Jan 5, 2013

This is not a complaining post. It is a pondering post.

Yesterday at gym I felt great. Strong. Capable. I ran with the kids and did forward rolls with no problems. I jumped and danced and laughed and had a wonderful time. I still can’t walk well on the balance beam and when I went up on my tippy toes I fell off, but that is to be expected. My whole center of gravity is in my pelvis and my pelvis isn’t in the best structural condition. I felt so good I did a cartwheel. It pulled on the hip socket just the teensiest bit. A few hours later I did another one and it didn’t hurt at all.

Then I started to drive home. Stabbing pain. It felt like my hip socket had been stitched up with thread and someone was using a seam ripper to yank the threads out. Throughout the night the pain increased and my whole hip and thigh area ached. I drove out to a going away party for my friend, Liz (who is off to an adventure to Russia!), and the stabbing was awful. Just awful. I ended up lying down and giving in to a few tears while we talked the night away.

I don’t know what to think. How am I to know what I can and can’t do if in the moment of doing it everything seems fine? How am I to listen to my body and receive accurate information? How will I ever know if I am better? I have modified so many of my body’s movements that I really have no idea what my pain level would be if I were moving like a non-injured Tracy would move.

I asked Richard if perhaps my capabilities would continue to increase, but the pain would still be present…if I will be able to DO things, but do them with pain. And as I thought those thoughts I tried to imagine a life of pain. I have been doing everything I can to heal the labral tear *knowing* I would be out of pain when it was healed. Now I wonder it that is true. Maybe the pain is here to stay…and right now that thought feels unbearable.

This pain is such an interesting thing. I can smile and talk and laugh and live, but it is here. Always here. It weighs on me. It is heavy. I can’t always think clearly or focus on what is happening in the moment because my mind is on the pain. Sometimes I want to throw it off me and yell “No, I will not hurt anymore. I will not be part of this anymore!” I don’t know if distraction or engagement is the better course. To be honest, I really don’t know anything anymore. I know I am tired of hurting and tired of talking about hurting.

All of these feelings and thoughts swirl around me this morning and make me think of dependence on Christ. I cannot take this pain away. I cannot solve it. Only He can. I cannot solve the myriad other pains in my life either. I cannot solve sin. I cannot solve sorrow. I cannot solve my weaknesses, mortal state, proclivity to judge, the pain I have caused others, or desires for things of this world.

But He can.

Maybe all of this pain is to remind me once again to give it all to Him. My pain. My sorrow. My weaknesses. My heart. Everything.

Maybe this is one long journey to my Savior.

Maybe there are more lessons I need to learn.

Maybe this is the biggest blessing I could be given.


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  1. That is so frustrating! I hope you figure things out soon, and mostly I hope that someday (sooner would be better than later) you experience many many pain-free days. Hugs!

  2. jessica

    I love you Tracy. I love your zest for life and your desire to be back to your old bouncy, energetic self.

    But the nurse in me just screams inside every time you do this.

    You are jumping the gun.

    Just because you feel good for a day or a week or even a month, does not mean that your tear is healed.

    As long as your doctor still sees the tear on his ultrasound, even if it’s growing smaller, you are not yet healed.

    And while you are not yet healed, you really need to NOT do things like cartwheels and backflips.

    I fear that every time you push it, every time you jump that gun, you are undoing months of hard work as your body tries to fix that tear.

    When you feel good that is a good sign of healing, but it does not mean you are healed. Even after the tear has knit, you will need to try to remember that those brand new, baby cells are like infants, not ready to flip and jump. They’ll need to be babied until you are not only healed, but strong again.

    I think the greater lesson here might be patience, and I hate that lesson as much as you do. Not only must you give your pain and sorrow to him, but you must wait. Really wait. Not “Tracy-wait” wherein you insist you haven’t done A THING (except for a couple of tiny backflips).


    p.s. Were our roles reversed and you gave me this advice, I’d throw something at the wall and tear my hair out, because I love advice that much. So feel free to punch me next time you see me. No wait, you punch hard. Just rage at me instead.

    • tracy

      Hmmmm, this is something I will really, really, really have to ponder on.

      Picturing them as baby cells is brilliant.

      I feel like I have waited forever, but perhaps I need to learn to wait longer and longer and longer. Maybe learning to wait is a lesson I need.

      I won’t rage at you…or punch you. Just come get in bed with me and bring some gator bites and make me laugh hysterically.

      • Maybe it’s easier to think of in terms of a broken bone, it’s a more traditional injury. I remember how badly my wrist hurt when I broke it as a kid. It felt so much better after it was set, and I was in a cast that went from my hand up to my armpit. After a few weeks, I got to go back to the doctor and get a smaller cast put on that only went from wrist to just below my elbow. My arm, all cozy in its cast felt 100% better! I was absolutely certain my arm was healed, and after the doctor sawed off the big cast, I held up my hand triumphantly to show him how miraculously I’d been healed, and how I could now go back to writing and coloring with my preferred hand.

        My poor wrist that had only begun to heal flopped over. The pain was very great, and I hurt those tiny infant bone cells, re-opening my greenstick fracture.

