Chapter Twenty-Three: The Question
Last week while helping to organize 200 Mill for our Valentine's pop-up, my back was really hurting. And it was hurting worse than normal. I can normally just power through and then lay down once home, but this was so different. At the time I was unaware that I also had a fever and would later have strep but regardless, I had to lay down for a minute. Then I had to have a cocktail to take away the constant stinging in my back. One of my partners, Lindsay, asked "What is it about back pain that is so different from other pain?" Wow. First of all, I envy this question so much. And I remember being on the other side, basically having zero ailments. Zero pain. The occasional migraine(which hurts like the Dickens). But nothing chronic. I remember not feeling like an 80 year old. I will be 42 in April. 42 is not 80. I am half of 80 yet there are countless days that I feel as if the aging process has sped up in hyper speed.
So, without further ado-the answer. My answer. All i can say is until you understand that we use our back very every single action in our lives, you just won't understand. And I hope you never have to understand. Because of this injury, I have met so many people that suffer from back injuries. Slipped discs, thrown out backs, scoliosis. People who have had multiple surgeries. People that have had none but still suffer (I fall into this category). I have friends that have metal rods that run the length of their spines and I wonder what that must feel like-every day. Pain management is such an evil subject matter-from all sides of the spectrum. Everyone thinks you aren't really in pain but are just looking for some sort of high when in reality you are simply looking for some peace. And the only time you can remember your back not hurting was when you were so drugged on that hospital bed that you would almost do anything just to get back there-constant help-constant drip-constant pain relief. I can't remember what it was like before my T-12 broke. I only know now. I need you all to know thesis NOT a pity party. I do not feel sorry for myself. Quite the contrary, I feel very very very lucky and blessed to be on this planet at all and to have the use of my legs. I will pay the price of chronic back pain. For those of you who do not understand this term. please know how truly lucky and blessed you are. It is truly a very difficult part of my everyday life that all close friends and family must share in with me. it is painful for me to just about everything-the mundane things you never think about-emptying the dish washer, opening a door, picking up toys, making a bed, sitting, standing, laying down to take a photo, the list goes on. I want to help and encourage those that suffer from some sort of similar chronic pain. Know your strengths. Know your limits. Do not feel guilty for not being able to do the same things as a 25 year old. I feel 25 in every single other way in my life, other than this ridiculous pain in my back.
My goal for myself is to really start taking better care of me. I work-a lot. And I love it. I also have a new house, a husband, dogs and children. I also love all of that-a lot. I don't tend to show much love for me, which is insane. So I am making a pledge for myself to start eating well, drink less and exercise. Period. These are huge goals for me and I plan to get there slowly. I am hopeful that while focusing my energy on positive goals it will positively effect my back-and my life.
So much love-