So I started this as a study in consistency and how it would affect my chronic pain if I had a regular routine that I kept up with.
Some days it hurts to get into my car. Some days I’m mapping out routes at state parks. Some days I’m throwing up at work. And some days I use my reserve energy to be social instead of be in the gym.
Consistency is impossible. But that’s ok. That’s why it’s taken me 3 years to work on my power lifts. And also learn to walk again. I sometimes forget how bad I had it because it was so long ago. But progress is all that matters and if my progress were a line chart, my trajectory would still be upwards, despite moments of relapse.
I’ve seen my trainer twice in 2 weeks and I’m seeing him again on Friday. My sessions with him are important to my goals of consistency because even though I know exercise is proven to improve my symptoms (just my experience that is), I still get scared to go to the gym when I’m fatigued. My first thought is to rest. And yesterday before my session I had worked 8 hours straight and went right to the gym. I walked up to the doors of 24 Hour Fitness already out of breath.
But you bet your ass I felt awesome after our workout. It was like pulling teeth, sure, but now that I’m reminded to push through the initial shitty feelings, I will be going to the gym regularly for the first time since my back injury.
It’s weird that over a decade of trial and error still has me second guessing my treatment plans and pain management. I guess the only way it makes sense to me is that the pain and fatigue is so real and disturbing in the moment that it’s really hard to think logically. It’s hard to feel like you broke your leg and then tell yourself, “Great, I’ll just walk this off then!” And then happily jump out of bed and go walk a few miles.
It’s almost like my pain response is schizophrenic. My muscles tell me that I’ve pulled them or my joints tell me that I’m stiff or my heavy eyelids tell me that I’m sleepy but literally none of it is real. My body has these responses for seemingly no reason and I have to give myself a pep talk in the middle of it and convince myself that I can push through it.
So it’s really no wonder consistency is impossible. Chronic pain sufferers carry a great burden but we are only human and overcoming such strong physical pain responses with a simple “mind over matter” approach isn’t always going to be possible.
In the meantime stay tuned for progress reports 🙂 Thanks for reading!