An Injury Isn’t Going to Stop Me, Will You Let it Stop You???
Posted Jan 05 2013 6:13pm
Ok so, I was inspired to write about my journey and how an injury could have totally stopped me and let me go down a path that I didn’t want to go. But, I was determined to not let it stop me and I was determined to do the right things to help me get better. Here is the story, and I hope it helps to inspire and let others know that an injury does not mean you are out of commission and can’t work out anymore. All it means is that you change things, modify, do what you gotta do, but don’t give up and definetly don’t give in!!
When I was in middle school I broke my back (3 vertibrae) sledding down a mountain. It is the same old story you hear of me fighting my parents about just doing one more run before we leave. It was getting darker and the snow was now turning to ice, but of course I had to get my way. My friend and I knew that if we both get on the little tiny round sled that it would go much faster and faster is better, right. Well, long story short, we went really fast, hit some ice and then hit a bump and flew up in the air! I am not quite sure exactly how I landed but when I came to, I was flat on my back and all these faces were around me. My friends were telling me to get up and try to walk, then all of a sudden an off duty firefighter ran over and told me not to move and I think he may have saved me from getting paralyzed or worse. Couldn’t feel anything at the time, don’t know if it was because of the cold snow, the fact that I was hyperventelating or that I really lost sensation. Who knows, all I know is I am thankful that I didn’t try to get up until I was stable at the hospital. It was a long recovery and I missed tons of school but I seemed to bounce back to normal and thought nothing about it for years. Little did I know that this could lead to back problems when I got older and that I should have been seeing a chiroprator to insure my back healed right.
Then, about 7 years ago I started having minor back issues and went to the chiropractor and just worked thru it. Well, in the last year the issues seemed to not go away. I would have good and bad days, but the bad days started to out number the good. I started getting very frustrated. Nothing seemed to help, but my biggest discouragement was that doctors did not seem to know how to treat someone who is as good of shape as I am. They were at a loss and the only thing all of them told me was stop working out and let your body heal!! I am not crazy and if a doctor tells me to stop for my own good, I am not going to fight it and try to be a NINJA WARRIOR. So, I listened to the advice and took about 4 weeks off total. Let me tell you: I felt worse in those four weeks than I had any of the time prior. I was stiff, other parts of my body started to hurt , like my neck (which I had issues with before) my shoulders became tight and emotionally I wasn’t my chipper self. So, I decided that the not working out was NOT WORKING OUT!!!
Eventually I found out exactly what was wrong with my back thru an MRI. Turns out that I had a herniated disc in my L5 and a buldged disc in my L4.
Once I heard this news, everyone and their mother told me to watch out!! This is terrible! Be careful! You are going to have to deal with this the rest of your life!! One wrong move and you will be flat on your back!! You name it, I heard it and it truly scared me to death!! I didnt’ hear one success story, no motivation to get thru it and just all negative!! A friend of mine came up to me and told me about a Chiropractor that she went to after she had wrist issues and every other doctor told her they couldn’t help her, “she would have to live with it”. So, a huge part of me was done seeing doctors and being told to stop everything and lay in bed, but I gave this guy a shot. He was the first one to tell me that I was going to be fine and I could get better! A glimmer of hope and it felt great!! After just 3 visits I felt better than ever and was very excited. He told me to keep working out and doing my thing and that I won’t make it worse. WOW!! Seriously?? Totally the opposite of everything else I heard. So I listened to him and got better. But then, by the fourth visit things were bad once again. The pain was intolerable and I felt like I was back to square one. Something Dr. Sanchez told me, stuck with me and I hope it sticks with any of you that are discouraged by an injury. He said, “you are at a crossroads right now. You are going to go one of two ways at this point. You are going to keep trying to get better and do everything you can to do that, or you are going fall thru the cracks and let your injury rule you. You are going to stop doing what you love in hopes of getting better and in turn get worse and worse, mentally, physically and emotionally. Once you give up there is no chance of you getting better and you will be like all the other statistics out there and end up needing surgery among other things just to be able to function without pain.” WOW!! That hit me like a TON OF BRICKS and from that moment on, I knew which direction I was going!!
I kept going to the Chiropractor, got back into my workout routine. Granted I was modifying everything! Low weight, high reps, couldn’t do some things, but I was moving! Very soon my emotionally I started getting back to Lori I once was. Felt a little defeated sometimes when my clients were pushing way more weight than me, but I had to keep telling myself, it isn’t about the intensity right now. It is about staying healthy, and the fact that I can still do what I love and need for my body, it is just different now. An awesome workout partner also helped tremendously with support and reminding me daily that I am moving and working out, who cares how or how much weight, you are here! I thank Michelle Francis for that so much!! You rock girlie!!
The pain didn’t get better and I kept working out (didn’t get worse from working out either) but thought, man there has to be something else I can do. So, I decided to have my sister who is a physical therapist help me out. She lives in Colorado Springs which is an hour away from where I live, but I decided it was worth the drive. She introduced me to something called Traction and this is what it is and what the machine looks like:
I felt better after the first visit but didn’t get my hopes up. After a few visits I noticed a pretty big difference!! I was getting better and staying better. She also did something called Dry Needling :
Not going to lie, that crap hurts. I didn’t look like her when I was having it done. I was grabbing on to the side of the table for mercy .
Now that one feels good
She gave me exercises to do at home which seemed to hurt me more and that is when I found out that I am dealing with arthritis as well in the lower back. She told me movement is actually good for arthritis and little by little I was getting better and better. I started going heavier on my weight training again, watching my form more than ever before, still modifying and making sure I didn’t hurt my back more. I could start doing Kickboxing again, which is something I had to stop completely due to how I felt during and after. Now I am back to lifting as much as I did before (well more now of course ) and doing all the cardio that I want. I am still working with my sister and not completely in the clear yet, but I haven’t given up and I won’t. I will not be a statistic and I refuse to stop!!
I really hope this post helps to inspire others who are dealing with injuries right now. I hope it helps you to realize it is not a death sentence or that you have to give up the things that you love!! You may have to change some things, but always have hope that you will do what you love again and that stopping completely can have the negative effect, emotionally, mentally and physically!! If you need help figuring out what you can do, get with a qualified trainer or a sports medicine doc. Get with a doctor or someone who understands that quitting working out is not an option, and you will exercise , and you don’t want to just give up and sit or lay down in your house all day!! You can get thru this if you do the right things, keep your head up, and realize that your only obstacle will be you!!