For the past 5 years I have stared at the candles in front of me and wished for the pain to go away. There were even a few birthdays I refused to leave bed because I was so defeated. Last year my pain levels drastically improved, but I still felt unsure about the future and scared of flare-ups. I was also still going prolotherapy and wasn't sure how many more treatments I'd have to endure.
I used to be frightened that I was in control of my health decisions- what doctors to see, what treatments to try, what medication to take. I wanted a magical fix, someone to take control for me and make it all go away. I didn't realize that I was the one who needed to be in control, needed to be proactive, needed to make lifestyle changes to maintain my health. I have finally accepted there is no singular solution. My body necessitates daily stretching, vigorous exercise, proper nutrition, mental strengthening, and commitment. I am completely in control, which no longer frightens me but empowers me. Not only has this experience shaped my professional life, but it's given me a greater quality of life. I am currently in the best shape of my life, and getting stronger every day. When I do have flare-ups, I know exactly what muscles are tight and what combination of modalities and stretching I can do to abolish the symptoms. Pain is no longer this nebulous and exhausting cloud weighing me down, but an identifiable problem I can fix.
I have been so focused on my health and school that I forgot to make a 5 year anniversary post. As I scroll back to my earlier posts, I cannot believe how much I have been molded and reshaped. It has and continues to be a transformative process. I have met some incredible people along the way and continue to be inspired.
What's even more incredulous to me then turning 25 tomorrow is that when I stare down at those candles, for the first time in five years, I won't know what wish to make.