It has been awhile since my last post.  I concluded my last post with the topic of balance. I’m not ready to discuss balance because I’m currently in the process of learning how to apply proper balance into my life. 

The title of my blog site is   I had a very good friend ask me, “if you do not want to be your spine why are you writing a blog about your spine?” This was a very interesting question. As I pondered my answer, I realized that this blog is a tool to for me to vent, to share, to learn, to accept my current situation.  To discover the positive things in my life that are present because of my spine. Learn to do new things because of the changes I’ve been through.  I’m ok with my title. It works for me. 

For the past 10 years, I’ve been referred to as the lady with the bad back. I bought into it. In fact, I become my spine. I didn’t want to but it happened. Like Dr. Phil has said and I’m paraphrasing, there is a payoff for our choices. I realized my payoff was to remain a victim and people didn’t expect a lot from me.  I had the ability to selectively pick and choose what I wanted to do. Yes, chronic pain is constant but believe me, if there was something that I wanted to do, I would do it. Pain or no pain. 

Now I’m entering a new phase. Recovery from a spine surgery. (T2-S3-my entire spine is fused and I have 3 more surgeries coming up. My neck again and 2 SI joints), I am not new to this process but I must admit, this particular surgery is much more demanding. It requires a positive attitude towards every morning. There are no carry overs. If I had a good day yesterday, that does not mean that today will be the same. I must remain cognizant and patient with my movement and routine. Each day builds upon the last one. It reminds me of the saying, “Another day another dollar, a million days a million dollars”. Exactly. One Day At a Time and there is NO finish line. I believe in my heart, that one day I will be strong and fit. This surgery hopefully has given me back my active lifestyle that I cannot wait to enjoy. Grandchildren, vacations, work, gardening, walking my dogs, water and snow sports, and maybe even my passion of scuba diving. I am certified in ice diving, search and rescue, ship wreck, cave, deep water, night, nitrox, and a Master Diver. Talk about a bucket list, mines full.

I think THE MOST IMPORTANT thing anyone can do that is facing a long recovery of any sort is to not look at what we can no longer do but instead, laser focus on everything we can do and want to do. I do use self-discipline because as of today that does not come easy for

Me. It’s much easier to be depressed and negative.  For me and many others, it takes effort to stay positive and hopeful. Especially with set backs. I expect to have set backs so when they happen, I try to go with the flow. I also surround myself with winners.  I literally have a board of directors in my head where I’ve recognized strengths of certain people in my life. Over time, it’s easy to see who lives their lives in such a way that I aspire to. Each one of them brings something to the table. They don’t even know that they are on this board.  I have friends that offer the following:

  1. Good decision making skills
  2. Responsible financial spending/saving.
  3. Respect of all people. No gossip.
  4. Nature loving and living responsibly.
  5. Medical experience and sound advice.
  6. See’s the best in me and wants the best for me.
  7. Spiritually grounded and willing to share.
  8. Balanced living style. Work / play.
  9. Non-judgmental.
  10. Admire the way they take care of themselves personally. Dress, make up, etc.

This is a living, breathing, and changing list. When something occurs in my life, I go to my board of directors and determine who would be the best to call. I learned this trick years ago at work and it works well in life.

I’ll conclude by saying that my niece and nephew once said to me, when they were very little, “Aunt Donna, you’re just like Dory from Nemo. Just keep swimming. You always keep going and never give up.  They will never know, unless they read this of course, how much those words meant to me. To know that these little kids perceive me as a strong person who never quits has carried me through many a difficult day.  You never know is watching and paying attention. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that you could be on someone’s board of directors one day?

Author: Donna Vater

My name is Donna and I am a wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, and much more but I AM NOT MY SPINE!

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