A friend and colleague and I were talking the other day about exercise and how just a few days away can make a profound impact. He works out daily to stay in shape and keep off weight. I stretch and do a rotation of physical therapy exercises to stay limber. The importance of movement for me cannot be understated. I was saying how I would love to be able to move to the next level and build strength rather than maintain, but I’m somehow still afraid to push myself too hard, whatever that means.
I was surprised when he replied: “Weren’t you in a wheelchair just two years ago?” Although I knew he knew about my separated pelvis and the surgery that put me back together and meant nine weeks in a wheelchair, it surprised me somehow that he remembered the time of year and decided to tell me not to be so hard on myself.
He’s right. Two years ago at this time I was re-learning to stand and to walk on my own. I was using the walker about 2/3 of the time by now, after walking with the walker only for the first time on Halloween. (I’ll always remember that because my first visiting inside my son’s daycare in nine weeks I was dressed as a firefighter, using a walker. He was a Dalmatian puppy.)
Today, as I prepare to sit down with my husband and son for our Thanksgiving meal in a few hours, I’m reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. To be sure, my recovery hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies. It’s taken a lot of work, cost a lot of sweat and tears and strained and built my personal relationships in really powerful ways. But it has happened. I had surgery in August 2012 after my son was born in January and I’m thrilled to say that today I’m able to do most things – as long as I don’t scare myself into thinking I can’t. Now, I’m limited by fear far more frequently than I am by the physical capability of my own body. I’m working on that, and focusing today on all of the things I have to be so grateful for.
Thank you to the friends and family who have offered unwavering support. And to the new friends I’ve made because of this journey. And thank you to those friends and family who couldn’t provide the support I needed. I learned a lot and now I know what I can share with you and what I can’t. Although that’s been a challenge of its own in many ways, I’m grateful to have that figured out.
Thank you to the surgeon who was able to put me back together and to the orthopedic residents who met me and asked me questions so they are better able to serve their own patients in the future. Thank you to the physical therapist and the yoga teacher who have been so instrumental in my continued wellness, and who I know both think of me and send me good wishes.
Thank you to all of the DSP mommas who have written to share your experience with me. I treasure knowing that we are in this together and I wish each of you a day full of love and hope, strength and comfort. Thank you to the professors who have guided me as I continue to research Diastasis Symphysis Pubis and continually am shocked by the lack of consistent information available. Thank you for encouraging me to continue, even though what awaits feels daunting, sometimes even overwhelming.
And most of all, thank you to my amazing husband, who has been an unwavering source of love, support, care and kindness. Because you didn’t let me give up, we are still here.
The photo included here is from the 2013 Washburn Alumni Association Fun Run. I completed the 5K in just over 32 minutes. My husband and son were there to cheer me across the finish line.