Friday, July 5, 2013

And Sometimes You Just Go Down

Some of you may be wondering, “Gee whiz lady, what’s any of this stuff really got to do with DDPYOGA?”  Lucky for you, I have a very logical explanation, and it’s a pretty simple one really.  So, here goes…
All of us walk through pain in life.  All of us have had our struggles.  I am 38 years old.  I’ve seen my share of pain in life - mentally and physically.  I’ll never pretend my struggles are any worse than anyone else’s.  In fact, I’ve probably really “suffered” no more than the average person.  What good does it do though for me to say: “Yep, I started doing DDPYOGA in January, it’s great, I love it, you should do it because I notice you are in at least as bad of shape physically and health wise as me.  It will change you.  It will help you” if the person(s) to whom I am making the statement has no clue what brought me to the point in life where I felt it was really time and necessary to make a change.  I think many of us are reluctant to take advice from people we don’t understand or from people whose point of view we don’t understand.  If you can make a connection somewhere through your struggles, I think that inspires people.  If someone can look to my experiences and find some common thread, maybe they will be compelled to make the changes they need to make to live a healthier life.  It is a fact that DDPYOGA has been a catalyst for me in seeking better physical health, but it’s turned into so much more than that.
I decided when I started DDPYOGA back in January I would chronicle my progress via Facebook for a couple of key reasons.  Partially I made the decision to help keep myself accountable, but I also made the decision because I had a sincere interest in inspiring or helping other people who are at the same place I am in life: our worst days are behind us, but we still have to deal with the stress of the daily grind that is a career, parenting children, being a spouse, etc.  When I decided to enter the DDPYOGA Challenge, I felt it necessary to go backwards for a minute.  Sometimes it’s best to start at the beginning.  An inspirational story can only be so inspirational if you don’t start “reading” it until the middle.  I might have been less impressed with Arthur Boorman’s story had I made a wild prejudiced assumption he was some lazy, fat middle aged dude who just woke up one day and said. “I think I’ll try yoga to lose weight.”  With that perspective in mind, I wanted to briefly create a foundation for anyone new to my story so they could understand exactly how DDPYOGA has impacted my life.  DDPYOGA has come to encompass so much more than just my physical health, and this challenge has been a fabulous way to process and think more thoroughly and on a much deeper level about how my past experiences have shaped who I am and how they have contributed to my current physical and mental health.  So my first six posts have covered the first 25 years of my life.  Since you now know I am 38, do some quick math and you will see I’ve only got 13 more years to cover!  I’m hoping you’ll stick it out with me, because if you have found the last several blogs a little depressing, I promise you things will get better!  Well, alrighty then, now that we have gotten all that covered, time to move on to tonight’s actual blog!  Yeah, sorry, there’s more.
The irony that I am beginning work on this blog post on Independence Day is a bit cathartic for me.  My last post left off at the exit of Mr. Wrong.  I had successfully asserted MY independence and determined on my own a new course for my life.  I was proud to begin a new career and cut the ties of that horrific relationship.  Despite my new found direction and freedom, I was still depressed.  I had so many lingering questions I knew I would never have the answer to and I think that frustrated me more than anything else.  A lack of understanding someone else’s misbehavior has to be the thing that spins my head out of control more than almost anything else.  It would just have to keep spinning for a while because no answers were going to come.  I needed something positive.  I needed a distraction.  Thank God for good friends and family!
Around the time of my divorce, my mom came up from Florida to visit me.  I think she instinctively knew I needed some “mommy time”.  I don’t care who you are, how old you are or how tough you think you are, if you have a good relationship with your mother or a mother figure, sometimes nothing will make you feel better than a little one on one.  So, it was with much excitement and with great anticipation that I waited for my mother to arrive from Florida.  I had spent some time healing with my STL connection, a new close friend from work, a couple of local girlfriends, and my roomie.  I couldn’t wait to hang with mom. 
Mom arrived from Florida and I was ready for us to get out and have some fun.  Outside of work, I hadn’t really gone out much socially yet or let off any steam.  Mom was ready to get me out of the house and somewhere besides work.  The fun began from the moment I picked her up at the airport and we headed to get some dinner.  I’m guessing our waiter from Chili’s still thinks about us from time to time as we sat for hours eating, drinking, talking, laughing, and making our time at that table well worth him being tied up with us for so long.  We not only left him a good tip, but we had lots of fun being silly with him.  Things were off to a great start and I looked forward to more time with mom and especially more outings.  Our next would be a play.  My roomie was heavily involved in the theater at MTSU and happened to have a show going on when Mom came in to visit.  We decided going to the show would be great fun, and I felt like a teenager running about the house getting ready to go out.  The music was blasting, the vibes were great, and mom and I were ready for a fun night out. 
I had put the finishing touches on my hair and make-up, picked out a cute outfit, and was getting ready to lace up my Doc Martens.  I sat on the edge of my bed, lifted my leg up, and slung it over the bed.  As I reached forward for my laces, I heard what could only be described as a pop.  I was confused as I felt a jolt run through my body.  I had no history of back problems or injuries so I was extremely confused as to what exactly was going on, but felt relieved when the pain began to dissipate after just a few seconds.  I shook my head and went back to the laces.  A few seconds later my phone rang, and I jumped from my bed to run downstairs and answer it.  I answered the phone and headed back for the stairs.
As I moved toward the stairs, something seemed terribly wrong.  The entire lower half of my body was being consumed with a pain like nothing I had ever known and I could literally feel the strength in my limbs leaving my body for parts unknown.  After two steps up the stairs, I collapsed.  My knees buckled, came out from underneath me, and I found myself literally unable to stand.  I screamed in pain.  I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.  I was prone on the stairs and the slightest attempt to move my legs and get myself up sent shock waves through my body.  The pain radiated from my spine outward all the way to my toes and fingertips.  As a child, I accidentally touched an electric fence on one occasion, and that’s the closest sensation I can think of to describe the rolling sensation of pain.  I’m not sure how long I was on the stairs before my mother was able to get me up.  It wasn’t a terribly long time but at least several minutes.  I shudder to think how long it would have taken me to get up from that position had she not been there, but I can guarantee I probably wouldn’t have made the play that night.  I was able to get to my bed.  I rested for a while and downed some ibuprofen.  The night wasn’t going to wait for us and I was determined to push on through.  We made the play, but I had my regrets.  I would up at the doctor the next day and would spend the next few days in bed trying to recoup.  Not exactly how I had envisioned spending the week with mom.

And that would be the very start of it.  From there forward I would spend a decade fighting a pain wracked body that was absolutely consumed by fatigue.  There would be break outs on my hands and my feet, more illnesses than I can begin to enumerate, high risk pregnancies, high blood pressure, and the list goes on.  I have no idea how I would have survived it all had Mr. Right not finally come along.  God bless him.  He’s certainly lived up to his vows.  There’s definitely been a fine mix of sickness and health and good times and bad times.  And he’s stuck with me through it all.  I must be pretty awesome.  I think I meant to say he must be pretty awesome.  It’s true.  He is.  I feel blessed he’s been by my side as I have struggled through the ups and downs of my condition and as I searched for an answer to save me from myself.

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