Jodene’s back pain battles

Thank you so much to Jodene Shaer for sharing her story about her battles with back pain. 

I love it when the doorbell rings and I get to sign for something that has my name written all over it. Usually it’s flowers, chocolate or invitations but I certainly never expected to have a huge exercise ball arrived thanks to Voltaren, attached with note and a hashtag #Paininthe … and I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate delivery.

I decided to save my first experience of typing while sitting on the exercise ball for this moment when I could share my story a long journey of  back pain. Admittedly, it’s tough to adjust to sitting on the ball and I’m sure it’s my lack on body strength, but I can feel every muscle that should be working begin to burn. It feels like one of those, it’s gonna be great in the long run things – a lesson I learned very well while going through the process of healing sequestrated L3 and L4 disks in my lower back. Although I injured myself in August 2010, I still battle daily with core strength and niggling back pain.

It all began in July 2010 when I was doing a lot of writing and had also done road running as the only form of exercise for many years. I had constant back pain and the more I felt it, the more I thought exercise was what I need to strengthen my back. I kept running and exercising, but the pain got worse and eventually I was at a chiropractor. After a few more weeks of severe back pain, she couldn’t help me ease the pain and then the x-rays and anti-inflammatory injections began.

Then one fateful morning in late August I woke up with agonising back pain and couldn’t move. I had hysterical pain down my right leg and had a spasm in my calf that was so bad, I literally had a family member sit by my side the whole time to massage the spasm when I screamed out in pain. I had to be admitted into hospital for a cortisone injection into my spine, which never worked.

Amazingly, at that time I was blogging daily for my #projectme blog and had been doing so for nearly 8 months. I was bedridden for 1 and a half months and the one thing that kept me going was knowing that I had followers of my life story, who wanted to know my progress every day. Today, I went back to some of those blog post and can’t believe that there were only two days where I had to ask my business partner to blog on my behalf. For the rest, I remember lying on my side, using one finger and blogging my way back to health.

On September 17, 2010, I wrote: “Project me” is about choices and I have a few to make. I can choose to be totally devastated and distraught about my back or I can choose to do the best I can right now.
I can choose to be in a state about how far behind I am falling with my writing or I can choose to surrender to this and give myself what I need … time to heal.”

And on September 26th I wrote: “I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me but I’ve decided to remember that no matter what, it’s what I do with it.
Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.
I think I’m going to end my day with a bowl of ice cream, 2 pain killers and optimism!”

My core strength is still terribly weak and standing or sitting for too long brings on a tired back and aching hips so I know my healing of my back is far from over. Admittedly, I don’t do all that I should and still sit and write for too long on some days, but I’m still sitting on my exercise ball and … wow, is that what my posture is supposed to be like.

About Sarah Britten

Writer, blogger, communication strategist, artist, speaker, procrastinator.
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