Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Slowing Down

I rolled out of bed this morning and soon realized that I could walk in a slightly straight position. Without pain shooting down my leg. This made me very happy as I haven’t been able to do that for several weeks. Three weeks I think. I’ve lost track by this point.

It is now 8:11 p.m., and I’m feeling it. In my lower back, most specifically. And my upper back as well due to weakened muscles used to stooping as I walk. Actually anytime I walk, my back muscles tighten up as I struggle to straighten my spine and walk at the same time. Ah, so frustrating, but the progress I have made is nothing short of phenomenal because it means that in the days to come the pain will become less and less.

I am the kind of person who likes to take what I can from everything in life. In other words, I try to learn from my experiences, and it seems that I learn the most from the bad that is happening in my life. I feel like a broken record talking about my injury so much, but I realized something the other day as I was searching for the good hidden behind my situation. It was doing a pretty good job of hiding until it just jumped out at me one day.

This injury has caused me to sloooow down. It has forced me to connect more with my family. And I have found myself reevaluating my life and what I want from it as I lay immobile on the couch icing away the pain.

But first of all, isn’t that what any sickness will do excellently? SLOW YOU DOWN? Keep you from working, going out to LOOK for a job, from cleaning the house, and doing the thousand other things begging for your time and attention. Those things that prior to you getting hurt were very necessary requirements. You HAVE to work, you HAVE to keep the house clean, you HAVE to cook dinner, go shopping, and whatever else falls into your daily routine. But what happens when you simply can’t?

For me, a number of things happened.

1. My job search skidded to a halt. (Who wants to hire a girl who can barely walk?)
2. I had to make my 16 year old sister drive me places.
3. I found myself relying on my parents for things.
4. Unfortunately, I could not clean the disastrous mess of a house that I (unfortunately) was confined to. No matter how much I really, really, really wanted to clean said house.
5. I became very much more aware of my body. How I moved, what I ate and how it made me feel.
6. I stopped sleeping like a normal person. The pain in my leg would only allow me an hour of sleep at a time.
7. I finally forced myself to take pain killers. I hate pain killers!

So there I was, permitting myself to lay around all day and go with the S-L-O-W. No more playing tennis, or swimming or taking walks with friends. No more job interviews. I couldn’t even cook like a maniac as I had been planning to do.

And then I found myself playing with my 4- year old brother more than I had been. (I became his new best buddy). I also felt humbled. I had to rely on my parents more. I had to let them take me to doctor appointments and chiropractor appointments. I felt like a burden and still do because I am not completely better yet and able to resume my responsibilities again. Yet in the midst of all that, I found myself talking to them more, having actual conversations with them which I usually had avoided doing before. I realized that I should treat them better, give them more of my attention and respect, especially after all they do for me.

If I hadn’t gotten hurt, I wouldn’t have realized these things. Also, my sister wouldn’t have gotten extra driving practice.

Has anything happened in your life that made you slow down or take a better look at how you have been living?

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