How many times have we over exerted ourselves in our lives? Whether it’s work, the gym, etc., how many times have we pushed ourselves beyond our limit only to feel extremely sore and achy when morning comes? We may even praise ourselves for the preservance and endurance to push and go that extra mile in our minds, but can our bodies actually keep up? Are our bodies equipped to handle such an extreme amount of over-exertion? For some of you, the answer is yes. For me, it’s a “yea you can, buuuuttt.. girl..honey.. CHILE!”
I recently shared that I had been in some pain after a morning power walk gave me a little extra power to go hard in my backyard. I was a little achy for a few days and then the pain seemed to subside so I figured I’d continue with the same amount of effort and get a few more things done. And then the aches returned, but this time, with a vengeance. I thought the pain would eventually subside like before, but instead, it lingered around much longer. And then longer turned into another week. And then another. And two weeks in, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was painful to get in and out bed, to stand, to laugh, cough, turn my body, and everything that could involve moving my back. It began to travel down my buttocks and down my right leg.
And finally the pain brought me to extreme discomfort and tears.
I was told I have sciatica. Because of my herniated disk. Because I didn’t pick up an extremely heavy in its proper manner. And furthermore, all because I didn’t allow my body to properly heal from the earlier aches and pains.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.
Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks. People who have severe sciatica that’s associated with significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might be candidates for surgery. — Mayo Clinic
As of now, my condition is under control. I am on medication throughout the day and heavily medicated at night. I also soak every night. I’m fine. But when the doctor told how worse the situation could have been had I continued to wait and try to take care of it myself, I couldn’t hold back my tears. Partly because I was still in pain while being diagnosed — but also because I hadn’t listened to what my body was telling me which is also partly how I lost my mother almost three years ago.
Our body warns us. We have been with it x amount of years and we know what’s wrong but we disregard the warnings. For me, it’s because I generally have a high tolerance for pain (thanks to natural child birth) and also because I’m an extremely busy person. I’m always on the go so my tolerance and schedule work hand in hand.
But then there are times like these when our bodies refused to be ignored.
This has definitely been a wake-up call. I’m grateful for the diagnosis of a manageable condition. But that also got me thinking about something else — about how physically inactive I am at times. How my gym membership hasn’t seen me in so long, they send those We Miss You! emails. I started thinking about how I sit at my work desk for such a long period of time. My eating habits. My eating choices. My children. My mom. My well-being overall.
And again, although this is a manageable condition, it’s time to start practicing a much healthier lifestyle.