About 3 weeks ago I decided that I needed to take a week long break from blogging. We were about to host my sister and her 2 sons for a week. With our recent move the house was nowhere near ready. Of course life took over and that one week turned into three more.
This was terribly frustrating but now I can say I’m grateful for those lessons learned. I want to share some of that journey with you, but be warned this is going to be a long post in order to do so.
Never Let A Challenge Go By
A little over a decade ago I was in high school on the varsity gymnastics team. On this particular day a guy in my gymnastics class bragged he could kick higher than me because he’s studied tae kwon do. I informed him he couldn’t kick higher than me with a straight leg, and the challenge was on.
Class hadn’t started yet and neither of us had warmed up-can we say dumb? I ended up winning with vertical splits but victory came with a steep price. I pulled my hamstring, the day before gymnastics season officially started at school.
I took it easy as I learned a new vault-a handspring full. You can see an example here. As you can see, it has you twisting before landing-which will be important later in the story. I trained as lightly as I could, no matter what I did that stubborn hamstring just kept hurting.
The Truth Comes Out
Fast forward 2 months and I awoke one December morning unable to walk, slowly I was able to regain mobility and walk around on my own but it was scary! We visited the Dr. and his questions reminded me of a loud pop that occurred during my high kick. Turns out I popped my hip out of place and the hamstring was struggling to keep my body upright without the support of my hip and pelvis.
I went through 3 weeks of physical therapy which only made it worse. Luckily a friend suggested a chiropractor and I jumped at the idea. 3 visits later and I was as good as new, so I thought. I was able to compete in the last meet of the season and was so happy to be back that I didn’t do the last appointment the chiropractor suggested I do.
Fast forward 5 years where I’m at college away from home. While taking a jazz dance class I landed a little funny from a tornado (twisting jump in the air) and the pain was back. I tried doing some of the stretches and exercises that had helped in the past but I just got worse.
I finally gave in and found a new chiropractor. This time it didn’t help. My x-ray showed a twisted pelvis, the tail bone out of alignment, secondary scholiosis, and my right hip 1/2 inch lower than my left. I was told I must have hit a growth plate and that I was missing height in my right leg. I would always have this issue. With the chronic pain, annoying but manageable, and chiropractic visits more chronic than the pain I decided it wasn’t worth going any more.
On My Own
I’ve been used to chronic back pain for a while and handled it just fine. I would feel when the hip popped out of place and I just had to lay back down and swing my leg around to push it back in. Come to find out this only works when you’re in shape. Since I like to work out this was no biggie.
That is until we were pregnant with child number 2. The hubster was in his first year of grad school. We had no income, living on less than $13,000 that year I had no access to a gym. This made it almost impossible for me to keep my low back and abs as strong as I needed. It’s kinda hard to do sit ups and such with a live bowling ball in the front of you. Even though I would constantly wake up unable to get out of bed or dress myself the lack of a budget convinced me to give up and try to work out after the birth.
Funny thing when you feel like you can’t move you won’t try to work out. I kept thinking if I took it easy my body would eventually bounce back. After a while I joined a soccer team (my other high school sport) and that helped but it was difficult and running was not comfortable. I knew something wasn’t right, but not sure what it was or how to start. So it just kept getting worse.
What’s a wedding without a little…sewing?
Now come forward to this last month. The reason my sister was visiting was due to a wedding in the family. My mom made/designed the wedding gown. It was all done, until she tried it on the bride.
Turns out the bride had broken a toe since the last fitting. Wearing a boot for a few weeks had messed up her alignment and the dress no longer fit right, and it showed-man did it show. The new curve to her spine made all the pleats and drapery hang skiwampus (why yes that is a word). So they found a chiropractor to help the spine alignment while my mom figured out how to put the dress together for a better drape.
A few days later I woke up hardly able to walk again. My back did hurt the previous day but no where near the pain I awoke to. I survived that excruciating day by walking bent over and grasping anything near by. I hoped that a good night’s sleep would erase the pain and give me a fresh start the next morning, an approach that usually worked.
The next morning I found it was no use, I had to get help and fast, as I was in charge of some wedding sewing as well. My mom talked me into seeing the same Chiro as the bride. He didn’t cost an arm and a leg, didn’t try to keep you as a life long customer and has plenty of sport injury experience as he works with the local university’s football team.
So I gave in and saw another Chiropractor, even though I knew it wouldn’t help. I went in, told my story, and did all sorts of new tests to see how the bones were laying. He agreed that my hip was out, my pelvis was twisted, the tail bone had slid over, BUT he said the idea that I had lost height on one side was hog wash!
*I almost jumped for joy, I wasn’t too short on one side!
His goal is to work himself out of a job. He would try to get my bones in line, or at least enough for me to work out. I needed to strengthen my muscles so they could hold the correct alignment.
He’d do 3-5 visits and then send me off to physical therapy for a couple of months. Then I was to go back in to check alignment-you know make sure it held. Once we get to the point of it holding well. I’d only need to come in occasionally! Woot! Way better than 2-3 times a week the other guy told me.
And that missing height? He thinks it’s due to how my hips and pelvis have become twisted (originally from how I landed in that vault over and over), once we get back in line (which probably hasn’t happened since before that fateful high kick) I should even out again, and eventually the scholiosis should go away. So it has been a difficult time as I had a lot of trouble walking but in the end I got the answers I needed to help me live a more full life.
But Wait There’s More!
After I was finally functioning [more] normally the whole family got hit with a terrible cold. This wasn’t your normal stuffy nose cold, it had a sore throat, nausea and a whole lot of other symptoms you don’t need to hear. Seriously, I just couldn’t win. First I can’t walk and now I’m so sick I don’t want to.
Come to find out this was another blessing. Ever since Crystal Pain posted her 21 days to a more disciplined life series last November, I’ve been trying to get up early, and failing miserably. I’ve been praying for help because I really wanted to be able to have a more productive morning and day. So what did Heavenly Father do?
He allowed me to get sick long enough that I desperately wanted to go to bed on time. It lasted 2 ½ weeks. Long enough to help me develop the habit of going to bed on time, thus making it easier to get up earlier now that I’m well.
Sometimes I’m a little slow and I need to get a spiritual 2″ x 4″ upside the head. Turns out breaking my back and getting me sick was just what I needed to meet my goal of getting up early and working out.
I’ve only been to the gym 5 or so times but I can already feel a difference in my days. I’m a happier mom, I get a lot more done, I’ve been able to teach my daughter more in depth about her ABC’s and life is just good. So it may have been a difficult month health wise, but it’s a month that I’ve waited a decade for. I’d call that a gold lining to my cloud! Or should that be a cloud lining to my gold? Either way life is good and God is great!