Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pushing through the pain.

Once upon a time about eight years ago I loved going to the gym.  I would wake up and head to the gym about six am every morning.  The funny thing is that I stopped at the local gas station to get my morning coffee mix (full of sugar) and a pack of cigarettes.  I would drive drink my coffee and get about three cigarettes in before I got to the gym where I would put 3.5 miles on a treadmill or elliptical and lifted four days a week.  I didn't fight back pain, I didn't fight the awful pain and ache in my tail bone or my knees.  To this day I cannot tell you why I stopped.  I did stop smoking and have eased up on the coffee.  I can tell you getting started again has been very difficult, even more difficult staying with it.

I cannot sit to long or my tailbone gets sore, usually a change in position helps.  If I have sat to long the pain and ache is there all day and it moves down into my knees.  If I have been on my feet to long the same scenario happens.  I cannot even explain to you what happens when I lay down with it.  The ache becomes intolerable in both my tailbone and knees.  It wakes me up, I cry or whimper around until the pain shifts.   I take over the counter pain meds and use pain relieving rubs on my knees to dull the pain.  This has been a daily part of my life and I had learned to accept it.  The pain stopped me from doing things that I enjoyed, simple tasks of window shopping, sewing or sitting through a movie.  Pain is a huge trigger for depression for me, which can increase pain.  I don't tell people or complain about the pain, no one needs to know.  Through the years I have let people assume I'm lazy or anti social, unmotivated or all of the other assumptions that come with not being able to physically do something.  I would even go to the other extreme and push my body beyond it's limits and be in such agonizing pain that prescription meds would have to be used to ease the pain, just so no one would know the amount of pain I was in.  Some how I viewed being in this much pain at my age as being weak.  I have been told I am weak if I could not handle daily pain. 

About a year ago I made some serious changes about the types of food that went into my mouth (trust me I still have a long way to go).  I also began taking supplements for anti inflammatory.  Natural ones, using essential oils to help heal my body.  When ever possible I avoid over the counter meds and prescriptions and use the natural stuff first.  My kids call me a "hippie", funny how the meaning of that has changed a bit.  I have educated myself on how many conditions of the body are due to inflammation.  Including the awful pain that takes place within me. 

The irony of all of this is thru supplements and diet I have been controlling the pain, until I started working out again.  The movement, impact or no impact has aggravated my sore spots again and I am in constant pain.  I am really struggling with continuing to work out because of the pain at the end of the day.  I know the lack of movement has stiffened things up and getting them moving again will be painful and was warned about it being painful.  I just didn't expect to be back in constant pain.  I know this will pass and those muscles and tendons and ligaments that have stayed tight to protect over inflamed areas are learning to work the right way again and the "stiff" bones will eventually not fight me on the movement.   I am so determined not to end up back in the dark places of my mind because of pain and the depression that it can bring on.  Ironic because exercise is supposed to produce feel good endorphins.

I still continue to watch what I eat, but this last week has been about just getting to the gym and working out, not just moving to shift the pain.  I love that my eyes have been opened about my triggers and that I can learn to manage and beat those triggers.  I pray for the strength to get through this awful physical pain so that I will not endure constant pain in the future with my healthy body, mind and spirit.

Remember to look in the mirror and tell yourself something positive about yourself EVERY day.

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