Let's recap, shall we?
Some of you might remember a journal where I wrote Getting Back to health
the road to recovery posted in Jan 2014. In summary of that journal I was dealing with debilitating hip pain from a sprained inguinal ligament and lovely bulging herniated disc in my lower lumbar area. I see journals on issues and problems people are facing... but very rarely the recovery., which I think could be useful for anyone who is dealing with some kind of health or life strife. So I wanted to take the time to share my story on the recovery process with you.
So what happened?
First, I want to make it very clear that running is not my forte'. I've never considered myself as super athletic in school or as an adult. I'm an artist after all, sitting on my bum sketching and painting for most of the day. Before my injury and pregnancy I did keep a constant running time of about 14 mins for a mile jog/run just to not feel like a total slug. However after... well I was hard pressed to get anywhere near 25 mins. I couldn't run and walking was even a struggle.
The recovery process.
My physical therapist gave me a series of stretches to do, twice a day, no skipping, which my husband would help with. Taking the advice, we used the proper techniques learned and did them constantly, but the results were slow going. 3 months go by and I see minor improvements in my hip and walking, but back pain was still there. So I go to my primary source of learning..."To the internet Jim!"
Okay there must have been something I've been missing in all of this. To my surprise, there is a rabbit hole of digital information on back pain and everyone has their own opinions on it. Much of what I read was most women going, "yep that's part of pregnancy. Back pain for life! " Uhhh..... ya no. Not going to happen for this 31 year old. I did some common things people recommended like switching out my work chair for an Ergonomic office chair, improving posture. That seemed good and I did see improvements when I did this.
By this time, it's now October, 1 year dealing with this pain. I'm not 100% but I'm able to get on with common daily tasks and I can at least travel again. Keep in mind I am still keeping up with going to the gym and walking throughout all of this. Running is still something out of the question. It was on a chalk event trip to Marietta, GA where I had a real break through. Most of the artists get up before dawn, have their coffee and tea before heading out to the site. It was a nice morning so a few artists gathered for a yoga session. I joined them and I swear it was the most relaxed I had ever been in my recent memory. We did this stretch where we rolled our back from a standing position to our feet and held it... that's when I felt a pop in my back. I didn't know if it was a good or bad thing at the time... I just went "Uh Oh". Needless to say, I was careful with my next few moves, not sure if this was going to be an ouch or sigh of relief. It was good though. I still had the pain, but it was as if it was more tolerable.
Time to make some goals!
I come home from the trip and I tell my husband about my experience. We start working in more Yoga into our stretching and started to see a real improvement. Feeling spunky again I knew I needed something to work towards. I kept on seeing adverts for a "5k Color Run" I'm an artist! I like color! Maybe that will offset the running part. So My husband and I sign up for December! I get serious and we keep a gym schedule going. 3 times a week and something physical on the weekend, doing a mix of yoga and physical therapy
stretching before each workout. I try improving my running, but let's face it. I really suck at it and as the run drew closer I was getting nervous.
The day of the 5k Color Run was perfect. Cool upper 60's with no humidity. The organizers of the event were very good about getting you "pumped up" and ready to run. There are a series of gates, each with a different color packed with powered chalk. As you run under them, you get your white shirt painted. At least that's the idea anyway. It was fun, we take off running, and I do really well keeping pace for the first half. Having never ran a 5k before, I slowed down in the middle a lot. I'd have to say my husband is my true hero, championing me along all the way. We finished the 5k in 51 minutes. Our goal was under a hour. This really gave me the extra boost I needed. Not worrying about the actual pain and issues I've had to deal with. Suddenly recovery was now about beating a personal record.
Feeling the good vibes off of the color run, we sign up again for another run. This time a 5k mud run. A test of physical challenges fighting though the elements, terrain, mud, water, obstacles meant for the marines. This one was tough, probably a little more out of my league. Again we trained, adding in more upper body weights to our routine because the course requires it. My goal was to just to complete it and survive, basically. Which we did! in 92 mins. It was crazy, but my shoes were done. After trudging though the water I received a pretty nasty blister on the back of my right heel. I learned you should always wear good shoes when you do this stuff!
Victory!Okay, so what really prompted this journal was today, while at the gym I beat my 1 mile (1.6k) in running record in 13 mins 42 seconds! ( Bows and waves to a crowd clapping )
This beat my record since before the injury! I'm now healthier and fitter than before!
I'm getting better and stronger each and every day. Keeping up the stretching, yoga, gym workout, and implementing all the life lessons I've learned along the way. Back pain nearly completely gone. I still feel a twinge every now and again as a little reminder. My hip, no problems what-so-ever. Nearly a year and a half later, I can say I'm pretty much recovered. From time to time I'll have knee issues of which a new pair of shoes would fix.
My final thoughts and words of advice
Healing takes time and it really sucks. I didn't know I'd be stuck with what I had for a year and a half and I was just hoping it would get better in time. There are no answers on best ways to recover. No scripted path and no magic pill for something like this. Worst of all there, wasn't a guarantee I'd ever get better. Some people have this injury and have to have a complete hip replacement or even back surgery. Even then they don't bounce back 100%, something I had a hard time swallowing. I knew one thing, I wasn't done living. I still had things to do and places to see.
Don't settle for anything less. If you're hurting, do something about it. Every injury and situation will be different. Recovery time varies for everyone, but don't worry about when it's suggested you should be better by. So long as you do everything you can in your power to get better you recover on your own time. Keep your friends and family who are positive influences close, there are several people who helped me though all of this. I wasn't alone, and my husband is the biggest hero of them all and never gave up. Celebrate those people with you and share your small victories with them, because they all add up! Most importantly stay positive and smile.
I purposely left out my work out routine for a reason, but if anyone is curious on those details, let me know. I can work on another journal just on that. I wanted to really focus on the emotional side with this one.
If your still reading Woot! Thanks for sticking with me. Even though we see art and profiles online, we are all real people, with real lives, and real struggles. Be kind to one another, always. ^^