Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hold that thought...

I told you a while back that I was going to be training for a half-marathon.
I started my training, and man, it felt good to be active again.

That is, until my back remembered that it hates me.
I mentioned that I have had a couple of back surgeries.
See, I have what is called Degenerative Disc Disease.
When I was playing volleyball in high school and college, I would suffer severe back pain, and saw doctor after doctor, and had countless amounts of treatments and procedures done.  I had a surgery when I was 18 that got me no where, and from there I was sent to a doctor at the largest free standing spine clinic in America.  He was leading the first FDA research on artificial disc replacement, and performed the first one in the states.  Long story short, I was too late to get in on the research trial, and had to wait months for the FDA and our insurance to approve the surgery.  A week after my 20th birthday, I had an artificial disc put in at L4-L5.  (sidenote-I was the youngest to ever have it done, and the first woman to carry a child after having it done.  He told me that I'm in all kinds of medical journals. Kinda cool.)

While the procedure went well, and I healed well, I still suffer severe back pain on a daily basis.  I looked at this training as a strengthening program, and a way to prove to myself and everyone in my life that I CAN do this, and that I'm not "disabled", which is how I feel most of the time.  I'm constantly being told that my back can't handle that...what about your back...but, Angie, you physically can't do that..  I don't like being told "you can't", and set out to prove everyone, including myself, wrong.  I wanted to prove that I am 25 years old and perfectly capeable of these things. 

I was wrong.  I have been having to turn to my pain medication more than ever, and I do NOT like to put those meds into my body.  I don't like the way that they make me feel the day I take them, or the day after I do.  I finally realize that I am, in fact, physically incapeable of doing some things.  I was a devoted athlete my whole life, and not being able to play with my kids, or run, or reach for things, or lift things, or bend over, well you get the point, is a very hard reality to face.  I feel like I'm in a body that is about 50 years ahead of where it should be.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I don't know what it is like to NOT have pain. All day, every day. That is my reality, and I'm okay with that. 

 But, I hold onto my faith that God is my healer.  He can heal me.  He WILL heal me. 

 Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV) “ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

I'm putting this training on hold.  And when I'm healed and strong enough, I WILL train for, and finish, a half-marathon.  Until then, I will remain faithful!

Today I am thankful for the healing power and grace of God.


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

Angie, something else we have in common--well sort of.

My husband has had the same back disease for 40 years, he too started with pain in college. He has had surgeries, and he lives with pain now of about a 6 or 7 daily. Take good care of yourself.

My advice? (not that you asked) Being able to play with your kids is much more important than running a race just to be able to say you crossed the finish line. Perhaps you could swim a race?

Love from cold, cold Northern Illinois,

Angie said...

Thank you, Ellie! I completely agree...being able to play with my kids and being a mommy is far more important than a silly race! I'm sorry your husband has DDD, too. I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

Chrissy said...

What an inspirational post :) I truly believe that God is the ultimate healer, and through Him, all things are possible. Stay strong, He will get you through this!

Jason and Danielle said...

Just remember you don't have to prove anything to anyone. Your family knows how amazing you are. Your husband knows your a wonderful mother and wife. That is what matters. In the grand scheme of things being able to run a race is not going to mean much, but your time and how you spend with your family will. Your doing great and I am sorry to hear about your back.

Tinkr said...

what about a low impact sport, like swimming?
It could actually help your back(maybe) strengthening muscles and not jarring your spine.
Hoping for speedy healing. :)

Kara said...

Oh Angie, I hate that you have to suffer with this, But you are a strong lady, always have been, and God works in such amazing ways. Chronic pain is terrible, but it has always been through the pain that my faith has grown. To me the pain is a blessing for I don't take one moment for granted that is pain-free. It is clear you don't either, so here's praying for many more pain-free days!

Angie said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies!

An Experiment in Happiness said...

Wow, something really led me to your blog this morning. I was just browsing around looking at other ladies ideas and stumbled on your post about you back. You touched me with the way you described how you feel like your body is older than it is and how you dont like to hear that you "cant" do something. I too struggle with pain.... all of my joints and muscles. I cannot keep up sometimes with everything that my kids want or my husband wants and it is very difficult. I have a hard time letting go and trusting that there is a reason for me to be so young and have these problems. I am glad you posted this. I hope that you are healed and your pain goes away.