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Hurry up and Slow Down

Reflections at Sunrise, Oregon Coast

Reflections at Sunrise, Oregon Coast

Have you ever endured a difficult time in your life and craved to know just simply WHY? Since my relocation, I’ve spent five of my six months in this new city with a continual pins/needles, numbness, atrophy and nerve pain down my right arm.  If you are a regular here, you read in my October blog entry I was hoping for  some relief with a nerve block. Much to everyone’s surprise,  it didn’t work.  Two days later I was sitting in a neurosurgeon’s office discussing surgical options.

I underwent a “Foraminotomy” at the end of November.  This procedure would drill a larger opening in my C5/C6 vertebrae, remove the spurring and herniation to allow more room for the nerve. 90% of patients see improvement immediately following surgery.  Unfortunately, I fall in the other 10% category. Ironically, I was given the same stat prior to the failed nerve block.

Sunrise over the Pacific

Sunrise over the Pacific

As a regularly physically active person, being out of commission for ongoing five months, has started to take its toll on me mentally.  For months I have felt the weight of two ton concrete boots slowing me down, when all I long to do is run. I’m in a new city, there are new things to explore and new people to meet.  However, the bulk of my life has not been making new friends or discovering new hideouts, but trying to find good health care practitioners and juggling my schedule trying to see each one of them.

When I try to think clearly about the answer to how and why I’ve ended up in the journey that I have been, a common thread of conversations surface. “Slow down and be patient”  My massage therapist said it, my doctor said it, husband said it, my personal trainer just said it yesterday. A whole stream of people in between have said it.  I’ve ignored them, until smack, those words have hit me deliberately across the face.

I realize I am not patient, I want everything yesterday. There is no doubt I am in a period of life change, just as I approach my 40th birthday. Perhaps this injury’s purpose is to strip everything that I know as normal routine in order to create a new and better me on the other side. I am unpatiently waiting to see who that person will be.

Fresh Find

Fresh Find

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6 Comments

  1. Karen Baker Thumm
    January 24, 2014

    I am so sorry to hear that the surgery hasn’t YET given you any relief, Jenn. “All good things come to those who wait”?

    I hope you get some relief very soon.

    Reply
    • jpratthorseartist
      January 24, 2014

      Thanks Karen. It is very difficult to see what progress I have made, as it is very slow. Some nerve pain in my elbow has lessened, but my lower forearm to my thumb has not improved, and at times worsened. I am still trying to get stronger because at least when i’m moving, I don’t have time to think about the pins/needles. argh 🙁

      Reply
  2. Maria Lindén
    January 26, 2014

    🙁 Hope you all the best, Jenn. I’ll send you some viritual painkillers and hope they will help… <3

    Reply
    • jpratthorseartist
      January 26, 2014

      thank you Maria – I hope I don’t come off as feeling sorry for myself. I will get through it, or learn to live with it. Thankfully, when i’m moving I don’t feel it as much. So I guess I will keep moving 😉

      Reply
  3. maoxuePam
    February 26, 2014

    Your work is lovely – a friend directed me to your website (I am an artist who does mainly dogs and cats) and I’m enjoying looking through your equine portraits. I haven’t read through all of your blog but I am very sorry for your health issues. I am almost 40 as well and have been making some (for me) difficult decisions recently to try to allow a slower life pace – your experience really hit home, and stories like yours help when my left brain starts berating me about all that I ‘should’ be doing. Thank you for posting about it!
    Also, I have no idea if you already have done, or if you’re even open to the concept, but from the little description of what you’ve been experiencing I would recommend trying acupuncture. (Just my 2c).

    Reply
    • jpratthorseartist
      February 26, 2014

      thank you so much for your reply and words of encouragement. I have made slow yet steady progress since I wrote this post. I’ve been meaning to update soon, because I hope to share a different perspective of where I am at now. I finally have a few good people working with me on the PT side although I have not tried acupuncture, but I have been strongly considering trying it lately. I am being more active now, despite the nerve pain as I am learning that when I’m moving, I think about it less…when it fires up, I try and get outside and out of my head!! icepack later… 😉

      Reply

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