Saturday, September 6, 2008

Preaching to a choir of one

I look back not too long ago and I posted something about "No bending, stooping, leaning, okay?"

With nice cool weather and me avoiding the above activities, I experienced a pretty-good, last few days. In fact, there were moments when I felt normal.

There are some reading here who know what I mean. Like a teasing phenomena that visits about once or twice a year, moments hit me when I am aware, "Hey, I feel normal!"

These are exciting, smile-provoking moments because everything is clicking right along in tune with everything else inside my body. Nerves are sending smooth signals without interruption and out of nowhere, I get this sense that tells me that I do, indeed, know and remember what normal feels like.

The fact of writing this tells me that I am still in denial and have not accepted my new normal. You see! I did get something out of the two years of therapy!

Anyway, when I experience those sparse and rare seconds, I also know they will not last. But I revel in them anyway because to me, they prove I am not normal, but I still know what that feels like.

An online friend wrote this to me the other day: "I felt so good yesterday. I woke up without any pain anywhere. I even went for a 20 min walk. Then during the middle of the night my head pain came flooding in. I felt better than I've felt in my 20's yesterday. It amazes me how things can change so fast."

This is exactly what happens when these "so good" moments come around. We overdo. We don't think we overdo. We vacuum the living room or take a harmless 20 minute walk, but the feelings of normal, and the actual life of normalcy are two very different hamsters. One can get on the wheel and spin away obliviously releasing happy endorphins.

The other one lies in the corner in the shavings and gets fat.

Because I had avoided physical activity lately, I felt much better for about two days. I still kept up on my pain meds, still had splitting occipital pain from looking down, still felt weak to the bones, still wore my Lidoderm patch at night, but somewhere in the midst of all that, there was a lessening of how bad it "can" be.

Yesterday, my brain, still addicted to the endorphins I'd run on for 50 years, directed me to do something I shouldn't have. I did some kneeling/bending/stooping, getting up and down type of work for about 45 minutes. The project ended up looking sucky and I tore it all up and put it in the garbage can, so that reward of accomplishing something and creating something pretty didn't happen and, therefore, the resulting pain and suffering were for naught.

Oh yeah, last night was a bummer. Up all night taking pain meds, patches, lying in bed with waist and hips and legs hurting was the reward I got. A lesson learned? Somehow, I doubt it. Judging from my track record, this is a pattern I will keep on repeating. 50 years of addiction will not go away so easily. Four and a half years of trying to kick the habit and I'm still sneaking drags from the endorphin joint.

Maybe I need a 12-step program.


Anonymous said...

Hi, on Thursday 9/11, this same type of injury happened to my friend. She is in traction right now and is scheduled for her halo on Wed. From your blog I am reading that recovery is neither swift or complete. Would you have any advice for a friend or that I could lend to her from an experienced survivor (and, I assume, fellow equestrian)
Thank You for your information and in advance for your reply...
LB in NH

By His Grace said...

Hi LB, and btw, NH is my home state!

If you feel free posting your email here, I can write more personally to you and your friend. I'd love to learn more about her injury and therefore could help coach her in some self advocacy. Sounds like she is already getting much better treatment than I did post injury (I just got a small, flexible collar with just velcro tabs in back! Imagine!)

Just post your email here and then I will write to you. However, I will be away for the next few days so will write when I get back.

Another thought, if you do not want to leave your email here, is to join the message board at
and then you can write to me PM (personal message) or send me an email through the message board.

I'm so sorry for your friend, this will indeed be a rough journey, but with good friends like you to help her along, the road is much smoother.

I'll be back in 5 days!

Maybe she can help me, too, since I will be getting MY halo next year! (FIVE years after my horse wreck!)

take care

Anonymous said...

Hi v,

How well I understand your dilemma. But I believe better things for you Virginia! I believe that in this, as in other things- you have conquered, you will find your balance- and have peace in it. I love you sweetheart* hope you're feeling better by now~
watch for your rainbow*

Anonymous said...

hello , have a nice day