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The Summer of Sean

  • By Sean

    So nearly two years ago (1 year, 10 months to be exact) I injured myself while lifting weights at the gym. A disc ruptured in my back because of my psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. I spent months seeing doctors and rehabbing my back but when I was done I started having problems with my head and neck. Crushing head pressure, especially on the left side, combined with dizzy spells. More doctors. More rehab. By December I FINALLY started to get on the other side of of the head and neck pain and started Humira for the first time, which brought my body pain level down to just about a zero. BUT … a week before I started taking Humira I injured something in my pelvis/groin. More doctors. More rehab. I felt cheated. Like I never really got to enjoy the effects of the Humira because of the injury that happened right before I started taking it.

    You can go back and see a post I wrote called, “Everything Is Cancer” where I was in a pretty dark place because of all of this. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. I’d heal from one injury and another would pop up. But the physical toll wasn’t the worst part. The MENTAL toll was. Because I was never 100% sure that what I had were physical injuries and not something worse, like cancer. Everything you read online says that if you have an unexplained pain that doesn’t go away for months, check it out to make sure it’s not cancer. And while that’s still solid advice, I think when you have PsA you have to view long-term aches and pains a bit differently. To date I STILL have no explanation for what the pain in my pelvis was but …

    … two days ago it just went away. I woke up and it was gone. I don’t know why but I’m not going to question it. For the first time in nearly two years I’m completely pain free. I’m back in the gym … slowly and carefully … and feel like I may be able to regain some of my old fitness level for the first time in a long time. I feels good just to lift weight again even though I’m now lifting very light weights. At least it’s something.

    I plan to get out and be active this summer. That’s why I’m calling it the Summer of Sean. Because of this grueling experience I no longer take feeling “normal” (i.e no pain or injuries) for granted. And who knows when something else on my body may decide to break? But just in time for summer I am completely pain free. And I can’t wait to take full advantage.

    It’s been said that the trouble with youth is that it’s wasted on the young. I really understand that expression now. But I feel that this week I regained a little of my youth back. I feel like I used to before this whole roller coaster of pain started to happen to me nearly two years ago. And I can’t wait to get out there and do things. More than that, I can’t wait to have a good night’s sleep again, free from worry that there might be something terrible going on inside of me. For the first time in a while I’m really excited about my prospects.

    My advice, if you’re struggling, is do your rehab, get on a biologic if you can and try and stay mentally strong. It can be tough. And you will have bad days. But sometimes brighter ones are just around the corner. Well, maybe a couple of corners.

  • By Sean

    And, yes, referring to myself in the third person in the post title is incredibly obnoxious, so I’m just going to apologize for that up front.

    • By CathyD Moderator

      Haha, @sean, that second post really made CathyD laugh! 😉

      So glad that the mystery pain has finally gone away. Do you have any specific plans or ideas for the summer yet?

    • By Sean

      Yes, my specific plan is to try and, smartly, get back to the gym and regain some of my fitness level and muscle mass that vanished over the last couple of years when I struggled to work out.

      I’m wiser now about how I work out so I plan to take it SLOW. Just like I learned in physical therapy, use light weights and add exercises a little bit at a time.

      But I feel as if I’m FINALLY able to maybe regain a little bit of who I used to be. I’m as excited about the future as I have been in a long time. Just sitting here right now I feel perfectly … normal. My pain level is an absolute zero. The way it used to be a few years ago.

      It’s funny, I always used to take the absence of pain as just normal. Now it feels like a gift.