Friday, June 11, 2010

When the body betrays us...

As I wrote about a month ago, I've started running.  I had to give it up completely for a few weeks because I had some kind of crud -a cough, exhaustion, congestion, etc. - that hung on and hung on.  I couldn't run because I could barely breathe and could barely get through the day.  It was very frustrating because I'm used to having all the energy I need to do whatever I need to do.

A couple of  days ago I finally ran again.  I managed to run a full mile and a bit without stopping - the longest I've gone so far.  I felt great about it!  I went 2.3 miles that day altogether.  I was feeling great.

Then yesterday I went to the park to walk with a friend.  I didn't see her there so I decided I'd run a bit.  I started to jog and was feeling good, actually enjoying it - a new thing- when, splat! - I tripped on a root and fell head long on the path.  I lay there a moment gathering myself, then got on my hands and knees, then finally stood up and assessed the damage.  I landed and skidded more on my left side.  My elbow was grazed badly, and my left thigh was abraded somewhat and would bruise badly.  I started walking and fortunately saw my friend ahead of me on the path.  We walked for a while before I realized I was seeing more white than trees and that I needed to stop and let my blood begin to flow more regularly again.  I was OK after that, though I still felt a tad bit shakey.

All day yesterday I was reminded of the fall because my elbow hurt a lot.  This morning it still hurts.  And the bruise is pretty impressive - about 6" x 4" and football-shaped.

I haven't gotten hurt in a long time, mostly because I don't do stuff that would have me getting hurt, but I have had a lot of aches and pains - arthritis in my hands, bone spur in my foot, very sore back - things which actually restrict what I can do in my life.  I've exercised, done PT, rested, etc., but I continue to have these things happen.  It's very frustrating for me.  I'm not ready to accept that this is how it'll be from now on.  I'm 50.  I don't feel ready to accept that my body will just hurt from now on and I have to accept it.  But I don't know what to do about it.  Exercise to get in shape?  That's what made my back hurt.  Not exercise?  That makes me gain weight and feel uncomfortable in my body.  I am not so sure I like this aging process.  It's out of control and unpleasant physically.

Then there's my youngest son - he's 18.  He had spinal surgery when he was 10 because he had a bleed in his spine which was causing nerve damage.  The surgery gave him back the ability to walk.  Talk about losing control of your body!  He has had to work very hard to re-gain his physicality.  He was very coordinated when he was a young kid, then the nerve damage resulted in his having a limp, and now he has scoliosis. We've spent the last couple of weeks having him get test after test to see exactly what's going on and trying to figure out the best time for him to have surgery.  The question is not IF he has to have surgery - it's WHEN - and how complex it'll be and how successful it can be, given the complexity of it because of his previous surgery.

It's even more difficult for me to accept the reality of his body than it is of my body.  I was thinking last night I'd rather have the surgery and be the one to suffer.  I hate it that my child has to go through so much.  I want to protect him and keep him safe, and I am completely unable to in this instance.  It pisses me off big-time. 

I read two quotes today which I really like:

"Be good to yourself. If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?" ~Kobi Yamada

"It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life." ~ Anne Lamott

My precious son is certainly getting amazing weight training for his life.  I send him all my blessings.

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