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Wake up call!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This past Monday I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my L4 & L5 vertebrae & the L5 disk is degenerating. Apparently this condition was creeping up on me, and there were warning signs that I ignored, however I had an injury (not even a big one) that literally put me on my back.

Now why did I even go to the doctor to get this diagnosis? Last Sunday I was in so much pain in my lower back that I thought I was going to have to go to Emergency. The only way I can describe the pain was similar to the lower back pain experienced during labor, but I am 55 & there was certainly no baby. LOL :D

A week ago at this time, I was totally ignorant of osteoarthritis, and in this past week I have been reading & studying exactly what it is and treatment for it. And much to my surprise (not!), being overweight is a risk factor.

I have gone through a lot of emotions about the diagnosis this week. I have wondered if I have missed the boat on being able to walk in 5K’s & other type activities that require a great deal of mobility. My imagination started going crazy. I thought about many things. I thought about 20 years ago, I dated a guy who had been in a construction accident and was in a wheelchair. I thought about my mom who had back surgery in her thirties…and many other thoughts. I was discouraged, but amazingly I only stayed in that frame of mind for a couple days.

One major concern I have is that I am the sole provider for my 12 year old twin daughters. I live near Detroit and was employed by the auto industry for many years. I lost my job the day before Thanksgiving 2008. At the age of 52, I was blessed with the opportunity to get additional education (including an internship! when I was 53!) that helped me land on my feet and have a great new job (January 2011). However, at the age of 55, I am shortly into starting over with a new career & company. I do have fear about being able to perform at work & deal with this condition.

I am trying to think of this experience as an opportunity to learn new ways of dealing with challenges & apply those learnings that I am already aware of.

For example:
- Looking into nutritional ways to support my health
- Doing the back exercises the doctor gave me
- Assessing my work/life balance that I can maintain in the long haul, & not be motivated by fear
- Looking for ways that my children can take more responsibilities & I can learn to let go
- Reprioritizing, putting care for myself and my entire wellbeing higher on my list
- Looking for inspirational Sparkpeople who faced challenges and lost weight (like Time4Judi which if I remember correctly, she lost over 60 pounds while living with MS)
- Finding a highly regarded medical specialist (I found someone, but as a new patient, I have to wait until February 2013)
- And most importantly, devoting time to my spiritual life, be still, and let God…

Perhaps my path of learning & sharing can help others as well…and I can honestly say that I am already seeing this diagnosis in a whole new light.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It sounds to me that you're quickly coming to terms with your diagnosis and taking the reins. Wishing you all the best! Have you read Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra? or Quantum Healing? They are eye-opening helpful reads!
    3008 days ago

    I know a bad health diagnosis is a very scary thing. But maybe it is not too late to do something about it.
    3008 days ago
    So sorry to hear about this latest health issue. Hugs as you research and educate yourself while working through the emotions of it all too. emoticon
    3011 days ago
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