probably did lift weights that really our bodies are not meant to handle. Taking healthy to a whole new unhealthy level. 

Do I have regrets? Well no not really. Of course who would have known. I mean I was warned that I was a little ridiculous by my husband who didn't want to see me all banged up like him. Did I listen? Nope. Didn't even phase me that anything like this would happen. Now of course if I had realized, which I wouldn't of. Yes of course I would of done things differently. I don't think anybody would deliberately put themselves in this kind of pain. 

What does this mean for me? Well I do know it means I will never lift heavy weight again. Yep not even if by some miracle I can get this pain to go away. Risking experiencing this pain or something worse again is not worth it to me. This is the kind of pain that knocks you down to your knees praying that something would give you some relieve. Praying for things to be different. 

Am I ok with the fact that I won't be a weightlifter anymore. Yes of course. I have no choice but to be ok with it. It is one of those things that you wonder at moments in your life, how would I deal with something like that if that happened to me. The truth is you just deal. You have no other choice. To be honest I am not even sure what disappoints me the most not weightlifting or never playing softball again. But before I get too worked up in what I will never do again I do have to remember I have only seen this doctor. There are others that can help you return to a more functional level with less pain. Now with this information I will have to be careful and aware of what I am doing for the rest of my life. 

What this means is it's time to move onto the next chapter in my life whatever that may be. Eventually that will be a baby obviously after I deal with this issue and make it manageable.  This is just another part of life. Another experience that is just part of my journey. Our struggles develop our strength. And even though this journey has been a roller coaster with a few break downs. I will continue to be strong and move forward in my life. Being strong is the only option. Of course we are allowed our moments of weakness. Those moments help us figure things out and gather the strength to get back up again. To keep pushing and continue fighting. Giving up is never an option even when you feel like it is. 

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