... But it will also set you free.
So, I've been going to all these doctor appointments lately, and the professionals all want to know... when did the back pain start?
Oh, sure, they want to know about the beginnings of my other thises and thats going on. For those, I can only give a very rough estimate. I don't know... awhile. Too long.
But for my back pain... I can recall almost to the day, I feel, that I started to hurt. And, in turn, it pains me to associate the two - but I'll tell you the truth: I did not start having back pain until Sweetie was about 6 months old.
It made complete sense to me, actually. Sure, I wasn't able to carry her around. But I was definitely lifting her up and twisting in my chair with her an awful lot. And some very short distant carrying as well. Standing and rocking/swaying/bouncing with her too. All movements - repetitive movements - that were new to me. Movements, furthermore, with an ever-increasing weight. Of course my back hurt! I was "exercising" my body in ways that I'd never done before! So, okay then, back pain. I can deal.
At first, I figured that once I got more used to these repetitive new movements, my body would get stronger and the pain would start to lessen or - better yet - go away completely. Alas, no. Over time I came to realize it wasn't going anywhere. As long as I had a Sweetie to lift and twist with, my back would continue to hurt.
Fine. What, is that like 2 or 3 years, at the absolute most? By the time she's that old, she can most definitely crawl up on my lap herself. By that time, if she ever wants "up!" I'll definitely not be able to handle her weight and she'll be going to Daddy with those requests. 2 or 3 years - I can take it. After that, my back can slowly begin its return to feeling better.
Ha! Cut to my mom saying, just the other day, "So, now that your daughter's 10 years old, you decided maybe your back wasn't going to get better on its own and you should go see someone about it!"
Well, you know... I wanted to be sure.
Small potatoes... at least I'm seeing someone now! At least I'm looking for answers and relief, no matter how long it took me to get here. I'm finally taking care of me.
And it's interesting. Learning from the physiatrist and physical therapist, that of course my back hurts! For one, my body doesn't have access to all the right muscles in all the right places, so I have to compensate. That compensation, over time, wears down my joints and vertebrae. Things aren't as cushioned as they once were. Plus, yeah, taking care of an infant Sweetie did start the process for me, as I was moving in ways I hadn't before - wearing down these joints and vertebrae and cushioned areas with all the physicalness associated with being a new mom.
Huh - yes, of course. Yet I had never given much thought to how my body moves, what it can and can't do. I just move how I do - how I have to to get around and do what needs to be done everyday.
How crappy that, no matter what I do or have done, I'd have ended up, eventually, in the same situation, pretty much. Time frame not withstanding. Since, had I not had Sweetie, I would not be in the same poor physical state I am today. Yes - eventually, to be sure. But the fact remains that the mere act of becoming a parent pushed up my body deterioration inevitability by many several years.
(What's more, had I not had Sweetie, I wouldn't have had to have a hysterectomy 6 years ago, as it was my pregnancy that caused my uterus to prolapse - which is, as it turns out, a pretty common occurrence for women with spina bifida who've gone through a pregnancy, as we tend to have weaker pelvic floor muscles than the average woman. Huh - who knew?)
Talk about a blog post of mine I'd really rather Sweetie not read ever.
But, there it is. The truth. And the truth hurts - quite literally, in my case.
But like I said at the beginning as well - the truth will also set you free.
I feel free to report what I've gone through - am going through - with my bodily aches and pains. Why I have them, where they originated, and how bad they can be at times.
But I am also here to happily report that I am finally being truthful with myself about how bad the pain can really be at times, no matter how the heck it started! I have set myself free from worrying about and taking care of others so much while ignoring my own demands... finally seeing that it is a demand my body is delivering to me... finally seeing that what I'm personally experiencing should not be ignored. I am worth it - so very worth it - and need to take care of myself in order that I may be around, functioning at my best capacity, to be with and take care of others for many, many years to come.
Doing something that will, at the very least, ease my symptoms and possibly slow any further deterioration, if not fully take the pain away.
So, yes, it was my pregnancy and early parenting days that served as the catalyst for the current state of my physical condition. But - I was going there anyway. And if it wasn't a pregnancy that did it? Maybe it would have been all that globe trekking and hiking hither and yon that Hubby and I would have surely done as the international, childless vacationers we would have become that did me in at an early age. Or even a more stationary life I could have adopted, had I had no other cares in the world - move it or lose it, as they say.
And, lastly, let me more specifically clear something up. It was the pregnancy - not Sweetie herself - that wasn't so great for me. It was my ways that I moved my body. My decision to not make an earlier attempt to finally look into treating my pain. Sweetie herself has no blame in any of that what. so. ever.
And, yes, I've certainly realized the connection between her arrival and the start of my pain before, obviously. But, no, I have never, not for one millisecond of a millisecond, ever thought to myself how better off I'd be without her.
Because that is the biggest, most ugly lie to be told in all the world.
For all my aches and pains, stresses both physical and mental, I am such a better person for having Sweetie in my life. For having the honor of being this amazing little girl's mom.
And that, my friends, is the absolute, pain-free, TRUTH!