Well, I tell you what, a bulging disk is like no pain I have ever known. Two weeks into Physical Therapy, and I have a slight decrease in pain. I can even sit at the computer for a few minutes without too much pain, as ling as I use good pasture and don’t look down at the keyboard. Nothing like acute pain to make you appreciate health. I have been aching to write, or read, or do anything really, other than sit and try to get comfortable for a moment or two. I cannot wait until the day I can get through one half hour without thinking about pain, or squirming for comfort! I will celebrate that day. I cannot wait till the day I can get through a day without Lamaze breathing techniques to carry me through. I must admit, so far nothing has been more effective for pain management than breathing. I have to force myself to use great posture all the time, which is hard when I am in pain all the time, I just want my whole body to relax so badly. I am getting a massage on Monday, this time on the request of my physical therapist, through a good, reputable, source, and who is aware of the acuteness of my situation. I am really, really looking forward to that! I have redefined my pain scale, as I had no idea pain levels got this high before two weeks ago. My old ten is really an eight. I thought I had felt the worst pain of my life a few weeks ago when I got that horrible abscess in my tooth that spread to my ears and eyes, but no…that was not the worst pain ever. The problem is not even so much the pain, it is that there is NO RELIEF from it, ever. I have spent twenty hours a day in bed for the last two weeks, and I am slowly getting to a point where it feels better to be out of bed than in it. That feeling lasts for anywhere from half an hour to two hours, depending on what I am doing, but then I have to get back in bed or the pain gets to the point where it controls all of my thoughts again. I do feel as though I can finally see some of the positives that come from this situation, but I do not know how the good Lord thinks I can handle this much pain? I have begged Him, pleaded with Him, gotten down on my knees in tears (kinda, I cant really get on my knees), and urged Him to rest His healing touch on me…but to no avail. There must be more to learn from this. Nonetheless, I am feeling hopeful, as I have gotten the pain below a ten and into the single digits a few times the last couple days. I also miss my most positive outlook, as even through happy thoughts, the pain masks them as negative. It is just hard to express anything with a smile, no matter how happy I am about it, and that is hard on the spirit. I am a positive person. I look for the bright side of things, and let me tell you, there comes a point in this pain where I do not recognize myself at all. Pain brings me anger, impatience, intolerance, and general lack of compassion for others. Those are not normal attributes to my personality. As hard as it is to make myself do my Physical Therapy “exercises”, I always feel a little better after a good PT session. While it hurts to perform the tasks, I love the simple little bits of relief I have when I am done. While I struggle to remember posture, and I crave a good relaxed sit so badly, I always feel better when I am conscious of my posture through the day. Ice is good. It hurts more when I first apply it, but as it numbs it feels better, and the long term effects have become pretty obvious to me.
When I start to look at the positives, which was incredibly difficult to do at first, but is getting a little easier as the pain subsides some, I realize that there are several great things to come from this. Because of my own flat screen and chore restrictions when I was a child, those are two areas I really struggle to find balance with with my own child. This pain has not given me a choice, I have had to learn how to ask him to do things, and stick to my guns about it. It is also an opportunity for me to get a long term heal and fix to a problem that has been harassing me for almost 8 years. It will be necessary for me to have good spine health to run a ranch while my husband is on the road for work. I also recall going through a very strange phase of boredom. I don’t get bored. I stick to the old adage that “only boring people get bored”…well, I learned better on that one. A couple weeks ago I had no desire to do any of the things that I love. I couldn’t find the drive to sew, bake, craft, read, write…none of it. I was just plain bored and uninterested. I had no desire or drive to do any of those things. I just wanted to pack all of my stuff in boxes with very clear labels. Sounds weird, I know. My office is too small to hold all of my craft and office supplies. I am sure it was a desire to control clutter. It occurs to me that the timing of this couldn’t be worse, it’s spring garden time, and if I don’t get my garden going, it won’t exist this Fall. It is not the kind of thing that can wait till I am better. What occurred to me is that my husband and I are planning to find a house this summer, and that maybe I am not supposed to put a ton of energy into a huge garden this year. Maybe I am not supposed to buy a bunch of new fruit trees and perennials. Maybe this is God’s way of protecting me from myself, who am I kidding, I already knew that, but not in this aspect. I assumed I was meant to rest. I am a strong advocate that when you get knocked down, it is because you need to rest and aren’t taking the initiative on your own. Why do I tell every lady I know to take it easy or she will get knocked into bedrest, and then ignore my own advice? I slept 20 hours a day for the first two weeks. It shocked me that I was able to sleep so many hours, but there came a point a few days ago where that changed. There came a point where it felt as good, or better, to be awake, than it did to be asleep. I am now slowly decreasing my sleep hours and increasing my functionality. Slowly. My big lesson this week was “Slow down mama”. Still two hours seems to be my awake limit, but now, instead of two hours awake and six asleep, I do two awake and three asleep. I will take it. It has to be an improvement, and I must admit, that now that I know what real boredom is…sitting and doing nothing, trying to ignore pain….well, I am all sorts of motivated to do all of the stuff I love! Maybe I just needed to catch up on sleep. My son’s sleep disorders take a huge toll on me, and really limit my sleep availability. I wonder if I needed to sleep to find that motivation, or if that motivation was lacking cause I was simply exhausted. Maybe I got that motivation back because I have had a lot of hours to lay in my bed and put it all in perspective. It is pretty hard to have a ton of motivation in my brain, but not in my body. My tolerance level is getting lower, an indication i have spent too much time on the computer, so ta ta for now, my friends, and hopefully I can bring you more cheer and bright side soon…until next time, many blessings!