The Last Uphill Battle
I’m brimming with excitement, but excitement that’s right below the surface. I’m almost scared to believe it, but I do believe I’ve crossed the last mountain in my hamstring/sciatic nerve battle. And yes, it’s been a hard fought, tooth and nail type battle. I wish I could describe the physical and emotional battle this has been on myself, Brett and my family. I really can’t, but I can say thank you to everyone for putting up with me.
I’m lying on a bed at our hotel in Silver Springs, MD because I can’t sit up right now to type due to the pain. But this is good healing pain. I hate typing on my iPhone, but I really wanted to get this out. I’m so confident I’m not even waiting to see if these last injections worked, because I know they did. So here I lie, trying to give a bit of hope to those athletes and everyday folks who’ve had mystery diagnosis, who’ve had ups and downs with athletic injuries and who thought they might not have that final up.
Its taken a long time, I shutter to say the past 2 years, but my journey back is going to begin. Well, in another 2 days, after the injections have done their thing that is. So for all the athletes and folks who’ve struggled with mis-diagnosis, no diagnosis, endless PT, surgery, etc. I’m telling you to hang in there. Persevere, you can do it. Thank you to everyone whose reached out to send good wishes and prayers, and thank you for those injured who’ve reached out to share your struggle. Knowing I’ve helped just one person is all I really wanted. I’m so glad I could give others hope to get through this.
I won’t try to tell you that it will be easy, because the ups and downs are tough. You’ll want to give up, I know, but stay strong. Get a good team on your side: your family, friends, doctor, priest/minister, psychologist. They will help you through this.
While I’m mentioning my team, I must say that everyone I listed above has helped me. But the honor of the most caring, honorable and gracious doctor ever goes to my hero Dr. Victor Ibrahim, my physiatrist. You might think that dramatic, and maybe I’m being dramatic, but honestly I don’t mind (hopefully you don’t either). He has been there, trying different and experimental techniques, keeping my hopes up, giving hugs when needed, an ear to listen to (and I’ve had some stressful moments) telling me to hang in, never giving up on me and going as far as fitting me into his terribly busy schedule when I need it last minute, answering emails and so much more. I’ve seen a lot of doctors over the past two years and he is the best. Going far and above any doctor. Every doctor and person should strive to be the kind of person he is. I know I will.
Ive gained a bit more insight from him regarding the importance of the core and the pelvic muscles (guys and girls alike). It turns out so many issues are caused by weak pelvic floors. It might be a touchy subject, but I’ll broach it in another post. Those pre or post surgery around the pelvic girdle (hamstring, hip, etc) really need to focus on these areas to prevent additional issues from popping up. Turns out these last few issues were related to this. And for those not pre and post surgery, it’s important for you too.
So tomorrow we’ll make the long drive back to NY (7hours), but this last minute trip was worth it. Thanks for Brett for driving me and dealing with DC traffic. We love it here, but after 1 week in upstate NY, wow, what a difference. It’s much slower, more peaceful, drivers don’t want to kill you and it doesn’t take 20min to go 1 mile. DC, we love you, but we’re ready for a change. Onto being an athlete again, and finding peace. Peace that this journey is about over. I might not ever be the athlete I once was. And really, I’m ok with that. I finally feel at peace that the joy of exercising again is all I really need. I’m going to give it 110% to get back out there and be that athlete again. But if I can lace up a pair of shoes and go for a jog, or clear my goggles before a swim without this pain, I’ll be the happiest person alive. Perspective changes after 2 years of this. So I want to tell everyone this, I’ll never take my health or mobility for granted again. If you’re not injured or disabled, get off the couch and move. Feel the wind on your face and as you jog along or ride your bike. Cherish the gift of movement and live for the good pain of exercise. If you can run and jump as fast as you can and as high as you can, do it! You’ll never hear a complaint about a workout or a race from me. Every day we’re alive and able to do what we love is a gift. Don’t take it for granted.