A Temporary Setback

August 1, 2023

By Nicole

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I vaguely remember sitting in the chiropractor’s office and being told that I would need a series of adjustments done on my back. Well, I didn’t listen. In my 20-something mind, I was fearful that I was trying to be taken advantage of. The minor lower back pain I was experiencing was not cause for the remedy the doctor had offered, and I didn’t want to pay the cost of what he was proposing. Sadly, I am paying the cost now. 

Fast forward fifteen years, and I’m wishing like hell I had listened. What I didn’t know then was that the slow shifting in my spine was being exacerbated by my sedentary work life. I literally sat in a cubicle for a decade, which is the worst possible environment for a spinal misalignment. 

I look back now and am grateful for the grace to run a half marathon, lift and move heavy furniture, and consistently do three years of strength training. There was grace to live a very active lifestyle with only slight lower back and knee pain as my indication that anything was wrong. Still, being the driven, go-getter that I am, I didn’t listen to my body. 

I know so many of us who don’t.

After several months of seeing different back doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists, doing rehab, changing my diet, trying yoga, and taking various medical tests, I found the cause of my ailment. All of this was only after my back pain worsened after injuring my foot in 2021. And guess what the cause was? It was that pesky spine misalignment I was warned of so many years ago. After several months of grueling pain, I finally received relief via eight cortisol injections, four on each side of the spine. I have a funny story to tell one day about that experience, but I’ll stay on topic for now. 

After those shots, my 8,9,10 pain level was reduced to a 2,3. Thank God. I was able to dance on my birthday (which, if anyone knows me, knows was vital), travel to Paris (which included 20 hours of sitting in one position on planes), and resume my beloved step hip-hop class. Special shout out to my step instructor Ari who is a BEAST when it comes to doing her thing. She is hands down the best stepper in the city. I’m just saying…

Now, how many of us know that sometimes there is a calm before the storm? Literally, I had the most encouraging news from my chiropractor just last week. I felt sooo good. My pain level was at a 1, and I can’t say I have ever felt that good in this whole process. My chiropractor had just told me that I wouldn’t need to see her for a whole month and that my spine was responding wonderfully to treatment. This was phenomenal since I knew I had a long time before it would return to its rightful place. Now, maybe I was so over the moon about this news that subconsciously I decided to do too much. I don’t know. All I know is that the next day, I went for a nice little walk in the park. Except, it wasn’t a little walk. It was two miles. And unfortunately, I was wearing flip-flops. Oh yea, and some of it was uphill. I know. I know. But hear me out. To a girl who was used to running five or six miles a day and being super active, this was a “little” walk to me. And maybe I let down my guard a little and forgot that this was the very park that tried to take me out just a couple of years ago with that ankle injury. I don’t know. But what I do know is that after that walk, I was definitely experiencing discomfort in my back. But did I listen? You already know… 

Instead, I went to my step class w/in a few days and got my step on. The interesting thing is I did not feel any issues until I sat down in my car after class and my back was aching. I told myself, “Ok, I’ll just go home, shower in hot water, and put my topical cream on.” You see, I had a hair appointment that night, and I wasn’t about to miss it. SMH. Priorities. The good news is I made it through that hair appointment which required about an hour and a half of sitting. The bad news is my back pain increased when I got out of the chair. 

The pain took a nosedive from there. Due to the increasing agony, I was back in my chiropractor’s office the next day. They did some tests on me, and in my spirit, I knew what it was: a slipped disk. I had only heard of those things on TV and in my mind this happened to “old people.” The thing is, I keep forgetting that I am now old, LOL. So after their healing hands helped me to feel slightly better, I got an MRI done to confirm. 

I am told it’s going to take about six weeks to recover. Lord. What am I going to do with myself for six weeks? But really, the frustration is the limitation on my lifestyle. I am used to doing and going, and now I can’t afford to because I already know how that will end. It’s going to make everything worse. It’s going to delay my healing. And that is something I’m reminded of in this whole process; it can always be worse.

Instead of six weeks, it could be a lifetime. Instead of back pain, it could be my whole body. Instead of just taking it easy, I could have a job that wouldn’t allow me to work from home, and my income could be hindered. But thankfully, none of that applies to me. 

When I told my beautiful step instructor Ari about my predicament, she had the best response: “Oh, so it’s just for a little bit?” To me, six weeks felt like forever, but instantly I knew her perspective was what I needed to hold onto. 

Yea… It’s just for a little bit!

I am reminded of that scripture that says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is sure to come in the morning…

Even as I shuffled my way into my chiropractor’s care, I knew in my heart, “There’s no way this can last. I can barely walk!” And now I know it to be true. 

Our setbacks and pain are always temporary. 

It is love that lasts forever. 

In other news, did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.

And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

As always, thank you for your support!

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