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Try, Try Again

So, the other day I woke up with my hip completely ripped out of place. I had been awake all night coping with severe UTI pain and by the time I finally fell asleep around 5:15 a.m. I was so profoundly exhausted that I fell into a deep unconscious sleep. Typically, I shift throughout the night in order to keep my joints in place; my husband tells me I move constantly all night long. Unfortunately, during this short 1-hour rest, I did not move. To make matters worse, I didn’t even roll all the way to my stomach like I normally do and instead just collapsed on my side and knocked out. I woke up about an hour later in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Please note this is no casual statement. I am saying this as someone who deals with chronic pain daily, has gone through labor twice, has been in a severe boating accident, and suffers dislocations frequently. When I say this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, I mean blinding, please-let-me-go, where-is-the-light?, it’s-my-time-to-die, kind of pain. My hip was all sorts of jacked up and I couldn’t move. My poor husband was jolted out of his sleep by the sound of me cussing and screaming. Being the phenomenal person he is, he spent the next hour slowly helping me get my hip back into place. I honestly wasn’t sure if we were going to succeed. My mobility was dramatically limited for the rest of the day, and I felt like a shell of a person.

It’s usually in these moments stuck in bed that I find myself in the mood to write. I was looking at my blog trying to figure out what I wanted to say when I realized I had already written what I wanted to say. Two years ago, in my very first blog post, I had written exactly how I was feeling now. After two years of crawling my way towards health and finally finding some measure of success… I was back in the exact same position as I had been in originally! All my progress – gone. It’s safe to say that COVID-19-isolation has NOT been good for me. Losing access to all my health management systems has been devastating. So, long story short, all my progress is gone and I’m restarting at square… let’s say negative 2. The benefit this time is I have Kana (my service dog) to help me and I have my previous trial and error experience to better guide me. April 30th 2020, I restarted my nutrition regimen, I started exercising again, and I settled in to my familiar fog of misery.

I know this is going to be a long process, but I figure I have to start somewhere. Whenever others with chronic illness ask me for advice I always say, “Watch what you eat, cut out all sugar and all dairy, find your triggers, and exercise as much as you can!” I don’t say any of this trivially. This is very much one of those “easier said than done” situations. I know personally how difficult maintaining a nutrition plan is (note that I never use the word diet anymore). Our food habits are intertwined with many emotional ties, addictive properties, and identity links which make them extremely difficult to modify. We all know how we should eat and we all have a general idea regarding what foods are “good” or “bad.” Despite this common knowledge, most of us do not eat the way we know we should. Not only do we neglect to delegate our energy to developing nutritious habits, we also then allow ourselves to feel guilt and shame for not forming and following good nutrition habits. To top it all off, just in case we were not feeling bad enough on our own, our friends, families, and even strangers make sure to add their own shaming and judgement to our lives. All together, these variables add up to an incredibly frustrating situation saturated with emotional turmoil, mental exhaustion, and physical illness. This whole scenario applies to the topic of exercise as well. For me, I fail to follow through on my exercise routines and nutritional plans due to lack of self-discipline, exhaustion, lack of motivation, and an extreme dislike of both healthy food and exercise. I have been assured by all my health-nut friends that once I have formed new habits, my dislike of both healthy food and exercise will fade away. I have my doubts. I’m also told that once I find the right exercise and nutrition protocol for me, my exhaustion will improve. Finally, I plan to combat my struggle with self-discipline by simply not giving up and fighting harder. In kindergarten my mom had me memorize and recite the poem Try, Try Again: “Tis a lesson you should heed, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” There is more to the poem, but the simple piece that has always stayed in my mind is the phrase, “try, try again” and I will. I’ll restart my nutrition plan over and over and over until I finally form a permanent habit. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve pursued this, but here I go again! By the end of 2020 I want to have answers, I want to know what my triggers are, and I want to be on the path to a healthier future.


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