I had accepted the fact that I might end up in a wheelchair. I had accepted that our lives as a family may change. I had not however decided to quit fighting. I was just stubborn enough to refuse to let anyone see me give up, no matter how much pain or how much weakness overtook my body I refused to allow people to know. I failed sometimes, but for the most part I tried to suffer in silence…. until I couldn’t.
How about a backstory…. 2012 partial Hysterectomy, 2013 full hysterectomy and I have not been the same since. I used to paint, I used to create, I used to have a teeny business called H&K Designs. I wasn’t great at what I did, but I LOVED IT. One day the pain became to much and I quit creating. I used to run, play church softball, sprint to see Brad at the end of a Spartan Race, walk all day at Ikea ( my favorite place) go up and down each aisle at Costco with no problem, until I could’t, so I quit or didn’t go, or forced myself and paid the price from it. You see somewhere along the way each and every thing I did became a trade off….. if I do this, I know I won’t be able to do that. Everything took thought… our spring break vacation became ” but will I be able to do this?” Our week serving at The Lighthouse became ” what if I can’t do it this year?” I honestly just thought about staying home.
Dr. visit after Dr. visit, blood draw after blood draw no one knew what was wrong with me. We finally settled on Sojourns, Fibro, and possibly EDS-hypermobility type and we knew for sure I was crazy hypermobile, yet no one could understand the weakness I was experiencing so I was given a pain pill RX for my “really bad days” and Celebrex for the other days, Out of all the Docs. I saw only one talked to me about my diet and getting active. Chris Yamamoto for the win 🙂 he didn’t know what was wrong but he knew if I would just get active it would help, now let me pause here…. If your dr. doesn’t start with diet, and physical activity before he hands out medicine, you need to find a new Dr. Unpause… I didn’t get active, I honestly thought I couldn’t, I didn’t think it was “my time yet” as a mother, and I didn’t want to hurt, so i just continued to fight through each and every day. I would talk myself out of bed in the morning because I knew when my feet hit the floor it would feel like the bones in my feet were breaking. I would talk myself into going to work because I loved my job and didn’t want to lose it and I knew if I did the depression would find a way back into my life. I knew taking a shower and fixing my hair were out of the question and I would have to choose… shower or fix my hair and sometimes I would pick neither. Standing and walking was a constant battle of give up or keep going. I had to think my way into everything I did because I felt like my body was just quitting and I had no idea how to stop it.
My diet was terrible, we ate out every single night. I love nothing more than gathering at the table with my family for a meal, but I had to choose nightly between dinner or cleaning, or showering, or youth, or small group, or laundry, or taking care of a dog or going to the grocery store, or a baseball game, so I always chose something else. I let my diet go last when it should have been first. I wanted energy to be present in other areas so I didn’t let my energy go to cooking, besides that, I couldn’t cut up veggies or really prepare anything because the weakness in my body had gotten so extreme.
I oftentimes would find myself upset with holding my family back or asking them to slow down when I could not walk as fast at them. I was so afraid my kids would grow up resentful of a mom that would not play with them or would ask for help from them so often. I would tell Brad to leave me, to please go find someone else that was not sick. Those were on my worst days, when I would allow the self pity to take over. They were not often but they happened. I always try to remain in a posture of learning, I heard on The Walking Dead once, ” one day this pain will be useful to you.” I always try to consider any trial pure joy because tests produce perseverance and if I allow God to work through me then no matter what life sends my way fruit will be produced. I may never see it but that is ok, I am ok with it. So when the bad days were REALLY BAD, and I wanted to leave this earth, I would remind myself, God is in control and one day this would be useful to me or someone else and that is ok, I AM OK.
One of my nieces favorite versus in the bible is, ” The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” I also love this verse, I know plenty of times when we do just need to be still and let God work, however… right after that The Lord says to Moses, Why are you crying out to me? Tell your people to MOVE ON!!!!!! You see God works, but sometimes, most of the time, you have to do your part, you have to raise your staph and rely on faith that God will part your sea and all you have to do is MOVE through it and together you will win the battle and the enemy you are facing will drown. So let’s go 🙂
I have no idea how I wound up the Calhoun Spine and Wellness Center, but I did. I had an adjustment went through all these test, got on a scale that told me exactly how fat I was lol and left. I followed up with an appointment that told me how unhealthy I was, that was super fun time…. I already knew I was unhealthy, I already knew I needed to be healthy, I knew how to eat clean and I knew how important it was to my body. I WAS AFRAID TO TRY. I hate disappointment, I hate failing, I hate it when stuff doesn’t work and I didn’t think this would work. I am not even sure Dr. Derrick thought his 8 Weeks to Wellness plan would work but he was confident it would leave me better than I was. Now, if anyone is a financial burden on a family, it is me. I have been since I was born. I have had tons of surgeries, ER visits, broken bones, etc. so I despise being a medical burden on Brad. The last thing I wanted to do was pay for something else related to my health!! Brad decided that I was going to join so I hesitantly signed up, Brad and I basically decided it was a last ditch effort and what did we have to lose? I had to try.
