I’m warning you now: this post is going to be a little cliché and lot sappy. Or perhaps just a whole lot of both. Either way, you’ve been warned. For the past week, I’ve been having horrible back pain. I pride myself on my high pain tolerance, so I don’t use the term “pain” lightly—I promise. It all began last Thursday when I took a half day off from work to hang with Jack. We had a fun picnic planned complete with adorable beverages in glass bottles and a mini meal for Bella. Well, I hopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few last minutes essentials and the trip went completely without incident. I settled back in the car and we drove to the park. As soon as I stepped (normally and non-gorilla-like) out of the car, I felt a centralized, sharp pain in my lower back. I froze and hoped it would abate. Nope. It immediately forced me over in a hunched position. I took several deep breaths and followed after Jack who had graciously carried everything to a nice, shaded spot.
As soon as I arrived, my muscles tensed and it felt like my entire lower back was experiencing one massive spasm. Um, what? I hadn’t been jumping off a mountain, hadn’t spent all day in stilettos. What was going on?! I braved the afternoon assuming the pain would subside. Then, on the way to the garbage, I unwillingly collapsed. I couldn’t stand straight, but I could feel all my extremities, so despite the fact that I had to crawl on all fours, I assumed I was still fine. At that point, Jack ignored my protests and declared our picnic over (#goodhusbandaward). We made it back home and my only relief was laying completely still on the floor. Scary.
Fast forward one week and I am still hobbling around with an ice pack secured to my back. Talk about humbling and discouraging. While I realize that lower back pain is trivial in the grand scheme of things and especially compared to the trials of others, but it’s been a tough experience. I can’t sit for longer than 5 minutes and am just beginning to walk without assistance. Tough. So, the point of this sad, whiny story? I’ve re-realized just how lucky I am to have glorious friends and a top-notch family. I’ve also realized that the simplest actions and movements should never be taken for granted because just one day before this all happened, I was dragging my feet on the way to the tennis court saying, “I just want to be lazy!” I would give anything to be able to go hiking, biking or running right now. It’s so interesting how life is able to slow us down, yet simultaneously highlight all of your blessings, no?
Although I’m still walking at a snail’s pace, I’m happy that I’m able to do it on my own and that I’m no longer collapsing in a confused heap every 30 seconds. My takeaway? Be entirely grateful for your body’s abilities every single day. They’re the easiest things to take for granted, yet they’re the most noticeable when something is amiss. So, my advice today? YOLO/Love Life/Live.Laugh.Love…every single one of those cliché reminders.
P.S. Thank you to my wonderful husband, parents, friends and anyone else who has carried my purse, refilled my ice pack, or made my dinner. I appreciate every single one of you! xo
Bottom photos by Rebekah Westover