Feel guilty for taking my body for granted...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by silverspoon65, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2012

    My best friend is broken. :-( She is only 32 and very fit. She is a certified pole fitness instructor, runs 5ks, eats well, has always been thin, etc. She has a herniated disc right above her tailbone that she has managed with chiropractic treatments in the past. However, for some reason, the disc has recently started causing her so many problems. She can no longer do her pole fitness or running, and now can't walk for exercise, either. She has shooting pain down her back to her hip all the way to her foot. She has to take meds to sleep, but she said they make her restless and sick to her stomach. She had to have her parents pick her up from work the other day because she was in so much pain she couldn't drive home. She works in retail so she has to be on her feet all day which is painful to her as well, and she works at the beach so this is her busy season. She was supposed to come visit this weekend but she called to tell me she just couldn't do it. She was afraid of driving the 3 hours and being in too much pain or not being able to walk and do anything when she got here.

    Now her chiro has told her that after their intensive treatments and hooking her to some kind of stretching machine, there is nothing else she can do for her. She saw a back doctor and it looks like her only option is going to be back surgery, although they are going to try a cortisone shot first. She is afraid of the surgery and worried that she won't 100% recover from it. It just seems like she is too young to have this type of surgery.

    I feel awful for her, but I also feel guilty. I am so overweight and don't take care of myself like I should. I never exercise. I just feel like it should be me and I should feel really lucky that it isn't me and that I don't have any mobility problems. It has been some motivation to put certain foods down and start walking.

    Just wanted to share. Anyone else ever feel this way? Anyone have any experience with this type of surgery? Just keeping her in your thoughts and sending good energy is appreciated as well.
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2012

    I've had two back surgeries. In both cases, the herniation was so severe immediate surgical treatment was the only option. I have DDD with symptoms starting younger than her--just lucky genetics.

    The first time, I went in unable to walk and on scary pain meds. I was walking right out of recovery, all pain gone. This after several months of being completely incapacitated.

    The second time, the surgery was fine, but I have permanent nerve damage from the disc that physical therapy only helped a little.

    In many cases, the surgery is actually a pretty conservative treatment! It has it's risks, sure, but it's generally fairly routine, quick and minimally invasive. It can also make all of the problem go away, especially if she has strong back muscles. The thing is, delaying treatment increases the liklihood of permanent nerve damage.

    She will be fine!
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2012

    Lauren had a herniated disc two summers ago, although hers was a little higher than your friend's. We spent 5 months (and several thousand dollars) taking her for decompression treatments 3-4 times a week. She also tried acupuncture (with no success), massage (too painful), and had laser treatments. She lived with either an ice pack or a heating pad and took anti-inflammatories for a month. Thankfully, the treatment worked and, although an MRI still showed the herniation, she's been pain-free for a year and a half. I'm so thankful that we didn't have to consider spinal surgery for our (then) 16 year-old. I feel for your friend; I hope that she can find some relief.

    I understand your feelings; in a family of fit, active athletes, I'm the couch potato who hasn't taken very good care of myself. I did make a change at the beginning of April, eating well and I've begun working out diligently. One of my goals is to lose a significant amount of weight, but my primary goal is to get healthier.
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Molly, I will pass on what you said about your surgery. They told her the shot only has a 50/50 chance of helping. She wants to get through the busy summer season at work but I know she is just scared and delaying the surgery. I think she should get it sooner than later, but I don't blame her for being scared.

    Mrs. C - She did the decompression too, and even got an inversion table for her birthday. They have had her hooked to all kinds of contraptions. No help. I don't know if she tried acupuncture, but I am going to imagine she is way past that point.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2012

    How could I forget about the inversion table that's still set up in our living room?

    When Lauren was first diagnosed, we did discuss whether or not surgery would be required. I was, of course, panicked. The chiro did reassure us that, if it turned out to be needed, it was, as Molly said, a fairly routine surgery that had good results for most patients.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 12, 2012

    My mom has had multiple surgeries for her herniated discs, the most recent in 2003, I believe.

    None of them have worked for very long and she can no longer take her anti-inflammatories, so she is in constant pain with no relief possible.

    The only solution left is one that in everyone we have talked to, simply causes more pain - fusing the spine
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 12, 2012

    silver, don't feel too guilty about your own situation, but it's understandable. I'm sorry about your friend. It's always sad to hear how a once VERY healthy (especially young) person, such as this can do downhill so much/fast, while others (not talking about you here) eat junk, don't seem to eat right or exercise & I'm sure we all know a couple people who do that, but they never seem to have health issues. Like I don't know how that Adam Richmond guy on the Man vs Food tv show does it! The way he eats, anyone would have had 10 heart attacks by now & he's definitely not the slimmest person by any means.

    My parents as I've said before here & there are very healthy people & they're pretty elderly now. My dad's had 2 back surgeries, but not until his 70s. The 2nd one didn't really help, like the dr thought it might. He' going to be 84 this Oct.

    So, we all do the best w/ what we've been dealt with. Some things we have controle over, some things we don't. I hope your friend can return to as normal a life a possible.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2012

    Don't feel guilty...just get moving on your health goals! Good luck! And good thoughts for your friend...:angel:
     
  10. rabyoga

    rabyoga Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2012

    Don't feel guilty. You were doing what you loved. Granted, a bit excessive.. I've been there- not as severe. I was an aerobics instructor for 12 years- taught everything (step, kickboxing, aqua, yoga, body sculpt) and many classes (15+) a week. Then, I became an elementary school teacher with a really bad Morton's Neuroma in my left foot. I limped around for 3 yrs.-finally got the operations. Best thing I did, I got back into shape-took up running and P90X. But I overdid it... Now, I have a bad burtis in my left hip and my dr.says I have arthitis in both hips. I have to modify my workout routine. I know that I did overuse my body. Call it young and dumb. But I'm older (45) and wiser and will do what I need to keep my body and mind healthy and happy.
    My advice: Don't beat yourself up. Do what will help you heal and give yourself time to heal. Live your life doing what makes you happy. Good luck:cool:
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2012

    Rabyoga...the OP isn't injured.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    A friend of mine just had a health scare (she's a few years older than me though). We are trying to motivate eachother to lose weight and exercise. She has been doing great on her plan but has not lost ANY weight. In fact she is gaining weight. It turns out she has developed a medical condition that is causing this. I feel so bad for her because she has been beating herself up for not losing any weight and it wasn't even her fault. Once this condition is treated she will be on her plan again but it made me thankful for my own good health.
     
  13. rabyoga

    rabyoga Rookie

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    I still think- YOU shouldn't feel guilty either! My advice stands for you as well as your best friend. Don't beat yourself up for doing too much OR not doing enough! Do what you need to make yourself healthy and happy :)

    Sorry I misread the first post. Read it thru my own personal experience.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2012

    He probably eats very carefully. Probably when he is about to have a big meal like the ones on the show, he has a special diet for a few days before and then eats the big meal
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2012

    Guilt is useless unless it spurns you do change your behavior. (I'm always on my kids for empty apologies.)

    I absolutely understand what you're saying, so take some small steps to change things. For me, anyway, huge resolutions end up being broken. But small things I can do-- like promising myself not to eat between meals, or to take a walk each night after dinner.

    Decide on one small difference you're likely to stick to, and start it today. Once it becomes second nature, add in another.
     

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