Last week was supposed to be a big week for me. As John Allsopp put it, I had been lured out of a self-imposed retirement from speaking, and was scheduled to appear at Web Directions North in Vancouver. I was really looking forward to speaking again, along with seeing old friends, making new ones, and the general camaraderie experienced at events like that.
Alas, for some reason, that wasn’t to be. On a fine Sunday morning before the conference, I bent over the sink to spit out some toothpaste, and felt a shock of pain go through my lower back. I instantly told myself, “oh, it’s nothing. just a twinge of pain. it will go away in a minute.” But it didn’t.
Cam and I waited out the injury, hoping the pain would subside and magically heal itself, and I would be able to medicate enough to fly to Vancouver on Tuesday morning, and attend the conference as planned. Over the next two days, my back got progressively worse, until I could barely move or sit up in bed without excruciating pain.
Long story, short, the pain continued all last week. And I had to cancel my trip to Vancouver and plans to speak at and attend Web Directions. I tried to fight off the depression and the negative thoughts. But the disappointment I felt was huge (and still is). I was forced to miss out on the opportunity not just to speak again, but to hear so many great speakers at once, and to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in over a year. Not to mention the snowboarding in Whistler after the conference.
This is the fourth time in the last two and a half years that I injured my back to the point of debilitation and forced rest. I have a bad disc in my lumbar region. Doctors told me after first injury that I might be forced to deal with it the rest of my life. Physical therapy helps immediately after the injury. But after the pain subsides, I tend to forget about the exercises and the stretching and the fact that my body is not perfect.
If I am to make a difference in the future health of my back and my body, I must make changes to my daily routine. The treatment I learn after each episode must be folded into the strands of my life.
I really don’t want an injured back to prevent me from doing anything or going anywhere else.