Wednesday, May 18, 2011
While stuck at home yesterday I read Jennette Fulda's latest book
I was stuck at home because I was in so much pain from my shoulder I just couldn't face work. Or spin class in the evening. I strapped on the BREG 500 ice water circulator www.breg.com/cold-therapy/polar-care
-500.html and lay there. None of the computers at home were working. My new 64G iPod had died due to rain in the tent Saturday night.
I managed to resurrect my original (and also damaged) 8G iPod enough to pipe music through the speakers and read books on Kindle, which is how I downloaded and read Fulda's book.
I first heard of Jennette about 5 years ago when I started my most recent weight loss journey. She had a blog named "Half of Me" pastaqueen.com/ (she apparently just moved this week to a new one www.jenful.com/ )
At the time I was almost 350 lbs. Jennette had started at almost 400 and had made fabulous progress. I remember avidly reading her blog entries and thinking "if she can do it, maybe there's a chance for me, too." She was the reason I took at look at the South Beach diet plan. She was the impetus to investigate and buy a scale that would actually weigh my enormous 300+ self.
Since losing the weight Jennette has written a memoir about it www.amazon.com/Half-Assed-Weight-Los
tag=manifolds-20 and become very active in the blogging conference community. She also developed a headache that has plagued her nonstop. The latest book is about her attempts to deal with this condition and come to terms with it.
In the book at one point she attends a seminar on pain and the speaker makes a distinction between pain (which you often can't control) and suffering (which is your reaction to the pain). You do get to choose your degree of suffering, and with practice you can experience less of it.
Being sidelined with this shoulder injury has been painful. But Monday and Tuesday I slid in to depression and suffering. Six months is a long long long time to undergo rehab. It is pretty much my entire kayaking season. This is a bitter thing to accept. And at the moment I'm still not well enough to even bike on the road. Last night I wasn't even well enough to go to spin class and bike indoors.
I had to face the fact that right now my depression is my worst problem. Worse than the recent overeating, worse than the pain, worse than the physical weakness. Because until I get the depression under control I won't be in a position to engage in the things that lead to a healthier me.
In the end of the book Jennette's headache is not gone. But she's figured out how to work around it, arrange her life and her work so that she can still be productive and have happy moments.
Here is a guest column she wrote before she'd had the headache a year. It points out the need to do what you can for your health, no matter how little that is, when you're suffering from chronic pain:
My shoulder situation is temporary. There is an endpoint. I will eventually be able to kayak again. But for now I need to take care of me, manage my emotional state, keep things in perspective, and not let the prospect of months away from my boat discourage me.
Eventually I'll be able to road bike. Heck, eventually I'll feel well enough to exercise routinely. But I need to admit where I am right now, and that's pretty low. So my expectations need to drop correspondingly so that I can make progress.