July 21, 2017

Things I Get Told OR Overhear

don't judge meCareful ~ you might be shocked by the statements or my answers to them!

People on the Internet ~

“It’s easier for you to do eat healthy and workout out…it’s your job!”

Let me first say this, THIS IS NOT MY JOB, it’s my lifestyle. I don’t get paid to eat healthy, workout, meal prep, etc. But would I love it to be MY JOB…HECK YEAH!! But with that comes more accountability!

“You don’t know what it’s like to be a mom/wife/full time worker.”

You must not have read MY STORY, been on my page long or live in a world full of rainbows and unicorns! First, I am a mom, oh yeah and I am also a dad. Full time, 24/7, no breaks, no breathers. As for a wife, no, I am not…but I am dating someone, which means finding time for us, since we both have separate homes in different cities. I don’t get to lay in bed 5 minutes longer while my partner/spouse/boyfriend, gets up to make breakfast or take kids to school. And as for work…yes, I work full time besides being a full time mom AND dad, who do you think pays the bills?

“You already make money off your Facebook and Your website, so why do you promote money opportunities for yourself?”

If you run a page, then you are probably laughing at this because you have heard it a thousand times. Let me inform you all, 99% of Facebook Pages are run absolutely for FREE. We don’t get a paycheck for it; we use OUR personal time to engage in your life. Why? Because we love it, we are passionate about what topics our pages are about. As for my website, I will tell you I have made $1.87 in 7 months! WOOHOO!!! I can’t even get a cup of coffee for that! But I CAN tell you how much I have SPENT on it to keep it running for you to sit there and complain about all the money I am making from it. If we add in monthly domain fee charges, web admin charges, electric to run it, internet to get it out to you, then the TIME (which personally is PRICELESS) I put in to do it….yeah easily $100 a month…if not more and that is not calculating in MY TIME.

People in Real Life (STRANGERS) ~

“Why does she get to sub out certain things and I can’t?” (referring to training)

Why? Oh I don’t know because I was told I would never walk again THREE times, I was also told I would never be able to squat past parallel ever again. Why? Because I am not really in the mood to FUCK up what the doctors fixed in order to please who is watching. Nor do I feel like reinjuring myself to prove something to someone who has no importance in my life. Oh, but trust me, when my body allows me to do things again without tweaking them…I WILL do it and I will be smiling ear to ear!

“Why do you feel special enough to park in a handicapped spot?”

Special, that’s a new word. I am so honored you find it “special” that at 37, I have a permanent handicap parking sticker. My doctors wanted me to have it at age 18, but I refused. There are days that I park where every “non-special” person parks because my body is feeling good and is agreeing with me. Then there are other days that I know just going to the grocery store for a few items is going to be the hardest thing to accomplish and I do it praying that my hip and left leg doesn’t give out on me. The one thing that is WAY different of me than most 37 year olds, is that I personally own a cane, a pair of crutches and a walker since I have been 18 years old. And to this day, my cane is never too far from me.

“That’s just disgusting.” (referring to my tattoos)

If you are a part of my Facebook Page, you recently saw a post just about this topic! You see just last week, I had an elderly gentleman make this comment, while eyeing my tattoos and shaking his head. My response to him was this, “No sir what’s disgusting is you…your judgment on someone you don’t know…and for your information, I have a tat for every surgery I have had due to being injured in the line of duty. I took an oath to serve and protect disgusting people like u, so you are welcome…have a good day.” I love my art work; it represents so much to me, the struggles, battles, accomplishments, achievements and goals in my life. Like my dad once said, I would rather have my daughter alive and fully tattooed, then having to visit her grave-site. NOW, THAT PUTS THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE!

don't judge

So why have I decided to write this? Well easy, because no one knows someone else’s journey. Someone’s outside doesn’t depict who they truly are on the inside. Give them a chance, let their inside catch up and shine and you just might be surprised!

2013…This truly HAS to be MY year!!

2013

You might be asking your self, WHY?

Well, if you don’t truly know me yet, then you don’t know that my lucky number is 13! So with it being year 2013 and then my birthday is on the 13th, oh and might I add it also falls on the greatest of all days (at least for me)…it’s a FRIDAY the 13th at that!! So YES this truly has to be MY YEAR!!

friday the 13

Though 2012 wasn’t so bad, the first half I was still recovering from my total left hip replacement. I finally got the “OK” to get back in the gym in May, but no low body weight training til almost August. I have had tons of set backs due to issues that have come up because of my surgery, that left me bed ridden for a few days here and there.

