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Why do I do this to myself year after year?

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Chronic Pain
Every year for the last 14 years I have been going to the Michigan Nascar race. Every year I tell myself this is the last time, it takes such a toll on my spine. So here it is Monday morning the day after the race and I am sitting here wishing once again that I did not go. Why do I continue year after year to put myself through this? Not only do I go to the race it is 3 days of camping in a tent. It has always been a girls weekend and BIG fun but is it worth it? I know that when the time comes I will be sitting at home watching the race on tv wishing I was there but when I am at the race I keep asking myself Why am I putting myself through this. It will take a week to get my spine to stop screaming at me. How many others out there do things they know they will be sorry for? Perhaps I am just wanting to be normal for one weekend, or should I say pretend I am normal.


  • Susan,

    Not a race fan - live 3 miles from the Speedway in Homestead, FL. I think I know why you do it, companionship, out of the house, part of society, friends.....

    I too do things *I* know are going kick me into flare 101 mode. We feel 'sort of good', and decide the end result is worth the activity for *some* fun, *some* normal aspect of life is all. You're a normal spiney woman!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am sure most of us can empathize. It's such a juggling act between being active and pain/recovery time from being overactive. As long as you aren't doing something which would be likely to cause permanent pain, you/we all face that struggle. I try to think of ways to decrease pain, like can I sit more or more often; are there some activities in a weekend or big event that I can skip...things like that.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • There's no reason you can't go with your friends and still have a good time. You just need to make more accommodation for yourself. Do you sit in the stands to watch the race? If so, get a backjoy support for your butt and back. It really helps. Get some memory foam and perhaps a cot to sleep on. Not having to get all the way down on the ground to sleep will help immensely. I still go camping with my family. I can no longer backpack, because I can't carry 50-60 pounds on my back, but I can still go car and tent camping. I love the outdoors.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Susan I feel ya >:D<

    This is our life now. There will always be a price to pay, but hopefully the fun will be worth the pain.

    I agree that preperation is very important, but it only goes so far. Every little bit helps, but don't delude your self into thinking it will take care of everything.

    You must be ready for the "re-bound pain", allow yourself a few days of recovery using what ever tools you have on hand/available.

    I was out of town last week working/over doing daily (didn't want to but had no choice). I prepared myself, took my ice packs, heating pad, pain meds, rented a room with a hot tub etc! Still I have been in a bad way since before I left- so I planned on having a work from home "jammy" week this week. Sure I may need to go out and do some work, but not for a couple days, not untill I recover a little more.

    Hang in there. Eventually your pain will be back to an exceptable level.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Any of us that have been dealing with chronic pain for a long period of time fully understand the physical and emotional toll it takes on us. And I really believe as we deal with this longer and longer, we almost 'adjust' to the physical aspect. The emotional drain though sometimes is so much more difficult to handle day in and day out.

    We all understand taking vacations, going somewhere nice to take time away from everything. But from time to time, we need to take our own personal vacation away from our medical situation.

    I know over the years, I have done this so many times and so many times I've paid the price. But you know what? Many times it was worth the pain and discomfort.

    If just to act and play normal for a little while. Its that type of medication that feeds our souls and perhaps make us feel just like everyone else.

    Sometimes, its just a matter of picking what is really important to you. For me, its spending hours in the yard, digging in the dirt, getting my hands dirty, etc. For others, (you) its NASCAR, for others it might be hiking or bike riding or whatever.

    We do need to understand the risks on what we do. Fully understanding that we may have to pay some price for our actions. As long as we can accept that AND (more importantly) that any fallout of our dream escape does not burden anyone else, then I say GO FOR 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
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