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What is Most Important in your Life?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Depression and Coping
I know that any person who has dealt with Spinal surgeries, lived with Spinal problems and pain for a long time has a different outlook on so many things.

Just reading so many posts here, many people believe that their life is through, they are a failure and no longer can provide for their families the way they did before.

Oh, I've been there and I can fully understand all those emotions. It wasnt until I actually sat down by myself and started to jot down things in my life that were important.

After a while, I was a bit amazed at so many of the things I jotted as important were really only surface related.

For me, what was the most important:

- My family and trying to keep them happy and together
- Reducing the amount of time, my problems impacted my family.
- Helping others who are starting to go down this same road.

What I find out that I thought was so important:

- Could I continue to engage in the sports and recreation I did before?
- Could I work full time?
- What am I going to be like 10, 15, 20 years from now?

What hit me the hardest was that the so many of the things I viewed as important really werent. Some where hypothetical, some might be selfish. But when I looked at the things that really made a difference in my life, I changed the way I looked at my medical situation.

I devoted my time and efforts into doing whatever I could to keep my family happy and to be able to enjoy all the time I have/had with them. Even if it meant, eliminating some of the things we did in the past (ie Skiing, Golfing, etc) I found so many other things to keep the family tight.

I also started to feel so much better when I could offer some assistance to others. I think I get no better satisfactions then when I go to the Physical Rehab center for treatments and run across people that are so down and negative about their problems. I talk to them, discuss their situations and asked them what they really miss and what they really want.. I add to that, please take a look at such-and-such a patient. No matter what is in their hearts, they may never be able to do what they want.

But you can, I can and we all will.

Priorities... Thats a word that used to be reserved for the business world. But it is also so very important in our daily lives as spinal patients.

Try this.... List the top 10 things that are your very most favorite things to do, either alone or with your family.

Then, break each of them down to see how much of those you can do without efforts, how much requires a lot of work and how many you think you can never do.

Start out with the things you can never do. Cause thats where the mind set starts. Why cant you do it? What is preventing you from doing it? Can you do it in some other fashion that will not hurt you?

The point of this, is that everyone of us has it in ourselves to understand what we can and cannot do. And at the same time, we need to focus in on how much those things really mean to us.

For example, for me, at 38 years old (a llooong time ago),
I found out that I could no longer play softball in a competitive league the way I did 5 years prior. Well, even without my spinal problems, I started to slow down. And in the scope of my entire life, was playing in those games that very important?

Only you know what means the most to you....
And when there is something that means a lot, then there is nothing to stop you from accomplishing it.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • Yep! at 22, I had all of those and plenty of others, that came to me as important.

    In the end, well, lets just say that after the life I have lead for the last 13 years, with a new wife and outlook, has lead me to a lot of changes. Some difficult and unwanted, but in the end, all welcomed.

    Pain and discomfort are there, but fighting it has left, and with a new wisdom about it, things have become much better.

    Here in my neck of the woods, I meet all kinds of people, just getting into the pain game, and not having learned how to cope, because they are so new in the journey. I just suggest all that I do and let them try a few ideas and teach them the how of it.

    No - I am not in the medical side, I just see people walking and chat. It takes one to know what we live with. I can spot pain on a face in seconds, hear it in the voice and watch them move, see the flow not happening and then I ask some things.

    I guess I now never have a "bad" day, because I always have reminders of what I lived thru and how bad it is for someone else. Keeps me humble.

    Cheers - have a great one -
  • That's the saddest story I've read in a long time. I've felt that way myself..

    Right now I'm waiting for my new eco-bike to be delivered and can't wait to be more independent riding this bike. That's my joy for right now to gain a little freedom. Before my joy was to walk to the donut shop and get a coffee or treat. Just to make little goals and meet them helps find out what's important to make you happy.

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Anelsen15, it sure does not sound like you failed at anything!

    My important things I realize after thinking about it yesterday are my kids,my wife,even my dog. The job is something I kling to as I do not know what else I would be able to do at this point.

    Some of the stuff that used to seem so important now seems to be "nice" but not really important any more.

    Stuff, is new when it is new, but will age and then it is not new, so clinging to "new" stuff is futile, by stuff I mean material things. A new house, a new car, only mean you have money, or credit, does not change you, your being, you can choose to focus on stuff, but again, futile.

    For my kids I only want happiness, trying to learn how to let them be themselves as they grow up. Show them different roads, let them choose the path.

    For my wife, I only wish we had more happy times as I feel like I made a mess of those these last 4 years.

    For my dog, a full tummy and just to be able to sit and watch him wiggle! Even the girl at the vets office said, "oh I remember you! you're the dog that wiggles!" He does, he wags his whole body. I don't think there is a mean bone in his body.

    So, looking at what is important is important. lest we lose sight of what is important to us!
  • my wife and daughter {money is nice but not much good with out health and happiness} even though i am in pain everyday i am still mainly happy i have a fantastic wife and a lovely home and after having a rough childhood and bad mum and dad a secure warm loving home is all i ever wanted and you cant put a price on that
  • Your story just bring tears in my eyes n remember
    don't compare yourself, don't beat yourself up ... Don't focus on negative thoughts ..

    URL's removed, solicitation at Spine-Health is not permitted

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 08/16/10
  • I think work is the most important thing to me, not just a career but doing something healthy and productive. I guess I am always trying to better myself through accomplishments and gaining what society defines as success: career and money to support myself, good mental and physical health, and attarcting a worthy mate and starting a family. Although I don't judge myself by such shallow standards I still know that without them happiness is elusive. I guess relationship with others is what's most important to me. Sometimes I feel like I won't have the relationships I need if I'm not valuable enough. Messed up aint it?
  • I've found that the best way for me to read is lying on my back with a pillow on my stomach and the book on the pillow. Doesn't work with big books but the small ones are much easier on my neck and shoulders when I don't have to hold them up as high as my face. I just set the book and my arms on the pillow near my neck and lean it towards me. Even then though, I haven't liked reading for long time. Always seems to hurt my neck and I have a hard time following more than 5 or 6 pages cause of pain. I always end up reading the words without paying attention to them. I hear you about the meds. For the most part I don't notice them but every once in a while I get the feeling that I'm unable to cry as much as I should cause I'm all zombied up. I just remember that for now it's not really a choice, kinda like chemo being bad for you but necessary when you're in a crisis. Guess we are all going through a crisis and normal thinking and feeling is not going to do much good to get us through this. May I suggest reading Krishnamurti's freedom from the known, it's a short book and was very inspiring to me. peace
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