The past month has been a little challenging for me. After living with back pain for several weeks that I thought was due to a bad mattress, I found myself completely bed ridden with bilateral and central disc herniation in two locations. What started as annoying back pain turned over night into show stopping pain. I didn’t have any trauma, I wasn’t involved in an accident, I didn’t fall, etc. All the doctors I’ve seen aren’t sure how this could have happened to this degree just on it’s own, but I have an idea…
I should have listened.
A few weeks prior to this all exploding, I didn’t think I was injured. I kept lifting heavy equipment for my clients, I kept working out myself and running. A little back pain I thought…Eh, I can get through that. Clearly I couldn’t. As I looked back over my medical records for the past four years, I saw that this has been a reoccurring issue. In 2012 while training for IMFL, I saw the doctor for back pain. I was told it was muscular, given some meds and sent on my merry way. In 2013 I went to an orthopedic for back pain. I was told I exercised too much and sent home with no limitations and told to rest when it hurt. In 2014 while training for IMLP there are notes in my training records that my back hurt. I also remember stopping on long rides and laying flat on the side of the road to alleviate the pain. That year I self diagnosed and told myself it was due to the bike. Now here I am FOUR years later and that same back pain turned into a very real and very scary injury.
There’s a fine line between an ache and a pain and what is soreness from working out versus what is a true injury. I discuss this all the time with my athletes. I tell them that they are the best judge of their bodies, that they need to be smart with their decisions and know when to pull back. I can’t judge the pain or diagnosis it for them. Heck, clearly I can’t judge my own!! But in all seriousness, as athletes we need to listen closely to our bodies and know when enough is enough. I wish I had done more in 2013 when the issue arose again. And then in 2014 why didn’t I see a doctor rather than tough it out? If I had listened to the pain years ago and what my body was telling me, I’m sure this current incident could have been avoided. I would have much rather taken a few weeks off years ago to rehab the injury and strengthen that area than to have a month like this past one where for two straight weeks I couldn’t move AT ALL without the help of my husband.
So the point of all of this…do as I say, not as I do and pay attention to your body. They are very good at telling us when we need to rest. If we don’t listen, they will make us listen. I learned my lesson. This really rattled me. Being physically active is my livelihood. It’s my passion. It’s my sanity. I do not want a repeat of this EVER. So here I am, eating crow. *Nomnomnom*