How My Health Has Affected My Life and Blog
Why I've Been So Quiet About the Pain Inside Me
How My Health Has Affected My Life and Blog
Health is wealth right? Without your health, you cannot do anything; you cannot perform to your maximum capacity, and sometimes not even at all. This has been drilled into my head numerous times, but only NOW have I started to listen to that. And unfortunately, I am now heavily paying the consequences. And it SUCKS. Big time.
But first, let me start with the whole story about what the hell happened to me. Towards the end of September in 2017, I had decided to leave my full-time job as a retail consultant right around New York Fashion Week. I was making the transition into becoming a full-time blogger and it was quite a rocky start, just as you would imagine starting any new job. Read more about why I left my 6-figure income job HERE.
The Start Of My Symptoms
Then, as I finally tied up some loose ends with my prior job in October, I thought I had all the freedom in the world to fully head on my blogging business. But boy, was I wrong. I started to feel this numbing and tingling sensation down my left and right legs. The pain would start in the back of my thigh then travel down to my knees then to my calves, and then eventually my toes. I started to ignore it in the beginning as it seemed like a temporary annoyance. It seemed like I could still get through my day, so I continued to work fearlessly through my content.
However, one night, I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. That one night turned into multiple nights in a row, and it soon became normal that I wouldn’t start falling asleep until 7:30AM from extreme exhaustion from being up all night in pain. It was awful. I began missing my morning meetings and I felt like my entire blog and life were falling apart.
Then, I decided to get help and get a move on my treatment and diagnosis. I started with conservative treatment and went to intensive chiropractic services three times a week for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, the pain relief was only temporary for a day or two, and then the pain would return. In December, I took a break and went to Hong Kong for three weeks over the winter holidays and unfortunately, I still came back with the same pain. It was getting progressively worse, and soon, my lower back started to severely hurt as well. It was time to see a more specialized doctor. Chiropractic services were no longer working.
Then, I went to call several orthopedists, but they all turned me away and told me to see a Sports Medicine doctor. Because of my chronic knee problems (called chondromalacia), they thought my back problems were related to my knees. I felt like because I was younger than most patients with back pain, many doctors refused to see me since I wasn’t “severe enough for immediate surgery”…which was complete bullshit as I was in SO much pain that I couldn’t sleep normally for almost 4 months now. I was so disappointed and taken aback by this “age-ist” treatment.
So finally, the sports medicine guy saw me and he was the one who told me, after several simple tests, that my leg pain was NERVE pain and not muscular pain. He immediately sent me to Physical therapy, but all they did was treat me for my knees. So, I stopped going since I knew that wasn’t the answer.
After that, I went to three more doctors (two orthopedists and a pain management specialist), and after a few X-rays and MRIs of my knees, lower back, and my entire spine, we found out that I had a herniated disc, osteoarthritis, AND scoliosis. The disc had pushed out of its sack in between my L5 and S1, and the fluid that escaped was pushing directly onto my spinal nerve. After many months of mysterious pain down my legs, feet, and back, I finally had answers.
The main reason why I’m writing this blog post is because this is what feels right to me right now. I could hide my pain like I have been for so long, and continue to write about fashion, inspiration, and post beautiful Instagram photos. But then, I would be lying to you and all my followers about my happiness, when inside, I am hurting so much, and it’s been so difficult to maintain my blog. I have to say “no” to a lot of events and meetings simply because my back hurts just too much to leave my home.
I am upset because just like any other budding entrepreneur, I wanted to put my ALL into my venture and work my ass off. And unfortunately, because of my pain, I had to pause and slow down. I cannot attend events as frequently anymore; I can’t wake up in the morning because I’ve been in pain all night; and most importantly, when I try to work, the pain is extremely distracting. Sometimes, I just cry not only because of the pain, but because of how much I have to hold off from work and from building my career as a self-made woman.
However, I will not hide in pain anymore; instead, I will let you guys know what’s going on, and how I’m going to get through this. I believe, now, that by opening up my heart to you guys, that I will have the support I need to push on and heal my body. All I want is to think clearly again and return back to my ambitious self.
What I Am Doing Now
It is now April, 6 months later from my initial symptoms, and I am attending Physical therapy 3 times a week for 1.5 hours a session. I am trying my best to do these minor strengthening exercises to alleviate the radiating pain down my legs from my herniated disc and my upper neck from scoliosis. Prior to physical therapy, my pain was so bad that I had to get steroidal injections in my lower left and right back from my Pain Management Doctor. This temporary “relief” would only be enough so I could go through Physical therapy for 6-8 weeks. The pain is still very much there and just as severe, but not as long-lasting at times. The effects of the injections are only temporary, and also have all sorts of side effects like weight gain, increase in hormones, and weakening of the bones.
I wake up each morning wondering if my back’s going to hurt that day, and if so, for how long. But, slowly, I am beginning to accept that my pain is going to be there for awhile, and I have to be patient, and that’s the best remedy that I can give to myself.
Have any of you experienced chronic pain before or know a loved one who has? Please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice!
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