By the night of my WOD I cannot stand, I cannot sit, I cannot walk… the pain is intense, nothing like I have ever felt before… and I had at this point already had 8 surgeries unrelated to my back, a couple being pretty major, so I was no stranger to pain and like to consider myself to have a high tolerance for pain… but how high I had not even imagined yet. My husband has to somehow get me into car, I remember lying face down in the backseat of his pickup truck barely able to breathe through the pain… If I’m being honest, I can’t even be sure what I remember during this time, the next few months are a blur of Neurologist, surgeons, MRI’s and tests all leading to the same conclusion… 3 herniated discs, L-4, _L-5, S-1. I have never been a fan of back surgery, and was a firm believer in avoiding at all costs, I had been a Medical Assistant in a neurology office… no way, not happening! But at this point it is only February 2013, exactly 4 weeks since I started Crossfit… Full disclosure here… Even though I could not walk unassisted, my pain level was a steady 6-7 and was on a healthy cocktail of opioids, I was talking daily with my mentor and doing partial WOD’s from home… go back and read that last sentence, even writing it I am shaking my head, the stupidity could have paralyzed me knowing what I know now about my condition… I was addicted to the rush of the WOD, the feeling of pushing myself to limits, the community of being part of that world which so many awesome, fit, beautiful people live by, why couldn’t I be like them? What was wrong with me??
I decided to try a therapeutic approach, meds, rest, ice, heat and physical therapy, not only did I not get better, I got worse, much worse. I was unable to work, drive, do anything but stay medicated and lay around, I was useless to my family, to my son who was getting ready to graduate and had no support because it was all being spent on me. I went for a second opinion, a “respected” neurologist I had known through friends. He confirmed surgery was my only option before I suffered irreversible damage to my legs and lower back. This decision would prove to be another “voice” I didn’t listen to. I scheduled the surgery with the second Dr. even though it was now almost May and he ordered no additional testing such as X-rays or recent MRI… I trusted a stranger not myself – again. So back to bed I went to wait for my surgery date – May 6, 2013. You would think that date would be the worst date of my life, but it was not, while home bedridden in pain, my son called me early in the afternoon of April 15, 2013 from the finish line of the Boston Marathon… he was watching the marathon like he did every year while at college in Boston at Suffolk… he was separated from his friends and was terrified, coverage had not even hit the news yet, we were crying and scared and cell phone service was getting cut off, my children (my other son also lives in Boston) were in a city with an active terrorist on the lose and I was unable to help them, I will never forget that feeling of helplessness and ANGER. Before I stop this post, I need to mention, both of my boys are safe, but it was single handedly the worst day of my life… talk about the seconds between events….