I thought it was a one-round fight, that the injury was KOd, didn’t stand a chance again the surgeon’s knife.
Not so much.
The pain is back. Not even remotely as severe as before. It’s not debilitating. I can walk, move around, do most everything I want (it’s not like I love jumping rope all that much anyway).
But it’s there. Scaring me. Trying to tell me I’ll never be the same. I’ve kind of, more or less, resigned myself to never powerlifting again. Now it’s trying to tell me I won’t be able to do my year of sports, that I can’t go back for another Muay Thai lesson when we go to Bangkok, that I can’t go trekking in the Himalayas or horse riding in Mongolia. It’s telling me that pain will just be a part of life now, to get used to is. It tells me to accept that I can’t be an athlete like I want to be. It tells me on a long hike that I’m a fool for thinking I can go out like nothing ever happened and expect to climb hills. It tells me I’ll never use my shiny red new punching bag. It says to give up.
Well *%@$! that !@*%$.
I saw the spine surgeon today and he’s sending me for an MRI to find out if the repaired disc is extruding (could there be a fouler word?). I won’t see him again for two weeks, so that’s 14 days I have to fight this insidious little monster that wants to tell me what I can’t do.
Thankfully the doctor told me I do not have to halt physical activity. He said I was clearly not a person who would accept that, and that’s the old-fashioned way to treat, anyway. So he said to use common sense, and to let pain be my guide. I spoke with my trainer to ask if he has the patience to work with me in finding ways I can work out that don’t increase the pain. And he turned it around, saying of course he’ll work with me, but asking if *I* have the patience to get through this time, a period of not being able to push like I want to, all while I’m still recovering from the loss of powerlifting, which is still a struggle. It’s easy to say now, sitting in front of a computer instead of with a barbell in my grip, but I’m just so grateful to not have to stop altogether that yes, I believe I can handle it. I don’t really have a choice.
(And just a little tidbit thanks to my Dr Google activities, that reassures me I didn’t bring this on myself with getting back to working out)
Recurrent herniated discs are not thought to be directly related to a patient’s activity, and probably have more to do with the fact that within some disc spaces there are multiple fragments of disc that can come out at a later date … the hole in the disc space where the disc herniation occurs (annulotomy) probably never closes because the disc itself does not have a blood supply. Without a blood supply, the area does not heal or scar over. – Microdiscectomy Spine Surgery: Risks, Complications, and Success Rates