The weekend of July 13th, I lost function of my right foot due to a severely herniated disk that is pressing up against the nerves behind my spinal cord. Here is
the MRI for your viewing pleasure, the circled area at the L5 vertebra is the disc that no longer lives in its home inside the spinal cord, but instead has decided to hang out with the nerves (white part) and put pressure on them. There are several reasons why this happened to me, including Crossfit, sitting too much, driving too much, and basically ignoring back pain that I have had for well over a year. But, let’s not dwell in the past as we cannot change it. For the last 3 weeks, since I lost my foot, I have been devastated, afraid, ANGRY, resisting every moment of this whole process and complaining to anyone that will listen. I have had several other medical complications in addition to the foot drop and that has not added to my happiness or acceptance AT ALL.
This week, due to support from several friends and my “Power of Now” group, I decided to change that. Today in my “Power of Now” group, the question was asked “How do you know that this illness is exactly what you need?” and the answer was “Because you have it”. SIMPLE AS THAT. This foot drop is what I need for my spiritual, emotional, psychological growth because HERE IT IS, RIGHT NOW. All the stories I have been telling about it, about how I can’t walk or wear cute shoes, or do this or that, are just stories…and many are untrue. Today I am determined to ACCEPT this situation and identify why I am being faced with this current challenge, so here goes:
1. About a month before the foot issue, I had a bad attitude. I was upset with my current life situation and was constantly resisting what was. The foot has made me stop and realize, that maybe all the stuff that was making me angry, was really just ANOTHER story created by my mind. None of it was real and therefore the anger can no longer be there.
2. I was working too much, focusing on financial gain, instead of taking a step back and doing what I REALLY want to do (write). The doctors took me off work, so I was forced to stop. I was also angry about this at first and scared I wouldn’t have enough money or would lose respect from coworkers. Now, I realize that pushing myself did get me a few extra bucks, but it also may have cost me a piece of my health and well-being. Not worth it. And guess what, even though I took a few weeks off, I still have more than enough money! Another story created in my head.
3. Pre-foot drop I felt lonely. All the time. And the lonely feeling controlled my whole outlook on life. Even though my social situation hasn’t really changed that much, my friends are still my friends, I have realized that the loneliness was another story I was telling. During this time several friends have been texting, calling, taking me out for Shabu Shabu, and trying to make me feel better. Mark, who is always loving and kind, spent 5 hours with me in the ER on a Friday night. My sweet Manny-kins, came all the way to my house to massage my foot and watch “Celebrity Ghost Stories” with me. Terry, who always seems to teach me something, was able to see me through the bad foot, horrible rash, and accept me exactly as I am. A lonely or alone person does not have these loving friends in their life. I am a lucky, blessed girl to have so much love and support.
I am not going to sit here and say that I have accepted my gimpy foot 100%. But, what I can say, is that I am willing to do the work it will take to get better: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. I am willing to look deeply at my life and find the blessings and lessons hidden in this experience. I am unwilling to look at the foot as a limitation, but instead am going to choose to look at it as a blessing and a lesson. This gimpy foot is everything I need RIGHT NOW.