Not The Life That I Want To Live2:42:00 PM
Yesterday I awoke to terrible back pain in my mid-back (lower thoracic spine, upper lumbar spine) (yay! new injury?!) that made it hard to t...
Yesterday I awoke to terrible back pain in my mid-back (lower thoracic spine, upper lumbar spine) (yay! new injury?!) that made it hard to turn over in bed, get out of bed, stand up straight, bend down to put on underwear/pants, twist to put on a bra, etc.
It's not that I wanted to sulk and have pity for myself; It's just that it requires so much energy to be optimistic, to keep fighting. It took all of my energy yesterday to just cover the basics of taking care of myself. Any leftover energy was put towards consoling myself with snuggles from Jack.
On days like these, sometimes the most compassionate and graceful thing that I can do is to just allow myself to feel the pain, the frustration, the fear, the sadness, the grief. All of those negative emotions need a safe place to exist and be felt or else they become toxic. The more I ignore those feelings the more disconnected I feel from my body and the injury. The disconnection is where suffering lives.
Spending a day staring at the ceiling over your bed is a good time to ponder how to reconnect and end suffering. I realized that I'm not living the life that I want to live. I want to be active and be joyful. Instead, I'm either living in fear of re-injury or I'm recovering from aches and pains that make me feel older than I am (physically, emotionally). That fear has isolated me and handicapped me in many ways.
I remember a conversation that I had with my former spine doctor where he said that he wouldn't operate on my back until the day I was wheeled into his office. It's hard trying to live in the shadow of that comment – it's like playing Russian Roulette. "The Big One" (i.e., the incident that puts me in a wheelchair) could be from doing some crazy activity or from sneezing and anything in-between. That thought has not liberated me to go balls to the wall; it has paralyzed me to the point that I might as well be in a wheelchair.
With that in mind, I made an appointment next week with my current orthopedic surgeon. He understands that I want to be proactive when it comes to my spine health. He understands that I don't want to wait for the day when my bulging discs fail (herniate), and/or that I don't want to push my luck with killing nerves (for instance, did Peyton Manning wait too long to have his surgeries?) Dr. O'Brien performed my cervical disc artificial disc implant at the intersection between the right technology and the right time for me (when I was strong and motivated to recover).
I have a courageous and adventurous heart. I just want a body that matches.
This is how I end my suffering and begin to live the life I am meant to live.