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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Perspective

I could say today sucks. I could feel pretty grumpy and frustrated.

One week since my cortisone injection and my tendonitis isn't showing a huge improvement. The doctor did warn me to give it a full 2 weeks, but I'm feeling kind of pessimistic since apparently once this type of problem has become chronic it is very stubborn to get rid of. Also, even if the cortisone does decrease the inflammation, it doesn't address the anatomical/biomechanical cause, so it's not likely to be a "cure". Over 2 full years of pain and counting.

To make matters worse, I am having killer tooth pain. When I called the dentist yesterday she said it was likely the tooth she has suspected of having a crack, and I better go see my father-in-law (an endodentist) first because I may need a root canal. Ouch!

As if it couldn't get any worse, yesterday after my cardio workout I got down on the ground to do some core training and during the first rep of using our ab wheel felt searing pain...at first I thought I had fully ruptured my rectus abdominus (a grade 3 strain) which usually requires surgery, but I think it's just a grade 2 strain that JUST causes intense pain and limited mobility. Running is out. Plyometrics are out (no more Insanity Cardio DVDs), a lot of weight training exercises are out, and even yoga is out - I can manage downward dog but trying to get even close to an upward dog causes severe pain. Seriously, if you have any doubt how important your core muscles are to most movement, just try injuring one!! I haven't had so much difficulty sitting up or lying down since I had my 2 c-sections! And from what I've read, since you can't splint an abdominal muscle or really fully rest it, it can take at least 6 weeks to heal! Man, this SUCKS.

The thing is, it could be worse. A lot worse.

If there is anything I have learned from studying and practicing counselling over the past few years, it's that it is important to keep perspective. This is easy to say but not so easy to do. It's too easy to become mired in the minutiae of our lives, after all, this is what we face every day.

But after just a few months of working as a counsellor, I have met many people who have experienced unspeakable trauma and loss. I am always most fascinated by the ones who show optimism and resilience in the face of enormous hurdles and challenges and I always question whether I could cope as well should I be so unfortunate.

Outside of the fertility clinic, a lot of the work I have been doing is anger management training. This often involves using cognitive restructuring. After all, one of the ways to avoid losing control of one's emotions and getting angry requires putting things in perspective. Like if the guy driving the Toyota cuts you off, and you miss the light, is it really a big deal in the grand scheme of things?

So this is what I tell myself today. My tooth will get better. My abs will get better and maybe, hopefully so will my tendonitis. None of these things are serious and I am blessed with so many things, it really makes little sense to ruminate about these minor inconveniences.

Lately, just to remind myself how lucky I am and to be inspired on a daily basis, I have been reading the blog: The Great Balancing Act (http://thegreatbalancingact.com/) written by Susan, a 25 year old fellow Canadian health professional, who recently found out that she has cancer. Her strength and courage are truly amazing and each time I read her blog, I am reminded how important it is to maintain perspective and gratitude.

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