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A Pain in the Back

The following blog is written by my dear mother, Nancy Slauenwhite, who I asked to become a GO! Blogger and contribute stories about her life in health and fitness.  She has a way with words and will be submitting blogs on a regular basis.  Feel free to comment after reading her blog below:


Mom and I.
She is my teacher,
She is my best friend,
She is my rock!

I wasn’t always so miserable.  I exercised and enjoyed sports as a child and a teen well into my twenties. I did my best to eat right even though we were not aware of what is put in the processed food. When I married and had children, I became the stay at home mom.  I tried going to work several times but wanted to be home with my children.  I just couldn’t stand the thought of someone else raising them.  One time when I was at work, the live in sitter I hired, made an extraordinary lunch for my kids:  bologna and gravy!  That was when I decided to stay home.

Fast forward a few years and I will tell you about the beginning of my health issues.  I had one of those portable washer/ spin- dryers and I was taking the clothes out of the washer side and transferring them to the spin- dryer side. When I reached into the bottom of the tub, I couldn’t stand up straight again!!  I managed to get someone to take me to the local doctor in Rose Bay.  He diagnosed me with a slipped disc, gave me pain meds and sent me home.  Several weeks later I was recovered (sort of).  Having to lie around in pain day after day takes a toll on the body in so many ways.

That was the beginning of years and years of back issues that has and can never be resolved.  The spasms associated with the slipped discs started occurring more and more throughout the years and the damage spread in my spine.  I now have several vertebrate that are fused as a result of deteriorated discs that whenever  I move a certain way,  they rub against each other and splinter sending spasms of pain around by body like a vice.  Some are mild and go away quickly and then there are the “flare-ups” that can last up to 2 or 3 weeks.  I recently had one that lasted a week and a half.  I was shopping at Sobeys, just standing in the line up at the check-out, talking to my husband, when out of the blue one strikes.  My husband saw my eyes as the pain seared through me and said, “Oh my God you just had a spasm didn’t you?”  I had to find a place to sit down as fast as possible.  I was nauseated from the pain.

That “flare- up” is now over.  I have to mention that I also have recurring episodes of pain in my neck.  These started long ago and are much like the lower back issues.  I have this idea that my head is too big for my neck!  I always have to support it when I watch TV. Maybe a collar would help??!! Anyway, learning to live with pain and the fear of it takes years of practice and restriction.  But it can be done. Every step I take is thought out, therefore my steps are slower.  Every way I sit is thought out and therefore I sit in awkward positions.  Everything I do is thought out,  therefore I appear selfish and lazy but truth be known, I have to flex muscles and relax them over and over  again to make sure they don’t spasm like “mind-over-matter”.  For the most part I have learned to cope but the sudden surprise spasms are still there.

Weight and exercise are ongoing issues.  Because of being unable to do much exercise for fear of pain and choosing the wrong foods has led to a life of obesity. I believe too that depression over my physical problems is part of that picture.  And that obesity has led to diabetes. At first it was controlled with diet and meds but now I take the needle.  Life can sure seem oppressive when you have to deal with all this stuff!

So like I was telling you, I have diabetes and after 20 years of medication and diet, the damned disease decided to rear its ugly head and become insulin dependent.  So now I am on the “needle”.  I have been trying to gain control for 9 weeks, 1 unit of injected insulin increased daily, at a time.  I am up to 50 units as of last night and still have not reached the desired “7” reading.  But it will come; it takes time. So this morning my sugar was at 9.5 and for those who do not know what that means, the number that would be perfect is 6.  So I am doing OK!  When my sugar is under control I can cope with most anything life throws at me.

It’s funny, my daughter told me that when she injured her back and experienced the spasms of pain she became able to relate and to understand my pain.  That’s how I feel about being diabetic and taking insulin injections.  I know how badly diabetics feel too!  You know the old saying, “To know one you have to be one.”

– written by Nancy Slauenwhite, GO! Blogger, Riverport, Nova Scotia

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  1. Nancy , thanks for being vulnerable enough to share your story . It will most certainly help others. My wife lives with arthritis, so your story of unexpected sudden pain resonates with me. I feel helpless when this happens to her . I hope you continue to blog because people need to be aware and more considerate of others who are not so well off physically. Sharing your story might also inspire those of us who are active, to use your abilities in positive ways. I wish you continued strength in your journey! Scott

    1. I can understand how helpless you feel, the same thing happens to my husband. But just letting her know that you care will mean all the world to her. It is amazing how much pain I can tolerate when I know my family understand. And sometimes tolerating the pain is all we can do! Thank you Scott and I pray for comfort and strength for your wife. God Bless.

  2. Hi Nancy and Tampster, read your blog and I can relate. I myself have been dealing with back pain, hip paint, pain in the groin. Finding out just recently from my Chiropractor that Tammy referred me to me that my whole right side is completely out of whack. I have committed myself to 24 adjustments with the hope of finding relief I as well have struggled with my weight for years and find it most difficult to cut back on my intake. I know this is a poor excuse but since I sold my home back in November and living in B&B’s has been very difficult, not to mention depressing. Not having the comforts of my kitchen and being able to make decent meals…..I am very limited where I don’t have full kitchen facilities. When I get in my new home I am hoping to change all that and get back on tract.

    1. Dear Deanna – I’m just so happy that finally you are being treated properly. I hope you find relief. I have a feeling you will and that good things are heading your way. Hugs to you my friend and see you in class soon. 🙂