Don't wait for a health crisis to care of your health!
“What are you doing here? You should be the last person I see here.”
This is how the chiropractor I went to for my injured back welcomed me.
The reason why he said those words is because he knew that I practice Yoga and I take pretty good care of my health.
After being in pain for a whole week, doing yoga stretches, using heat and ice and waiting for my injury to resolve itself, I was thinking the same thing about me! And his words just added to the shame and guilt I was already feeling as I walked into his clinic.
It turns out he couldn’t help me.
Getting worse before getting better.
The following day my injury got worse.
I fell on the floor and I couldn’t move. I experienced pain like I never did before in my entire life and I’m no stranger to pain.
The “I’m falling and I can’t get up” commercial flashed into my head as I was screaming and crying for help.
But my walls are made of concrete and no one could hear me.
In the midst of excruciating pain, it occurred to me that I had to do something. I couldn’t just give up on myself.
I started to slow my breathing down because I realized I was hyperventilating. And slowly and painstakingly, I crawled to where my cell phone was.
I had to think clearly enough to make the right decision. It took everything I had to focus.
First I called a friend who is a physical therapist and second I called my best friend. I left messages to both of them. Later they told me I was crying so hard they could barely understand what I was saying but they knew something had gone very wrong because they had never heard me cry that way.
It was short of a miracle that the physical therapist called me within the hour. She usually has 8-10 clients a day.
She immediately got into her car and drove to my home.
My best friend’s job takes her on the road Monday through Friday. But another miracle happened, that particular week she had 4 days off. She too got in her car and drove 4 hours to be with me.
Healing and Compassion.
When the physical therapist arrived, she quickly assessed what was going on with my back. She had been there before. And she knew how to help me. Within 30 minutes of getting her treatment, I could lay down without spasmodic pain.
My best friend stayed for 4 days and cooked for me, cleaned my home and made me laugh.
I learned 3 valuable lessons from this painful experience.
1- Asking for help doesn’t mean I’m not a strong independent black woman.
2- Asking for the right help, makes all the difference.
As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I know all about that. I know that, “Nothing is right for everyone and something is right for someone.”
3- I’m only human. And shit happens. I can be doing everything right, and still experience pain, still get sick. But… it is because of how well I take care of myself that I was able to have relief after a 30 min treatment and continue to feel better over the next 5 days.
So I can’t beat myself up for getting injured and that chiropractor was wrong to judge me. Especially with the kind of stress we ALL are under these days! In another blog I share how it's important to allow ourselves to feel what we're feeling.
Be gentle with yourself
I share this story so you too can remember to drop the self-judgement even if people around you are judging you. We live in extremely unusually stressful times. According to the CDC, the stress levels have risen since the onset of COVID 19. Stress generates more anxiety, depression and fear. And it increases inflammation, so if you can dodge the corona virus, you have to deal with inflammatory symptoms like increased digestive issues, auto-immune challenges, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. A health crisis is around the corner!
Give yourself a break, you’re only human. Now is not the time to be hard on yourself, quite the opposite. Be soft and kind and gentle with yourself.
Don’t wait for a health crisis to take care of your health.
I also want you to remember that any little thing you’re doing for your health and well-being matters, don’t give that up. Remember Bob Harper? He was a personal trainer on the hit reality tv show the Biggest Looser and he had a heart attack. The case could be argued that, what is the use of eating healthy and working out if you still might get sick? Anything can happen, but as Bob Harper shared in an interview on Dr. Oz, how you come back from what life throws at you has a lot to do with how well you were taking care of yourself beforehand.
By the way, while I was bed-ridden for almost 2 weeks, I practiced Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a healing meditative practice that is done lying down. While practicing Yoga Nidra, this was the only time I experience no pain.