aging · exercise · fitness · healthy lifestyle · Uncategorized

Neck update

It’s crazy that a month has gone by since I last wrote a blog post! At that time, I was dealing with some neck issues; I was pretty sure that I had a herniated disc, but I had to wait to have an MRI to know for sure. I had my MRI and sure enough, I have a herniation of my C6-C7. Luckily the rest of my neck looks really good, but this C6-C7 stuff has been going on for 4 years and it’s not going to get any better without surgery.

I kind of had a feeling that the doctor was going to say I needed surgery, but I had hoped that it could heal on its own like last time. The doctor said that we could continue conservative measures, like physical therapy, medication and corticosteroid injections, but without surgery, I would just continue to have problems. He said that surgery would be a permanent fix. Of course, my first question was, if I have the surgery, how soon will I be able to work out? He said it would take about six weeks for a full recovery.

At this point, it’s been about six weeks since my injury – what’s six more? Up until this point, I’ve been continuing to stay active with low impact workouts, bike rides, and hiking. But I made the difficult decision a couple of days ago to discontinue all exercise, with the exception of walking and hiking. My pain gets worse with working out, even with low impact stuff. My body is yelling at me to rest. My stubborn ass has been refusing to listen, but I’m finally giving in.

Yesterday my husband and I went on a 4-mile hike and I felt pretty good. I took it easy for the rest of the day and this morning I woke up feeling pain, so I decided to just take it easy this morning. I used the time before work that I would normally use working out and started some laundry, went outside and watered the flowers, and enjoyed my morning coffee while watching the news and snuggling the dogs. It was nice. I’m trying to stay positive and use this rest time to do things that I enjoy, like reading and catching up on TV shows and movies. This is my favorite time of year and I want to have my morning coffee outside on our back patio and spend a lot of time outdoors. I also want to try once again to make meditation a daily habit.

I feel lost not following a workout program. I’m experiencing a lot of fear and anxiety around that. I worry that I’ll gain a lot of weight, that I’ll lose the muscle and strength I’ve gained. Most of all, I’m scared about the surgery. Spine surgery is no joke. I worry that things could go wrong and that I won’t be able to do all of the physical activity that I’ve been able to do. What if I never get to use that awesome pull-up station that is sitting in my workout room, waiting to be used? I have so many fitness goals that I have yet to achieve. I worry that my neck issues and the impending surgery could affect what I’ll be able to do going forward.

But like a wise friend of mine told me, what if everything goes right? What if I come back being stronger than ever? I like that perspective much more than my current one.

Since I thrive on goals, my goals for the next couple of months are to stay positive, focus on my nutrition, read the pile of books on my coffee table, and enjoy the rest time while I have it.

May your glass always be full,

Tammy

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