Consequences For Pushing Too Hard

It’s no secret that I am a very competitive person. That I believe somewhere in the back of my mind that I am superwoman and that I can do everything for everybody all of the time. I’ve been this way all my life and I wouldn’t know how to be different if I tried. However, there is a golden rule in life that there are consequences for every action and that is very true concerning health issues. When you push your body to the limits one of two things is going to happen, you are going to break through and be victorious or your body is going to stand in your way and provide obstacles. Well my body has recently provided me with plenty of obstacles that have me rethinking my super hero status.

I’ll start at the beginning. At the end of March I decided that I wanted to go back to work so I could make some extra money and be able to have some spending cash for myself. I like getting pedicures and having the occasional soy chai latte from Starbucks, so if I was making my own money, I wouldn’t have to spend household funds to do these things. Hubby objected to this idea and said that I didn’t need to work, however he said if I wanted to get a job that he wasn’t going to stop me either. So, I went back to Kroger and got my job back as a barista at the Starbucks kiosk. This job had me on my feet for 7 1/2 hours a day (minus my 30 minute break where I sat in the break room for lunch). I was the dedicated opener which means I was getting up at 4am so I could be to work by 5:30am and working until 1:30pm then coming home and homeschooling my son, making dinner, doing house chores, taking care of the cats etc etc. On my days off I would do the yardwork. Fast forward to about a month ago, I started having foot pain again and knew instantly that my plantar fasciitis was acting up. I called and made another appointment with my doctor because I was in so much pain I could barely walk. I had to quit my job per doctor’s orders and spent the first two weeks on restricted mobility which means I could get up to go to the bathroom and that was it. The rest of the time I was either in bed, or in the family room just sitting. I got plenty of TV time in those two weeks and I even finished a book I was reading and started another one. However the inactivity was driving me nuts.

When I went back for my two week check up my left foot wasn’t doing much better. It still ached and hurt and now the inflammation seemed to be moving into my back and I was having some back pain. My doctor gave me instructions to wear my compression sock on my left foot and to ice it twice a day. He said that I didn’t need to limit my mobility anymore but no strenuous exercise (hiking) and no yard work. Just take it easy and make sure that I always had my athletic shoes on with my new inserts in them (no more barefoot in the house). I did these things and that brings us to 4th of July weekend. I was so excited to be getting out of the house and going camping for the weekend, it was just what I needed to feel normal and happy again. The time came, we packed up the car and off we went.

We arrived at the resort on Friday afternoon and we set up camp. I was on my feet quite a bit on Friday I have to admit, which probably wasn’t the best idea. I swam a few laps in the pool (maybe about 30 minutes worth of actual swim time), mostly I sat in the lounge chair by the pool and chatted with the other guests and watched folks playing corn hole. The chair was horribly uncomfortable and no amount of towels was making it any softer. I didn’t think anything of it, we went to bed and I finally got to sleep.

The next morning I woke up because it was raining and the sound of water reminded my bladder that “hey you need to empty me”. The bathroom was nowhere near our campsite and I had to walk up a hill to get to it. I noticed when I got up that my back hurt and it was painful to lean over to put my shoes on. I blew it off went to the bathroom and came back to bed, not wanting to get up that ridiculously early in the morning (6am, c’mon). By the time I woke for the second time my back was in full on angry mode. I got up and tried to move around figuring that sleeping on the air mattress had just cramped me up. Nothing was working. It was still raining so spending time at the pool wasn’t going to happen, so we decided to try to go shopping for some chair cushions for the pool loungers. This is where it gets bad. My pain went from about a 3 to a 9/10 once I sat in the car. I couldn’t help but cry out and I’m sure the faces I was making were a pretty good indicator that something was wrong. Finally my husband said, enough, and he took me to the local ER.

I was not pleased with the ER nurse’s assessment of my condition. It boiled down to “you slept on it wrong” and they gave me a shot of some muscle relaxer and a strong pain medication and sent me on my way. No tests were run and no further questions were asked. Hubby drove me home and thankfully the medications worked to allow me to doze in the car because that is about an hour car ride. I spent the next 3 days in bed going between medicated sleep and restless periods of semi consciousness. Finally on Tuesday I’d had enough and I stopped taking the muscle relaxers and the pain meds and decided I needed to get up and move, so I did.

Tuesday was an ok day, I was definitely more mobile but still foggy from the medication I’d been taking. Yesterday was the best day I’ve had since the incident (which by the way is a condition known as sciatica, not because I slept on it wrong). I was active, I’m able to sit for about 2 hours at a time before I have to get up and stretch and move about. I’m going on short walks around my neighborhood (not even a mile), just enough to stretch my legs and back out using my good posture while I walk. Fresh air does something for a person, it definitely makes me happier. I even went shopping with my hubby last night to pick up the last few things we need before we leave for our Florida vacation tomorrow morning. Overall I felt good yesterday, I got tired around 8pm, probably due to all the walking but my back didn’t hurt (my left heel is still sore).

Today I have plans to get the house cleaned up and some laundry done. I started packing last night so we don’t have to rush around and do it all last minute. I’m taking it slow, sitting when I need to and moving when my back gets tight. I’m making sure to take my medication with me and a heating pad just in case. I refuse to let anything keep me down for too long, if I can find a way to work around it, I will even if it means going slow or making adjustments to how I usually do things. The lesson learned is don’t push yourself into the ground because you are afraid to ask for help. It does no good if I’m out of commission and can’t get out of bed for days at a time, plus the expense of doctor’s visits is nothing to shake a stick at either. I know that there is an underlying cause for the sciatica and I will make sure that I get the necessary appointments needed to figure that out soon but for right now it’s time to do what I can, ask for help when I need it, nap if I need to and enjoy the little things in life (like being brought coffee in bed in the mornings).

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