Deflated But Not Defeated

I had a reality check last week that set me down a dark path. I decided to give myself one week to wallow in this path before I checked myself.

I never once stopped to consider that I might not ever return to full physical capacity again. Well, my version of full physical capacity. That notion never crossed my mind. I didn’t consider any statistics. I didn’t consider all the issues I will still have. I charged forward with what is probably a very unrealistic expectation of my body. Not probably. It is a very unrealistic expectation.

You see, I bounced back quick. Quicker than a lot of people who have similar surgeries. Quicker than my doctor expected. At least that’s what I get from his facial expressions when I ask to do things that are toeing the line for my point in recovery. My biggest pain point from before surgery is gone. Well, most of the time. I occasionally feel it if I sit in a pretzel for too long. But I can walk and walk and walk. My all-time high since surgery is 13,918. That was nine weeks post-op. I can’t remember what we did that day, but I know that I didn’t hurt.

I started gently working out. I’ve been camping. I’ve hiked some. I’ve moved light equipment at work (think small security camera weight).

I went into that appointment expecting to get released to get an adjustment for the rest of my back and my hip that feels out. I expected to receive praise that I am healing better than expected. I expected to keep advancing better than most.

Except, that’s not what I heard. That’s not what I interpreted from the doc’s expression. He reminded me that I still have a degenerated disc that is nowhere near optimal health. He informed me that unless I want my second surgery to be in just a few years, I should NOT be lifting heavy weights or doing unsupported weight lifting. There should be absolutely no strain on my lower back from lifting weights. I will need equipment that I don’t have. I will need workouts that are tailored to my condition. I will have to change what I love to do for what works best to prevent another surgery in the near future.

He reminded me that I have an eighty percent chance of my bone graft actually fusing. But I heard ‘only eighty percent’. He probably told me this prior to surgery and I probably chose to ignore it. There is a chance my bone graft might not fuse. That. That hit me really fucking hard.

I cried on our way home from the appointment. I wanted to stay home the next day and sulk. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to talk to some of my best friends on our scheduled video chat. I did it anyway. I went to work anyway.

I started looking into foods that help with bone growth. I started looking into workouts that I can do. I can still do my bodyweight HIIT workouts that are extremely modified for the time being.

I struggled with wanting to see the bright side while wanting to wallow.

I didn’t want to tell family. I did.

All I could think about were the things I shouldn’t do. I shouldn’t move our furniture should we ever move. I shouldn’t pick up a case of water anytime soon. I shouldn’t lift weights until I purchase additional equipment or get a gym membership.

There are a lot of I shouldn’ts. I want to ignore them. But I don’t want my second surgery for many years.

I will continue to fight for myself and my health. I will find new ways to workout that excite me. I will find ways to not feel absolutely useless when other’s have to help me with lifting things.

I will not be defeated.


I may be slightly broken, a little bruised and even permanently scarred.

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