I have created this blog to attempt to help those with chronic pain and depression. Sisyphus was a mythological figure sentenced to roll a stone uphill for eternity. In this way, I intend to approach chronic pain and depression as constant foes that must be your constant focus. Photo courtesy http://akrockefeller.com/blog/tibetan-autonomy-a-futile-odyssey/

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lets get started

Hello everyone, I guess I have to start somewhere, so let me give some background on myself, who I was, am, and who I intend to be.

First, who I was.  Many years ago, I was a very successful athlete.  In high school, I was all state cross country and track, and I also qualified for states in wrestling.  My high school records for 1600 and 3200 stood for 25 years.

I went on to run cross country and track in college, twice all-conference and academic all-american, and competing at the national meet 3 times in cross country.

I went on to earn a masters in Environmental Engineering, which eventually became my profession.

Now, fast forward to the year 2000.  My wife and I were out for a drive when I attempted to pass a car in front of us.  The car turned left (into us, never having signaled that it was doing so), which caused our car to flip twice.

We escaped with our lives.  I thought I had been relatively injury free, but years later learned that this would not be the case.  In pictures from the car accident, I can see a large red mark on my left knee.   

I noticed almost immediately that I had difficulty with running.  My left knee felt like it had a stabbing pain.  I kept trying to run through the years, only to feel this ability diminish.

I discovered crossfit, which was a great outlet for me, since there are so many aspects of it that do not involved pounding your knees.  I also took up yoga.

In 2014, I switched jobs to a field that required me to walk a great deal on uneven slopes (whereas before I sat at a desk all day).  This proved to be my undoing.  I quit this job and went back to my previous one, but found that I was nearly unable to walk, and then, only with the use of a cane.

I managed to gain about 30 pounds over that year, fell into a deep fit of depression (something I have battled for a great deal of my life), and struggled physically and mentally.

Although only 42 years old, one of the top local knee surgeons said I qualified for a partial knee replacement. I scheduled this, then learned about a stem cell procedure known as Regenexx. I changed course and now, 6 weeks after the procedure, am shoveling out of the hole I fell into. I will share much more about this procedure which I feel is revolutionary and life changing. 

Coupling all of this is my wife's illnesses, which have nearly killed her twice. Beginning in 2007, she has had numerous brain and spinal cord surgeries for Arnold Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Through it all, maintaining a strength for me and our three beautiful children that I could only aspire to possess.

What I intend for this blog to do is to be a sort of diary. I don't intend to get on here and preach, for I have no sermon to offer. This shall be a theater of the heart. What I am going through at any given time. Something I did to bring myself up. Something that triggered a new low,that caused the stone to roll to the bottom of the hill.

I mean to offer hope through my days of hope. To offer solace in my days of hopelessness. Just simply to share my life with anyone who feels it would benefit them. 

All I ask is that you avoid conflict with comments. Provide support to each other and ask questions. I once had all of the answers. Time and experience have shown me that I had only knowledge I had gained from a doctor, an article, another person, a website. I will answer honestly based on my own experience but won't offer medical advice, because the only credentials I have are how I have managed my own body and mind. 

I have had this question asked of me, pertaining to my injury, my disability, my chronic pain....how much of it do you think is mental? The question of course implies that I am imagining some if not all of my leg, neck and back pain. After much reflection, my answer to this is that it is all the completely mental and physical. There is no grey line. No pie chart to distribute each amount. The pain of loss, the pain of missing out, the pain, simply the pain itself, consumes every corner of your mind. It feeds the nightmares and feeds the misery.

And only through your mind can you battle that which ails your body. The two are intertwined. And I want you to realize that I believe you when you say you hurt. You ache. I believe you because I am there and have been there for years at varying degrees.

Lastly, who I intend to be. I intend to be a better version of me. Eckhart Tolle speaks of the manifestation of ego, a version of ourself that projects our worst attributes. This is who I am now. I intend to disassemble this version of myself and be the me that I know I can be.

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