Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Don't Blink

The Bag Lady is a country music fan. (Gasp!) Who'd'a'thunk? She likes all kinds of music, but prefers to listen to country music. The direction that "popular" music has taken in recent years does not interest her. She isn't crazy about the atonal droning of some of it, nor does she care for screeching guitars, or thumpa-thumpa bass. She finds most rap music confusing at best, irritating at it's worst. She must be getting old, because even some of the country music nowadays is annoying. (ohmigosh, did the Bag Lady's mother sneak in here to write that?)

Whoops, got a little distracted there. What the Bag Lady started to talk about was a recent Kenny Chesney song she has heard on the radio several times called "Don't Blink". For those of you who don't listen to country music and don't know who Kenny Chesney is, what the hell is wrong with you? you really should give that song a listen. It's about life going by so fast, you don't want to blink or you'll miss it. It got the Bag Lady thinking a lot about how true it is - time goes by faster and faster, the older you get.

Without even realizing it, you can spend years of your life thinking you will always be able to do the things you do now. Right up until the moment your body betrays you! We take so much for granted, like being able to bounce out of bed in the morning and go about our daily routine. The Bag Lady was always in fairly good shape, albeit slightly overweight most of her adult life (she likes to think she was compensating for those years as a child that she was underweight...but somehow has gone far beyond that and is now perhaps over-compensating just a little!) Until the day she couldn't. Bounce out of bed, that is.

It started innocently enough. She worked as a clerk in a little country store, so was on her feet quite a bit. Her right foot started hurting, but she ignored it, thinking it would go away as it always had in the past. Before too long, it was hurting all the time. It started feeling like she was walking on a golf ball.

She started limping, trying to relieve the pain. Then her left foot started hurting. By the time she finally sought medical treatment, she had heel spurs in both feet that eventually required 3 years of orthotics, physical therapy and finally, shock wave treatments.

Of course, she had to keep working through all of this. In constant pain in spite of the orthotics, she suffered through her days and nights. There were times the pain actually made her cry. She changed jobs - in fact, took on a second job, which also required her to be on her feet constantly. She quickly found she couldn't manage both jobs, but the second job paid more, so she quit the first.

Her physical fitness deteriorated. She continued to do her chores around the ranch, and worked hard at her job, but she could no longer bounce out of bed. In fact, she had to take her time getting up, stretching her feet before she stepped on them so she wouldn't make them worse.

Her feet gradually started to feel better.

Then her hip started hurting. Back to the doctor she went. Deteriorating disk disease (in her back, causing the pain to radiate to her hips and down her legs.)

Don't blink. And don't take your good health for granted.


Leah J. Utas said...

You're absolutely right, dfBag Lady. You never know when your body is going to say, "To Hell with you!"
You can run it into the ground or take good care of it, but the day of reckoning will come. (Cue ominous music here.)
What do you do for the disk disease?

Sarah said...

Wow. That sounds really painful! But it's definitely a good warning to not ignore messages that your body is giving you!

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - the Bag Lady is still waiting (and waiting) for a referral to a specialist. The options are physio/drugs, or surgery. The Bag Lady is doing yoga in the hopes that it will help.

Sarah - absolutely. Listen to your body. Especially your feet. Without your feet, it is very difficult to stay in any kind of shape. Trust me on this one!

Hilary said...

While bouncing out of bed is probably overrated, walking comfortably sure isn't. I hope you heal quickly without surgery, and hopefully without drugs... but if the latter is not possible, I hope they're really GOOD drugs! ;)

Scrumpy said...

Oh goodness. I think I want to stay blissfully unaware of what is to come. Although I think I'm in for a world of back problems. Grrr....

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Hilary. What prompted this post today was crawling out of bed and stumping, on stiff and unresponsive limbs to the bathroom.

Sheesh, what the Bag Lady wouldn't give to be able to get out of bed and walk like she used to. Sigh.

the Bag Lady said...

SB - methinks you just have to keep active, but also pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. I was stubborn and didn't listen - just kept thinking it would all go away and I would get back to normal.

I never did. (No, silly, I mean normal body functions, not the mind - it's NEVER been normal!!!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, hope something helps. I agree - we must listen to our body. Last Sunday I was doing a training walk with some friends (I am doing the Avon 2 day walk) and my shins starting aching. I stopped before we finished the walk, even though I was a bit embarassed,but I finall figured out that when my body parts hurt there is a reason!
Yoga and pilates have helped me - good luck!!!


the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, missicat. The Bag Lady learned the hard way to listen to her body. And the yoga does seem to help!

Emily said...

Thank you for this post. It really put things in perspective for me. Yeah, I'd like to lose a little weight and look better. But I am so fortunate to been in such great health that I am physically able to make the changes I want to make (mental is the challenge.)

Also, love the Kenny Chesney...he's one hot cowboy!

Unknown said...

So few of us have a really good connection between our mind and our body that we don't notice when somethings going wrong with our body, or else we don't pay attention and listen to it. I guess it might be because of how busy everyone always is, but I think we'd all do ourselves a favour if we took a break to listen for a little while.

Have you ever tried acupuncture for the pain? It can really work wonders.

the Bag Lady said...

Emily - that was the Bag Lady's story, too, (she was in good shape, despite being chubby), and had been active in her youth (ballet, etc.), but holy crap, you would not believe it now to watch her!

Sagan - thanks for taking the time to comment!
The Bag Lady has been thinking about acupuncture, but needs to get over her fear of needles. (She's such a wimp sometimes!)

Reb said...

Good post Sis. I think I remember being able to bounce out of bed... oh, no, that was you. I am the night owl and have never bounced out of bed. I do however vaguely remember what it was like to be able to move around without pain.

the Bag Lady said...

The yoga helps, but it needs to be done consistently, which is where the Bag Lady falls down a little. She finds it embarrassing to do it in front of the Cowboy, although he is mostly encouraging (when he's not snickering too loudly...)

Anonymous said...

you are SO VERY right.

and you so do not bitch, errr, lament enough woman :)

If I can help at all with ideas (?) let me know~


the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Mizfit! Offer up any suggestions you have...especially the ones that will make the Bag Lady younger, trimmer and fitter without the least bit of effort on her part!!
Seriously, I'm open to suggestions, especially for strengthening my core without doing more damage to my back. (the Bag Lady cannot do sit-ups. Too hard on her back.)

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Bag lady,

Here I am! Big City girl who likes her country music. Know who Kenny Chesney and know the song, and from my vantage point, one decade higher than yours, I am here to agree.

Things do start to fall apart. I hope that a reasonable and painfree solution is ultimately yours.


the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie - sometimes I think the painfree solution is going to be something I'd rather not think about...!!
Glad to hear you have good taste in music!! :)

the Bag Lady said...

Oops - who was that, leaving comments on the Bag Lady's blog like she owned the place!? Sheesh!