Let me talk about an issue, that actually has become second nature to me…my weight. I am one of those women who can tell anyone any “stat” of my life…whether it be years as a mom (14), years single (37), my age (37), years at the sheriff’s office (10), years dealing with medical issues (19), number of surgeries (20), number of tats (20), how many bones I have broken (seriously I have lost count), how many true loves have I had (1)…see the list can go on forever!

So back to my weight. At my highest, I was 275 (1/1/2005) and at my lowest I was 138 (9/1/2009).  I finally settled at my ideal weight for me, which is between 150-155. But over the last year my complete mindset on my weight has changed. You see being bed ridden from Feb 17, 2011 until January 30, 2012 (being able to get up an about but no exercise at all) left me at 181lbs. So I started back to really watching what I ate, not counting calories, but nutrient content (protein, carbs, fat grams). You see I decided I didn’t care about the number on the scale, I wanted my body composition to change this time, meaning lowering my body fat and not caring what my weight was. I started at 28.3% body fat, which is deemed overweight for my height of 5’7″. So now this became my goal, gain lean muscle, lose body fat. Well I was on a roll up until Dec 8th (when I kind of fell into a slump which then turned into mild depression).  I dropped weight to 160 and my body fat dropped to 21.7%, I was ecstatic! Now I was to only lose 5 or so more pounds but I want to be at 16-17% body fat. Well 3 weeks of depression and not really caring did me in…gained back weight and it wasn’t healthy weight because I was constantly in starvation mode due to hardly ever eating. So the last few days I have refocused and besides my emotional eating last night (yes I am human), I am gonna set out to ROCK 2013!!

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Staying Positive AFTER An Injury or Surgery

You might be thinking to yourself, is she kidding, everyone at some point becomes negative during the recovery process! My response to that is, you are ABSOLUTELY correct! We do, it is part of human nature for us, but at the same time, we also have the capabilities to counter act that choice.

Let me give you a little background to back up what I am about to say to you. I am a 37yr old single mom and I should have died not once, but 4 different times in my life. I have been told by doctors at 3 points in my life that I would NEVER walk again. I was told my life would NEVER be the same. I lived through 3 near fatal car accidents, my last being in the line of duty. The other thing that almost killed me was when I contracted bacterial meningitis. I have more titanium in my body holding me together than anyone should EVER have. I have gone through 20 surgeries to date, mostly on my lumbar spine, pelvic and left hip. So now that you know a little about me, let me tell you why I am a SURVIVOR, not a victim!Never believe words of people who have NEVER gone through what you are going through, and YES this includes the doctors treating you! You truly are your own worst enemy when it comes to your recovery! It is just like when we want to hit a PR (personal record), if we go into negatively, we might as well NEVER even try! But when we go into with a positive mindset, it is truly amazing what our minds are capable of putting our bodies through! Another thing about mindset, don’t be a stubborn or a prideful person when you reenter the box/gym. You do this; you might as well have just stayed home! Let me tell you this now and get it out of the way – YOU WILL NOT BE THE SAME PERSON AS BEFORE, throw out all your old goals and make new ones for the person you are NOW!!  Now, I am not saying that you will never get back to where you were, hell you might even exceed all your past PRs! What I am saying is your body has changed, PERIOD! There is no going back to the way it use to be. It is time to start finding out what works for the body you have NOW! This is probably one of the biggest struggles people deal with when in recovery. The second is the time from which the injury or surgery occurred to when you actually get back into the box/gym!

So let’s talk about that for a second, that down time can either be used to play the pity card or it can be used to start formulating a path in which you want to go. Only YOU can make this decision. Only YOU can decide if want to be the “oh woe is me” person or the SURVIVOR! And I don’t care how many cheerleaders you have in your corner, NONE OF THEM can do this journey for you! Matter of fact, there will come a point that if you hear one more positive word out of someone’s mouth, you literally might go insane!

In closing, let me just make one thing clear! An injury or surgery doesn’t define WHO YOU ARE…you do!  I am not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be easy, it actually might be the hardest fight of your life, and like me, you might have to fight it a few times. But what I will tell you is not only will it be worth it, but you will be stronger than you have ever been hitting any PRs!!!

Why I Do What I Do!

Have you ever been told “NO”, “NEVER”, “IMPOSSIBLE”, “CAN’T” or “WON”T”?

I HAVE!!! Way too many times in my life and almost every person who has spoken those words to me were doctors. I have learned one thing about doctor’s…it’s not they don’t know what they are doing, it’s just that they only practice medicine, they can’t determine the person’s WILL! My doctor’s soon realized I was a force to be reckoned with. That I wouldn’t let them or anyone else put ANY limitations on my life or my body.

