Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hit by a Mack Truck

Have you ever been hit by a Mack truck (figuratively), survived and been in a better place afterward?  In January, I started having problems with my back.  What I should really say is I started having new problems with my back.  I have had a bad back since high school but was now experiencing pain down my leg and all the way into my toe that had become numb.  As the year went on, it only got worse.  At the end of the day of teaching sometimes I would lay on the floor because I was in such pain.  I had a pinched sciatic nerve and it was so painful at times I couldn't think.

I had an MRI at the end of February and was seeing a neurologist in April.  When I went to see Dr. Timming, he was amazing!  He listened to my whole life story of my back.  At the end he sent me to physical therapy with the future possibility of shots or back surgery.  I could  handle that part.  It was when he said "No running or swimming" that I sat up and took notice.  In my mind I thought "yeah right."  My body was saying "no, he's serious." So I stopped.  This meant the three triathlons I was signed up for were not an option.  It would be the first summer in a while that I wasn't training.

At first I went nuts.  I was CRABBY.  I needed to move but was still in so much pain.  I went to my therapist but he didn't seem to understand the problem behind my back pain.  After five sessions he told me I may want to consider shots in my back to help with the pain.

Needless to say I didn't go back.  I was fortunate enough to have a parent in my class who is a physical therapist herself.  She started giving me advice about my back and I switched over to her care.  Thanks to Betsy, I now am on the road to recovery.  It is slow but rewarding.

So what have I learned?  How am I in a better place?  I feel like I have been put on a forced vacation and have really come to like it.  I don't feel crazy if I don't get to workout.  I don't have the stress of getting ready for a race.  My body isn't tired all the time from training.

I have also learned to let what's meant to happen, happen.  I could have done a few things differently to help my back but really it was unavoidable.  Things have been happening in a larger plan and I have to learn from the events around me.  Will I race again someday?  Maybe.  Will I lose myself to a goal I'm trying to achieve?  I hope not.  For now I'll keep strengthening my core, spend time with my kids, hang out with friends, sew, run (yes, Betsy has me running again, yeah!) and ride when I can. I'll let myself have fun instead of feeling pressure every moment.

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