I’m so sorry it’s been a little while between posts.
Where do I even start?
Well, my old back injury started to flare up around 14 weeks ago.
I pushed through the little niggle of pain with my normal workout and pilates routines. Unfortunately, the injury just got worse and so I needed to take a break from everything.
So what happened to my back?
Since I was about 17-18, I’ve always had some issue with my back. What started out as sciatica ended up with me unable to sit, stand or walk for 9 months in 2015. It was a pretty horrible time to be honest. Not only did my physical health decline but, my mental health did as well.
All I could do for 9 months was lie down on my stomach and even then I was still in pain. An MRI scan found that I had degenerating discs, two bulging discs and a 4cm tear in the cartilage.
How did that even happen? Literally from nothing!
I had rolled over in the middle of the night and felt a little twinge. At the time I remember thinking “great, I’m going to wake up with sciatica.” Oh how I was wrong!
By January 2016, I started to feel somewhat normal again as the pain was much more manageable. The real challenge was working on regaining my strength which I did through pilates and resistance training and have kept that up for the past 4 years.
Usually, any flare ups that I’ve had since then, have been manageable and cleared up in about week.
Except this time.
So while I’m doing ok, some days get to me. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and honestly my attitude through these flare ups is everything. I go from moments of anger and frustration to thankfulness because as bad as it is, it could have been much worse. The feelings and thoughts I’ve had to process vary.
There’s anger and frustration at the fact I’ve worked so hard to make sure this wouldn’t happen again, yet it did.
It’s frustrating that I can’t do the simple things from walking, to the things that I enjoy most like cooking and training.
I’m angry that I find myself here again, facing uncontrollable pain, sleepless nights and no real answer as to why this happened.
I’m so frustrated about the lack of pain free days and when there was a glimpse of relief and healing in sight, a simple movement threw my back out again, worse than before. So the whole healing process had to start again.
Through it all though, I’ve learnt that my attitude is everything when it comes to being in chronic pain. I know that not every day will be perfect and I won’t always get it right and that’s ok. Having an attitude of thankfulness has been key to overcoming the darker days.
I’m thankful that I have an incredible support network around me, meeting my physical and emotional needs as well as fighting a spiritual battle for me when I don’t feel like I can. I honestly feel that another project I’m working on disturbed the atmosphere a little – if you know you know!
I’ve also found that acknowledging the pain and focusing on what I can do, although minimal, can actually help. The fact that I can still walk (although with assistance – sometimes from a wall) is amazing. I can still do some form of movement and stretching and I’m getting a heck of a lot of (painful) massages at the moment.
I remind myself daily that it’s ok to be angry, to carry disappointment and to cry. It can be good for the mind and soul BUT it’s so important not to stay and get stuck in that frame of mind.
I’ve found that 2020 really is my season of rest and God is going to make me rest. No matter how much I fight it.
I’ve learnt on some days if getting out of bed and brushing my teeth is all I can manage, it’s ok.
Finally, I’m reminded that all things work for the good of those that love Him. Romans 8:28.
I’m currently working on easing the pain and managing it as best as I can until it’s gone for good! I’m doing a lot of rehab and recovery at the moment. Essentially, anything super gentle that doesn’t increase the pain. Walking is difficult but as the inflammation goes down it will get easier. I look forward to going on daily walks again as there’s nothing like fresh air.
While my physical health has suffered recently, I can say my mental health has been pretty consistent and good. I have my support network to thank for that. Thank you to those who drove me to appointments, kept me company (social distancing adhered to of course), checked in and prayed for me. I’m coming out on the other side of it so much better than I could have ever imagined because of you.
Now, for the most exciting of news. This time has allowed me to keep a long list of notes in my phone about the future of My Simple Plate. I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Finally, thanks so much for being on the journey with me. At long last I’m back to a regular posting schedule – so get ready!