Pain and Pride

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As if on cue, as soon as I am starting to make some good gains with crossfit, something happens and I have to take a break.

This seems to be a pattern with me in my past. I’m on a roll with whatever physical activity I’m doing, and then some sort of injury or sickness happens. When completing the C25K program, my sciatica flared up pretty bad and I had to lay off running for a few weeks. When I started back up again, tendinitis (or at least that’s what I think it was) happened in my ankle…both of these I think had to do with the fact that I was running with improper shoes. I had to lay off kickboxing for a couple of weeks due to bruising the bone in my foot pretty badly. When I started getting into weight-lifting, my hernia started bothering me to the point of needing surgery. Now, two months into crossfit–a couple weeks ago my shoulder started bothering me.

About my shoulder: For a couple of years (at least) I have had what seemed to be a knot around my left shoulder-blade about an inch from my spine. In the past, I thought it might have had to do with the way I sat at my desk at work, even though I try to exercise good posture. There would be a sharp, stabbing pain in that area.

A couple weeks ago, it started bothering me again. I had the sharp pain, along with a slight tingling sensation, almost as if it felt like a bug was crawling on my skin in that area. I stretched my shoulder a lot, and after class before I would leave my box I would roll it with the massage ball against the wall.

Rolling hurt like heck, and only seemed to make it worse, it never really alleviated the pain.

This past week, the pain had been pretty bad, and the tingling has gotten worse. Every minute or two it tingles, kind of like the “pins and needles” feeling when your foot falls asleep. It’s not necessarily painful, but extremely uncomfortable, like it feels like something that shouldn’t be happening. Truthfully, I think I’d rather the pain than the tingling.

I have no idea what it is, and if it is indeed a knot or something else… if anyone has experienced anything similar, I’d love to hear your input. I have considered seeing a doctor, but was unsure of what type of doctor to see… a general physician, or physical therapist, or chiropractor, or something else. I have decided to rest my shoulder/back this week and see how I feel by the end of the week. I have been icing it and stretching and taking ibuprofen.

This is a bit discouraging, because it seems to be a part of a pattern with me. For a while I thought it was a kind of test, since in the past I would have used this or any sort of pain to discontinue any sort of physical activity, since I hated being active.

When I was younger, it seemed like something was always wrong with me. It was like I was an accident magnet. I was always getting hurt, or sick, or having some sort of pain. It would get to the point where others would make comments like “What’s wrong with you this time?” and I even had a few call me a hypochondriac. No one knew how much that would hurt me.

It was a serious blow to my ego, and made me feel very insecure and weak. I hated feeling like I was different, weak, like something was wrong with me, and like others looked down on me and thought I was faking it for attention. I began to think that maybe it was indeed “all in my head.”

I let my pride take over, and I kept it to myself whenever I wasn’t feeling great. I hated being considered the girl who was always sick and accident prone.

That pride carried over into my adult years, and because of it, I refused to see a doctor any time I felt ill or poorly. I would let it get to the point where I felt like I was going to die before I saw a doctor. My pride made me negligent to my body’s needs. I didn’t want others to think of me as weak. I also didn’t want to pay money to see a doctor that would tell me that all I could do was rest and take ibuprofen, which seemed to be what the majority of my doctor’s visits in the past consisted of. I realize now that my negligence and refusal to see a doctor could have led to more problems, and could have been dangerous.

I think lot of my problems probably had a lot to do with my carelessness when it came to my health. I didn’t care about my health when I was a kid and would eat nothing but junk, and avoided any type of physical activity. That probably weakened my immune system and contributed to me getting sick and fatigued often. Throughout my college years I ruined my body with anorexia and bulimia, which probably weakened my immune system even more, and it’s very possible that the bulimia contributed to developing my umbilical hernia.

Some things were out of my control though.  I had to file for workman’s comp twice in one year, and neither incident was my fault.  The first time, at my first job, a filing cabinet had fallen on top of me and bruised my hip and ribs pretty badly.  The second time was at my then second-job. I worked at a bowling alley and had to go get a dead-ball (where the bowling ball gets stuck in the gutter).  In between every other lane there is the ball return, and it’s easy to get a dead-ball from them since you can just walk on top of the ball return.  The other lanes would be two gutters side by side, and that was a bit more difficult to walk down. But down this particular lane was the pole that you see in the middle of this picture

and there were wooden boards for the flooring, and there was a spot around the pole in the middle in which there was no flooring. I had never been down this lane, so I had no idea the hole was it was at night when we turned the lights off and had the blacklights on, so I couldn’t see the ground. And on my way back, I stepped right into the hole and fell, and bruised my leg pretty bad.  In fact, I now have a dent in my thigh from that accident.
And when I got hurt in kickboxing, it was because myself and another person kicked at the same time, and our feet collided.

But still, it seems that even now I am answering for the mistakes of my past. And it can be a difficult thing to deal with. I was so proud of myself for winning the battle against ED and finally being healthy, but I am still paying for my bad health habits and negligence. My past always seems to be there to rear it’s ugly head, and remind me of the mistakes I made. And it’s easy to start thinking “if..”
If I had just gotten my shoulder checked out two years ago when I first thought of seeing a doctor for it, I maybe could have prevented it from bothering me again, and I wouldn’t have to take a very unwanted break from crossfit.
If I had just cared about my health and tried to lose weight in the past the right way instead of turning to bulimia, I probably would have a stronger immune system, and maybe could have avoided having to get surgery for a hernia.
If I had seen a doctor regarding my ankle in the past, I could have know exactly what it was that bothered me and learned how to prevent it from randomly hurting again in the future.
If this… If that…

Enough with the if’s! It does no good to dwell on the past and let it make me feel bad about myself. I can’t change anything from it. All I can do is learn to swallow my pride, and listen to my body.  See a doctor when I need to, and ask for help if I need it. I will continue to try to be the healthiest me I can be, and not think of myself as weak if I have to seek medical advice.

So this time, I am only giving myself a week of rest to see how my shoulder feels, and if it does not feel any better or if it feels worse at the end of this week, I will schedule an appointment with a doctor.


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