cups & tape.

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I have been struggling with back pain for over two and a half years now. What started out as a pain in my lower back from countless falls off of horses, has turned constant chronic pain from my shoulders to my hip bones.

In July 2017, and after a month of barely getting four hours of sleep every night due to such pain, and after constant 8 out of 10 pain, I started physical therapy. From the first appointment with Hannah, she started to help heal my back pain.

We started with exercises, and taping to help keep my spine aligned. Unfortunately I had a pretty bad allergic reaction on Christmas Eve that resulted in an Urgent Care visit, a high fever and hives. So we took a break from taping, to let my body calm down. Mrs. Hannah found some hypoallergenic tape, and we did that for a little before another severe reaction in April, which result in the same hives, fever, and urgent care visit.

Over Spring break and right before school started up this fall we tried again with the taping, and my body still freaked out. The taping helped significantly, bringing my pain down to a 3/10, when I became allergic my pain shot back up to a 7-8 constantly.

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So we turned to cupping (like what Micheal Phelps does). It’s incredibly painful, feeling like someone is pinching, twisting and pulling on your skin all at once. (Because that’s exactly what’s happening!!) BUTTT it started to help. Bringing my back pain down to a 6/10. Though my back pain is still there, and hasn’t decreased as much as with taping, the cupping helps. 

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I ended up retiring from horse show jumping in March 2018 due to the pains getting so intense I would be bedridden for days afterwards, or would lose feeling in my legs while riding. Riding started to become a regret rather than an enjoyment. I’m glad I was able to end on a positive note with my Xante and as Team Captain, but I still miss it sometimes. In the mix of this, through multiple x-rays, MRI’s and Spinal analysis testing, it has been discovered that I have Scoliosis, and my lower back does not have proper flexibility; unfortunately these are not what is causing the intense constant pain.

I won’t return to the sport I love, which is such a difficult thing to say, but I have learned how much trusting in others, God, my surgeons, physical therapist and all other doctors has helped me push through it all. I have learned a new depth of community, when bedridden and friends coming to see me, or having support from family members (and Elise, by now she’s family) at doctors appointments.

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We currently do not know what is causing the 8/10 constant pains, and the surgeons are perplexed what the next steps are, but I hope answers will replace all the question marks, and can look forward to having no pain in Heaven someday.

As I finish writing this post, what I  feel being pressed on my heart is to tell y’all: Whether a physical pain from an injury or an emotional pain from heartache; these pains help shape us for the better, but do not define us. That even if we do not overcome them here on earth, God takes away all our pain and sadness in Heaven.

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