        It was so disappointing! But of course it would take many weeks for my bones to knit all the way and to be able to use my arm again without the cast. When I did finally get the cast off, my arm was very weak. It took time to build up my strength again.

        You are dealing with an injury that is not typically healed without surgery. You have chosen (or been forced to choose thanks to finances and insurance) the natural route. It’s going to take even longer. You spoke with someone who had the surgery and it was a two year process, correct? If these injections are helping, then you need to let them work. Maybe I’m wrong, but I strongly feel you need to take care of your little infant cells, and allow your body to work on this huge, enormous, difficult project without jumping the gun and harming what it has been able to accomplish.

        If it were up to me, I would have you still mostly on bedrest, doing things very carefully that you know won’t hurt, and certainly NOT attempting any kind of gymnastics or running or dancing of any kind. And when you feel good? ENJOY IT, don’t push it. When you’ve felt good for a long time, maybe get an ultrasound and see how it’s looking. When there is no more tear, take it easy even longer… like six months longer, given how loose your ligaments are, and how easy it would be for you to re-injure yourself.

        We can all see that a lot of progress has been made. Don’t rush it!

        Mmmm, Gator Jacks…

        • tracy

          I can totally see this. Totally. But this feels a gazillion times harder. I am at the 46th week. 46! When I broke my foot and tore the ligaments in the other one, I was in two casts for three weeks and one cast for eight weeks. When the eight weeks were up it was tender and I had to baby it, but there was an end in sight. It felt long and laborious, but doable. And if I did something wrong, my body told me immediately.

          This just feels llllloooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg.

          This feels like I don’t know what to do because I am not getting the overwhelming pain signals till long after the fact.

          I did not get out of bed on Saturday…except twice to use the bathroom. Today at church I tried a kneeling chair and halfway through Sacrament meeting the shooting nerve pain started and I had to stand. Then I couldn’t stand and had to lie down. I feel like a crazy person lying down on four chairs in Relief Society. But I had to. My leg went into spasms and was shaking so badly it couldn’t hold me up another minute. I have been lying down ever since (for the past 10 hours) and still my hip is sending shooting pains down my leg.

          I am so. so. so. so. so. done with this. I want to move and jump and stop grimacing. I want to do it all and sometimes it feels like I can, so I try little things and wind up hurting all over again.

          My mom thinks I should go to gym in a straitjacket. Wanna make me one?

          • Ha! I TOTALLY agree with the straight jacket.

            I think instead of going on how you feel, especially since the pain is so delayed, you HAVE to go on what an ultrasound says. No matter how great you feel, you are not allowed to jump or run or dance or flip or cartwheel until the U/S shows that you are healed, completely, no more hole, no more tear, no more opening.

            I know that means a bazillion more months. But if you don’t, I fear you’ll deal with this forever. You have to let it heal all the way.

  3. I might (want to) punch someone who gave me all this unsolicited advice. Sorry to sound like a total know it all. I just worry about you and want you to get better and not make it take longer than necessary.

  4. Anne

    Thank you Jessica! I know Tracy values your wisdom and advice. I have been telling her these things for buukoo months. But will she listen to her mother? She is going to end up in a wheelchair for the rest of her life and then think back with fond memories when she could walk around and *stand* in church and use the bathroom by herself. She will fondly [but sadly] remember being able to drive her children to their many commitments. She will continue to give freely, advice like yours, to other people with similar health issues but will continue to not recognize how it could possibly apply to her own situation. She will continue to pay $400-500 for shots that she immediately undoes any benefit they may have had the opportunity to do if she rested her body and let it heal. She will lose years of being able to contribute to the family finances and Richard will be forced to take a third job. He will have a heart attack or stroke. [sorry]. The only good thing that could possibly come of this ‘jumping the gun’ for the past 6 months is she may possibly, POSSIBLY, get to park in Handicap Parking for the next 40 years. Oh, and she may get her genealogy done. Not that she will ever be able to go to the temple and actually DO any of the ordinances.

    No, I am not JK!

    I am angry. Because she is a very smart woman except when it comes to her body and her health. She’s totally infantile in that area. I mean seriously, you would expect Annesley to use that kind of reasoning.

    • tracy

      Ahhh Mama, I’m sorry you are angry. I do feel like I have given this my best effort. I do feel like I have been careful and cautious and wise. I know the rest of you don’t see it that way and that is okay.

      The picture you paint is pretty awful. I sure hope none of those things happen!

      Love you mama…I know you are speaking out of love and concern and frustration.

  5. Anne

    Well dang it, if anything else happens . . . I just don’t know how you are going to handle it. I just wish you would really be careful with your hip for about a year and NOT do all that silly stuff at gym, even though I know you are dying to get back in there and do things like your old self could do without any effort. Of course I’m not REALLY angry, just frustrated FOR you and frustrated with the circumstances. I know you feel good sometimes and want to take advantage of being able to move . . . but please don’t. You are supposed to be taking care of me in just a few short years and it scares me that I’ll have the big A and you’ll have the big W.

    Love you!

    *Alzheimers and Wheelchair*