Now that you have realized that your condition isn’t a short term issue, it’s time to change your perspective from getting back your total health to just getting by. Now, I don’t want to say that no one ever gets better. There are certainly miracles today and don’t want to take anyone’s hope away. That said, there are many of us who will (whether we want to or not) have to get used to always being in pain. That’s an easy statement for someone else to say, or write, but not so easy to live with. As I wrote about yesterday, you should grieve for your body and your loss. It’s going to be really hard to celebrate your newfound suffering, so grieving your loss is your best bet. Then, you have to learn to live much differently than you have before.
The weekend before my injury, which happened on a Tuesday, I spent Saturday morning doing karate katas and sparring with fellow students of Kempo Karate. Sunday, we went to church as a family. Everything was “normal”, which is a word I have since stopped using. Now, as for the injury that took me out of the workforce, well that's a story. Actually, it’s not. I was stooping down to sit, twisted to put my briefcase down, and that was it. My disc blew out and the pain was something unimaginable. By the time I returned to my own office, I couldn’t even make it into the front door. As we traveled on the bus (see the previous posts) I found out I had an abnormally shaped L5 spinal bone, bone spurs at the foramen, other discs were involved, as was my sciatic nerve, and the L5 bone slipped forward 9mm from center. All without me doing much at all, my entire life changed. If I hadn’t had faith in my God beforehand, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through this time. I know that without my wife and daughters, I wouldn’t have.
My story is just one of millions that are out there. I had to go from relying on my body which could do everything I wanted it to, to hoping I could get off the couch to go to bed. The rollercoaster I’ve been on since that fateful day has been a bumpy ride. Only recently have the ups and downs been a little easier to take, although I have not plateaued, I don’t think I ever will. It is possible though, to learn to live again, it’s just different than you had before. The pain is constant, the medicine, side effects, the ringing in my ears, the loss of my own idea of manliness; it’s all a part of me now, nothing I ever planned on. It’s not easy just trying to deal with the pain and not actually getting better from it. It takes time, patience, and faith. How about you? What’s your story? Are you still fighting to be better, or have you resigned to dealing with? Have you discovered a way to deal? Do you share your burdens with someone?