This is my healing journey. These were the words that I wrote in 2014. I don’t have a lot of time to write right now. This isn’t getting the special treatment that it deserves, but my child needs me so I can’t write for very long. I also need to get this out there. To take the next step.
At this point, it has been 7 years. My disc herniated on July 21, 2012. It was my own personal “2012,” 6 months before the Mayan date. It was the end of an old life that was just turning out to be brilliant. And, guess, what, it still is!
However, for me it got re-injured several times, including after I wrote this post below. Re-injuries corresponded to painful times and joyful times, but the re-injuries were definite periods of debilitation. For example, in December of 2012, my back re-injured after my husband and I took a trip to San Francisco to see the Nutcracker. We had so much fun and it was a triumph after months of severe pain and the inability to do much of anything at all – I mean, really. The capacity that I had before the disc injury to afterwards was like “night” and “day.”
I walked a little bit more than I normally did after the Nutcracker, after the injury. Yes, I was in pain the entire time, but it wasn’t debilitating type – it was the “getting better type” and sometimes I didn’t feel any pain AT ALL until the re-injury.
Another time, my disc re-injured when there was a shooting of police officers while I was driving in my car to my college chemistry class, but I was stuck in the car on the traffic-jammed highway for over an hour, due to the shooting.
Finally it re-injured in 2014 after I was on the way home to California, after visiting with my family on the East Coast. I was just telling my husband, “I feel pretty.” We were just beginning to dance together again.
So here I am. I am now healed even more. I had no “re-injuries since 2014” but some week-long episodes of back pain. Back then I was trying very hard to stay positive. Back then doctors would say, “20% never recover” from the disc injury. Well, I wasn’t going to fall into that category. I was determined!
Even though I crawled on airport carpets in pain – had to toss my ice pack because of airport security wouldn’t allow me to have it on the plane. Even though I was on hooked up to my e-stim continuously and had to make flight modifications to try to lay on my side. Even though I once had to lay down on a concrete sidewalk for a few minutes on the way to a massage session because the pain was so bad that it brought me down to the ground in the light of day. I still had an amazing 7 years! I got married, for one, to the most patient man on the planet. I traveled and accommodated and moved through each and every challenge. I enrolled in a graduate program in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, and I wrote a blog about poetry and astrology and barely talked about my difficulties!
Fast forward to now:
This year, I had my baby. During my whole pregnancy, I only had one event of back pain and it was over Thanksgiving 2018. It was in the beginning of my pregnancy and I overcame it (the worst was the fear of it getting worse) – but as my body grew, my pain did not increase. I was even able to do prenatal yoga and resume positions that my body loved so much before the disc herniation, like downward dog and so many other flexion poses – without fear! Did I use yoga to heal myself? Yes! Did I use acupuncture to heal myself? Yes! Did I try absolutely everything, machine and contraption – just about! I tried it.
What really helped me long term: Acupuncture & energy work & exercise & staying as positive as possible. TIME.
When I was deciding with my surgeon whether or not to get surgery, back in 2012, the outcomes from 7 years with conservative treatment vs. surgery were the same. So, here I am: 7 years later – no surgery – all my discs are intact. No discectomy which could have further destabilized my spinal column leading to a fusion, etc, etc. No rods in my back.
I can go to the gym about 3 times a week now, and the walking problem (the walking I couldn’t do – that’s definitely in the past). I’ve been walking. I have been walking for years, again.
I rehabilitated, and in many ways – my inner health is much, much better. One day I might offer more details about my story. But for now, know that if you’ve had a chronic problem for a few years: you don’t have to suffer forever, you can come to the end of the suffering! You can follow the path to the positive outcome!
Also know, that you can renegotiate your relationship with pain, and still create wonderful memories in the midst of some of your worst! I certainly did.
After all, this is part of my journey of “Awakening.”
Of all the blogs I ever wrote. I hope this one gets read the most.
Hey Listen up! I’m here because I got better, and while I was struggling, and for so long (a little over a year), I spent a lot of time looking for hope online. I was reaching for anyone that had had a similar experience, or who had suffered something horrible, and overcame it. My L5/S1 […]