The systems/conditions that my accidents have put on me are as follows:

A dull headache everyday, a migraine at least once a week, 20 surgeries total, loss of range of motion throughout my entire lumbar spine, loss of range of motion in my left hip flexor, numbness in sections of my left leg at all times, left leg going numb after 15-20 mins of standing on it (30 mins if sitting), muscle spasm throughout my back and left leg, constant sharp shooting pain down my left leg, constant dull ache in my lower back, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, PTSD, short term memory loss…

What limitations I allow affect me:

NONE!!

I have had every type of doctor imaginable: orthopedic, neurologist, neurosurgeon, Internist, General, Urologist, Psychologist, Plastic Surgeon (reconstructive), ER Trauma Surgeons, Anesthesiologist, Gastroenterologists, Optometrist, Psychiatrist, Rheumatologist, Infectious Disease Specialist, Physiatrist and Radiologist.

Who do I have now:

NOT A ONE!!

If you have read a previous post of mine about all the prescription medications I was on (Click Here, if you haven’t), then you also know that I no longer take any. My body has become completely immune to any and all medications (including pain meds). I had my last surgery (total hip replacement) without any pain meds.

Now why do I do what I do?

Because I KNOW ME better than anyone else. I know when to rest and I know when to keep going. I know the difference between being SORE from a great workout and being IN PAIN from my injuries.

Because I am a SINGLE MOM. 24/7, 365 days a year. If dinner has to be cook, it’s up to me. If laundry has to be done or the house vacuumed, that’s on me too. If want food in the fridge, clothes for my daughter and a roof over our heads, that also on me.

Pain or no pain, I still have responsibilities and priorities. Just because I have suffered through much, gives me no excuse. If I want to make the best out of my life, why would I give the reins to someone who knows NOTHING about my life?

I have taken control back, I do research on my injuries, I find out how to tweak things to fit me…I say this all the time…”This is MY NEW NORMAL”!

My Challenge

Well, as most know, I am doing a challenge to get my butt back in gear after a terrible 2011 (medically that is).  Let me give you a little bit of a background of what 2011 had for me…I started the year off pretty great…in the gym 5 days a week, but then it came to a halt when I had selective surgery in February, it was a surgery I was looking forward to for over 5 years and one I definitely deserved! Then just when I was able to start back up and moving again and got the OK from my Doc to return to the gym…my back gave. I knew it was serious but with NO insurance, I just suffered through it. I gave up the gym and reverted back to being bed ridden. Finally on Aug 9th, I couldn’t walk and my dad rushed me to the ER, basically for them to just turn me away without doing anything! They thought I was a pain pill shopper (yet I never once asked for a pain prescription…since I am immune to them all!). So my dad brought me home and made a call that changed everything. He called my old Neuro Doc from 10 years ago that did all my 3 previous back surgeries. My dad updated him on my situation (including the on the duty accident), this was Aug 12th…I was given an MRI that day and then told to report to his office first thing Aug 15th. Pushed in a wheelchair, I was told by my Doc to go directly to Cape Hospital for emergency back surgery, I had blown out the 3 discs above my last fusion he did 10 years prior. Again, I was bed ridden for 4 weeks, then slowly started feeling somewhat normal…that was until my left hip started acting up! I had an amazing friend, Amanda, who had a great friend, Edward, that she made a call too. Needless to say he is the TOP joint implant surgeon in the area! He told me to come in Oct 19th to see him…he took one X-Ray and then asked me how I was even walking!! I was schedule that day for a TOTAL LEFT HIP REPLACEMENT on Nov 3rd! He was a little concerned due to just being under anesthesia twice already this year, and also knowing that I have to be doubled dosed with it so I don’t wake up during surgery, but he pressed on! The day of surgery he went over the pain schedule…needless to say I cut him off and told him NOTHING works. He was like, “Are you telling me you are gonna have this surgery WITHOUT ANY PAIN MEDS to help?”…yep that is EXACTLY what I am telling you. He wasn’t sure how to take that. After all, I am only 36…how can I already be immune to all these meds!! Well, surgery was a success…12 hours later he asked if he could try a pain med cocktail with me over the next 12 hours to see if he could try to lessen my pain…I said sure. Well he monitored me closely…and I was alert, not loopy, talking fine and my blood pressure didn’t drop…so then he said I should have basically been dead…the mix he gave could put an elephant down. So he took me off everything and I just suffered through it. Finally on Jan 25th of this year, I got the OK to get back in the gym…and oh boy, did I take that seriously!! I gained 28 pounds over the course of 2011…and my joints can feel it!! So I need to get this extra weight off to get my hip flexors and back/core strong again. It’s my challenge…..

Click here to read MY STORY