Stronger Everyday: A Story of Weight Loss, Chronic Pain and Wanderlust

CHRONIC PAIN AND A PASSPORT

I cannot sleep on airplanes. I sit quietly listening to my music while glaring at the sleeping passengers next to me. I cannot sleep in cars or in airports. I would give anything to be able to rest my head back and close my eyes but my neck doesn’t bend properly.

One month to the day of my nineteenth birthday I was in a car accident that would forever change the course of my life. Eight of my vertebrae were twisted on my spine, my back muscles were ripped open and my neck bone almost snapped. I was left in the body of a person four times my age terrified of a cold breeze that can rip through my bones and leave me aching for hours. I live with chronic pain and I manage without the use of pain pills. How do I do it? Pain management therapy, acupuncture and Thai massage have all helped to give comfort.

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                               Egypt – Sahara Jumping – 2009

PRESENT DAY – WALKING FOR MY BACK

I have had issues with weight my entire adult life. Last Fall I decided enough was enough and re-joined Weight Watchers. I started back the week before Halloween and as of last weekend I am down twenty-nine pounds. I love walking and I have recently been logging between twelve to fifteen miles a week.

I am a backpacker and a solo traveler. In the past I would have to mentally prepare myself for the beating my body was going to take on my adventures. I love seeing cities by foot but I did notice on my last European trip that I moved more slowly and had to take my more frequent breaks. I am currently planning my next trip and this time I am highly considering taking a walking holiday.

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Desert Hike – March 2016 – 4mile hike in Phoenix

My pain will never go away but it has lessened as my body has become stronger and the pounds have come off. I will never stop traveling. I know that I am on the right path and that all I have to do is keep moving forward.

 

Do you have issues with chronic pain? How do you manage on the road?

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