“Remember that time I was hurting and waited to go to the doctor until it got really bad? That was awesome!” – said no one, ever.
Despite all of my promises to myself to take breaks and exercise more, I managed to fall behind in the past few months. The weather turned colder and work got busy. I ignored my body’s warning signs of a few aches and pains… I thought that some stretching might be enough.
In November, on the morning that we were leaving vacation, I dropped my razor in the shower*. While retrieving it, the minor ache in my lower back turned into pain unlike any that I’ve felt before. Thanks to some rest and OTC pain relievers, I was able to get to the airport. The real Problem started with what I did – or didn’t do – next.
I made it through vacation with (mostly) minimal trouble. Upon our return, I insisted that I could handle it myself. I ignored Marc’s repeated warnings of “maybe you should go to the doctor”. I thought that I knew best – which is, honestly, unlike me. I’m the first one to harass my friends to call the doctor. Just ask them. They’ll roll their eyes and tell you. (But, secretly, they know I’m right!)
I’m still not sure of the exact reason. I know I didn’t want to take the time off of work to go to the doctor. Physical therapy can be expensive and I felt if I continued to stretch at home, I could handle the situation. I was wrong.
Things were better, until one day, a few weeks later, they weren’t. I was very lucky that Marc was home from work that day and he was able to help me get to the doctor. (and that someone fit me in on Dec 30th!). I was having trouble doing anything but lay flat.
It turns out that I could never have managed this on my own. It was a lovely combination of sciatica, bursitis and minor degenerative disc disease. The doctor gave me something to relieve the pain, a cortisone shot, and a prescription for physical therapy. Nothing that had definitive long-term consequences, but I was going to need some directed exercise to build my core. And, I am going to have to build in an exercise routine so that this doesn’t happen again. Only 2 weeks later and I’m officially on the mend.
Why am I telling you this story? Don’t be like Shari. If you have an ache, get it checked out. If I’d gone to the doctor when we’d gotten back from our trip, I might have been able to build up my muscles when I wasn’t quite so sore.
It’s all about taking care of my body. We all know there’s something we should be doing for ourselves but aren’t. Life is hard enough without excess pain and we all deserve the best – and since you’re probably reading this on your phone anyway, it’s the perfect time to make that call.
What will you do to honor your body and its needs today?
*I’m insistent that this is a sign that I don’t ever need to shave my legs again. (yes, I know shaving is a choice, and it’s one I like to make, until it involves effort!)