First blog after several weeks of not writing – not because I wanted to stop writing – but because I couldn’t. This one is actually the product of several attempts over the last few weeks.
Over the last few years, I made frequent visits to the chiropractor due to pain in my neck and lower back. During the last couple of months, the pain intensified in my arm, back and lower back, until the left side of my body got paralyzed followed by the right side a few weeks later… with several visits to the doctor, hospital, physiotherapist and chiropractor in between. It turns out that I have pretty serious disk degeneration in the vertebrae of my neck which is causing the nerves to be trapped and which radiates pain down my arms and into my hands. The X-Rays showed that there was significant damage to the vertebrae in my neck….which I believe happened when I had an accident with a roller bladder about 8 years ago, when he banged into me full force and I fell against the concrete curb. I knew I was injured then, but the doctors simply said that I was bruised and would be o.k. I have had constant pain in my neck and back but each time I visited a doctor or complained about the pain, everyone diagnosed it as stress.
N ow, after 8 years, I discover that stress actually triggers the pain but the root of the pain is an actual physical injury! I have learnt now not to blame stress for everything. It is important for us to take care of our health and do periodic check ups. I had to stop all activities using my arm/hand ( including typing!). We don’t realize how much we do with our hands, until something like this happens! In fact, we don’t realize how wonderful it is to be healthy and in good physical shape until something goes wrong! I had to stop work, stop driving, stop typing and rest as much as possible, between therapy. I am still healing well and have made some small changes to my lifestyle which I beleive will aid in the healing process.
Being at home for several weeks forced me to STOP and re-evaluate my priorities. I created a retreat space for myself in my backyard and sat under the tall trees with the sun streaming down on me for hours, just praying, meditating or reading. It took about 2 weeks for the “whirring” of every day problems and “stuff” to calm down in my head and only during the 3rd week of being off from work, I actually started feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally. I often don’t realize how utterly exhausted I am until I stop. During this quiet time in solitude, I was reminded of several important things:
a) We can become comfortable with “not feeling well”. This is quite sad as we forget what it is like to feel well and slowly begin to accept our bad moods, tiredness and irritation as “this is just the way life is.” We also start blaming everyone else for everything that goes wrong and our eyes loose their natural sparkle and we miss the extra beat in our steps.
b) When we don’t feel well, small problems become exaggerated because our minds do not have the mental space to clarify and sort out information. This causes bad judgement, poor analysis of situations, constant nagging and we lose focus and can’t seem to hit the target any more.
c) It is important to be available to our loved ones without an agenda… to just be available. Although my kids are all teenagers, a new calmness came over them as we simply spent more time together and I was just home!!! In our busy schedules, we think so much all day long that even when we are with our loved ones, we are not quite present.
d) Making a few minutes for ourselves each day should be a priority. Dr. Oz recommends 7 minutes of yoga each morning – just 7 minutes can spark our day with more energy and more enthusiasm and also control obesity and heart disease.
e) It is important to “FEEL” joy from deep inside of us. That joy should not be dependent on new things we buy or only when we see our friends…. this joy is a joy that surpasses all understanding…. it is feeling joy for simply being alive… being in tune with ourselves and feeling the sense of God‘s great presence in our lives or just feeling that sense of awe and wonder for all the great blessings we have.
f) We are NOT all that important. We believe somehow that life will stop if we don’t have control and can’t complete the hundreds of things we need to get done… truly, let us do what we need to do but let us not attach so much importance to our sense of self.
f) Doctors are unfortunately not always correct. We give them so much power over us! Listen to your gut feeling and do question your doctor. If you are not happy with your doctor, please know that you have the right to see someone else.
The list can go on and on but I have to go or else I won’t be able to sleep tonight. My doctor gave me the best advice:
“When your mind can no longer cope with the problems and stresses of life, it begins to manifest as physical ailments in your body… it is shocking how mental anguish/emotional pain… can physically manifest in our bodies”
LookGood!!! and FeelGood!!! by making yourself #1 and taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health!