Holy crap what an amazing 8 weeks it was. For anyone wondering what 8 Weeks To Wellness is, it is a whole health approach to your lifestyle. You train with a trainer, get regular adjustments, weekly massages, and you meet with a dietician. It is accountability on steroids!!! My diet had a major overhaul. It was hard but Katie finally said to me, ” you have to decide what is worth it to you.” at that moment I knew I didn’t have a choice, I could strive in my new lifestyle or I could waste away in my old one. The foods I have had to give up and the house that stays a little more cluttered so I can train are totally worth Brad and my boys having their wife and mommy back and almost better than ever. Week one was hard, I was so afraid. The things they made me do in the gym seemed impossible. My legs were so weak I always felt like I was going to fall. At one point I got so mad I cried and told the trainer ” I don’t think you understand me or or my condition!” comical I know, she had asked me to do the elliptical for 15 min. instead of 10 ….. she did know my condition but somehow someway she knew me more. In the days that I had known her she knew I had to be pushed. She promised me she wouldn’t let me fall and I never did. She even held me while I did my box steps ups haha. She knew my health was a mental game that I had a very hard time playing and she was patient, she never let me give me up, she never let me fall, and forced me to keep going.
The turning point to my health journey was a trip to Costco hahahahaha, we were walking and shopping when suddenly I realized… My legs aren’t shaking and they don’t feel weak, and I don’t feel like I am going to fall down. Brad almost cried, and Hudson breathed a sigh of relief and said ” it is what we have been praying for mom.” it was then I knew that this program was working. I was getting stronger and healthier. Week after week I would feel stronger, it no longer felt like my bones were breaking when I stepped out of bed, It no longer took every ounce of energy I had to take a shower!!! I no longer had to choose between a shower or fixing my hair, I could do BOTH. We also noticed any set back I had we could trace to food. I am still in the process of learning what foods trigger me, but I know for sure nitrates, nitrites, and artificial sweeteners will trigger widespread pain in 15 min. or less. Pain so bad it hurts for me to breath, so we avoid those like the plague. We have learned gluten takes me back to muscle weakness and fatigue as well as pain. I can tolerate dairy in small amounts, and I still sneak a Brad cookie because, well, have you ever had Brad cookies? For the most part I am learning what foods are life giving for me and what foods are life taking. I know if sounds extreme to compare foods to life but for me and for some of you reading this, they are.
So here I am a little more than 8 weeks later, I just celebrated my new life with Hudson at SuperFly 🙂 I was able to hang with him just fine, no weakness, no anxiety, no recovering, no trade offs, just pure joy! Pure FUN!!! I can’t wait to go hiking because the last time I went my legs went numb and I had to use Brad as a crutch and talk my legs into moving haha. I know I can conquer it now and I would put money on it I could do it faster than my kids 🙂 I get stronger everyday and look forward to the days ahead, don’t get me wrong I always tried to stay positive and I was able to most days, but we all have days where the fight is hard. I look forward to camping, I look forward to helping more, I look forward to carrying Hudson or Kylor to their beds because I can now hahaha. I love showing people how strong I am. I love that Kylor can crawl up in my lap and I don’t have to fight back tears because of the pain. I love that if I go to costco on saturday I can still go to church on Sunday haha. I love that I feel like I have my life back! I love that, Lord willing I will continue to get stronger, and I will continue to be able to do his work in a state of health, and if not he is still good and that is ok. More than anything I am thankful. I am thankful for my God, who speaks to me through his words in the Bible, I am thankful for Brad who made me do this haha, I am thankful for my kids who aren’t brats and who went right along with the 8 weeks with happy little hearts ( most of the time) I am thankful for the abundance of prayers, prayers in my presence and prayers in the privacy of peoples own homes and hearts, I felt them. I am thankful for my youth girls, college and high school, who loved me anyway and would make sure I was always ok. I am thankful for my friends who remained my friends when I was not a good friend to them. I am so thankful and I love my friends that now feel like my family at Calhoun Spine and Wellness Center SO MUCH!!!! Please if you are struggling , before you give up please give this program a chance, and do it, really do it, do the diet, do the training, do it all exactly how they tell you to. You have nothing to lose yet so much to gain.
P.S. I was taking 3 benadryl to sleep at night for the past 5 years a celabrex and sometimes a hydrocodone. Now I take one benadryl and that’s all. I call that progress.