Sometimes You Need to Take a Break

Summer came upon us with full force. We got back from our Mexico vacation, celebrated Nathan’s 4th birthday, survived the blur of the last week of school, and haven’t stopped swimming since.

I’m deciding to take a blogging break for the summer. As much as I want to be sitting by myself at Starbucks and type, type, typing away, my body is telling me to sit at home with my boys in the messiness of it all. We have Lego cities constructed in Mac’s room, constant crafts in the kitchen, laundry overflowing with beach towels, and of course a gazillion soggy baby toys Nathan leaves in various rooms of the house. I’m intentionally not picking things up. As much as I would like to attribute this to my admirable commitment to “let go of the mess,” it is really pain that’s causing me to let go this summer.

Over the last year I’ve had back and hip pain. Some days it’s been really bad, some days doable, but it’s never completely gone. I’ve tried numerous conservative treatments: PT, massage therapy, chiropractor, and medication. Most of my providers said I didn’t need an MRI to figure it out. They said I needed a stronger core, stronger glutes, a stronger sense of how exactly I was picking up and holding Nathan. I worked hard on these things. I am so much stronger, and so is my pain.

Though sometimes MRIs aren’t conclusive, this one was. I have a labral tear and cyst in my right hip. The labrum is the cartilage that surrounds your hip socket. While I have no idea how it happened, I do have an option for how to fix it. Surgery.

Up until this week I thought I was going to live with chronic pain. Chronic pain is hard. It causes you to make impulsive decisions. It makes you cranky. It makes you sad and lonely because you stop doing normal things normal people do. With Nathan’s condition I am already tempted to define myself as not-normal. For me this pain threatened to further enforce a stereotype of being a special needs mom. Back pain. That’s a characteristic many moms of special kids talk about.

Still there is hope and resolve within me accompanied with this new information.  There is hope that this pain and this role with not define me. I’m hopeful that it can be corrected with surgery this summer and that I can truly rehabilitate myself to better care for my family. I’m also hopeful that I can begin writing again without the distraction of my aching back and the temptation to complain about it all the days long.

I will be back in this space again. Hopefully with a renewed sense of appreciation for my body and it’s capabilities to heal, a deeper respect for all of the medical procedures Nathan deals with on a regular basis, and maybe even a clean house once again.

Because sometimes you need to take a break.

In the meantime, I am opening my blog up to guest posts. If you have an idea or essay you’ve been longing to share, please submit your post to me. I’m looking for stories of how something hard, became something beautiful in your life. 

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!

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