What motivates me? Hmmmmm..that's a loaded question..Well, by looking at me, you may think it was easy for me. Its a comment I get from a lot of people.
They look at me and basically say, "look at you, you don't understand". Things must be easy for you! Most clients say this just as I am disciplining them for telling me, I CANT, or as they are stopping too soon on a drill, quitting when I know they have more in them and saying NO, PLEASE...and I tell them, KEEP GOING I KNOW YOU HAVE ONE MORE!!!
Well, what people don't know about me is that my life was not only a long, hard struggle financially, but also physically and emotionally as well. Without getting into ALL THE DETAILS of my childhood, as I am sure a lot of us have had rough spots growing up, I would just like to discuss some issues I had in my "physical health" growing up. Not only did I have weight issues at a young age and also through my teenage years, but I also had a tumor in my hip at 18 that caused me to spend a lot of time in and out of the hospital. The hospital was not close to my home (Manhattan) and therefore my family did not come visit during my stays. Some of you may say "so what", but to a kid at 18 who just found out she has a tumor and does not know if she is going to walk again and never had surgery before, it is a big deal. In addition, my boyfriend at the time was no help either as he was very abusive and of course another big part of my emotional upbringing (and weight issues).
After my first operation on my hip to remove the tumor, a small part of the tumor had to be left in the hip as it was in the socket, and removing the entire tumor may have caused me to lose complete use of the leg. Therefore, walking was not an option after the first operation and I was placed in a FULL BODY CAST. Originally I was kicked out of my home at age 17 by my mother, so when they found the tumor, I actually had to move back home and live with my parents...which was another issue...In addition to that, my boyfriend decided he could not stay with someone THAT WAS IMMOBILE during his Summer Break, and decided to break up with me AFTER 2 YEARS. This of course was great news to my mother since she was not fond of him and did not want me to have any visitors while stuck at home in the basement anyway. It made her life easier but left me home alone all Summer and DID I MENTION, I WAS in a FULL BODY CAST and IMMOBILE.
While at home, my parents had to rent a hospital bed and my sister was kind enough to look in on me (in the basement) and to help clean me and the bedpan...yes the bedpan since I was unable to move on my own. Although I basically developed a way to bend the cast and hop out on my own since the whole situation was so humiliating as you can tell. I do believe that my claustrophobia probably kicked in around this time being in a body cast and in a basement by myself for so long. My parents would stay upstairs and watch TV and my mother would have my friends call to ASK PERMISSION to visit me and after a time she basically denied them permission to visit.
As if being in the BODY CAST was not enough, AND being locked in the basement all alone was not enough...when I finally MOVED TO MY OLD UPSTAIRS ROOM, I was lucky enough to BREAK MY HIP in my sleep since it was so weak and with my tossing and turning in that cast I, I took one toss too many and snapped the hip, and had to have another operation.
Then at age 20, after the ordeal of the cast and learning how to walk all over again had been over for a couple of years, and with a new PLATE AND RICHARDS NAIL IN PLACE IN MY HIP, for some reason the pain did not go away and only seemed to worsen.
After more CT Scans and more MRI's and trips into Manhattan, we found out why...they found ANOTHER TUMOR.....Yes, another tumor...so guess what???You got it, I had to have another surgery and drop out of college another time. Except this time, I was in need a BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT to fill the additional holes caused by the tumor and by the new one it came back with. Luckily they were able to take the marrow from me...and I did not need a donor. Due to this I had to drop in and out of college too many times (about 4 operations later), and I never went back to complete my degree. Long story short, I was not living at home during this time but had to lose my apartment through all of this as well and move back home TO THE BASEMENT....Joy right? I was also left with a huge medical bill on my back. What a great way to start out!
All I kept thinking the whole time is, I can't let this keep me down. I have to get out of this house and I have to get out of this bed!!! And I swear to you, I still have that same DRIVE, that same MOTIVATION, and that same PUSH that gets me going and keeps me from letting anything keep me down!! Even when I am sick or with a migraine, I get up and I work out and call me crazy, but exercise helps...it really does! When I think I'm having a bad day, all I have to do is think back to those days and realize, it can always be worse and that's MY motivation!
Currently as stated, I have what is called a "Richards Nail" and a plate in my hip which was added in the last surgery (not yet removed) prior to the marrow transplant, and will eventually need a total hip replacement to be able to keep up with the years of damage to my hip cartillage and lack of bone marrow. With all of this, I still manage to deal with the challenges in my life of having a very strict childhood and very different way of growing up without being able to go out and see friends as most others did. My childhood was hospital beds and walkers, crutches, and driving in to the city for Doctor appointments.
Years of physical therapy and pain medication that I avoided to learn how to walk on my own is what I endured to be able to one day walk normal. But I will never walk totally normal as my Left Leg is 1/2" shorter than my Right Leg so I will always have a limp and always have pain (especially on those rainy days). The bursitis makes sure of that. So when people tell me I CANT IT HURTS TOO MUCH...or I CANT, MY ARMS DONT MOVE THAT WAY OR MY LEGS WONT BEND OR HOLD THE WEIGHT...I say, "I'm sorry, but unless you are physically handicapped, I just cant listen to it and I just don't believe it or want to hear it!! Can't, Won't, Don't...do not exist in my vocabulary!!! Only positive motivation here!
SO YOU SEE, YOU CAN, YOU WILL, IT CAN BE DONE......IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!
It took me some time, hours and hours of isolation from friends, lots of lots of grueling pain, and a hell of a lot of training ON MY OWN, but I did it and if I can do it, so can you. I promise you, together, we will make it happen.