Ode to a BFF and SI Belt

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Bed rest was not on the menu for this trip! Just like ol’ times, I was ready for some fun and ready to keep up with Liz’s high-spirited energy ! The only question …was my back?

After three months of anticipation, my best friend Liz was arriving on a Friday for a long weekend in Big D. We met in Speech 101 our first day of college at Texas A&M University. Coincidenly, we lived in the same dorm, and soon became inseparable. She has a big smile, big voice, and infectious spirit. Wheelchair jokes were her specialty, which always cracked me up! She is the Lucy to my Ethel, making me laugh like only she can…especially after 29 years! The last time Liz visited two years ago, my back was on the fritz, landing me in bed for the duration of her trip. She insisted she didn’t mind. I was extremely grateful for her long trek from Greenville, South Carolina because her humor and friendship trumped any prescribed medicine!

2 weeks before my friend’s recent visit, I experienced a drastic improvement health wise . My back was seemingly more stable. Stiffness was overcome by brief movements of fluidity flowing through my body, and the incessant worry about throwing my back out semi-dissipated. Conquering this hurdle instilled in me the confidence I needed to trust that my back would not fail. Credit for this can definitely be given to the Accu-SPINA machine (as mentioned in my previous blog). Yet, contrary to my newly found flexiblity/strength, bits of trepidation loomed in my brain since I haven’t been required, or required myself, to challenge my body for more than a few hours at a time.

I NEVER get sick. But, less than a week before Liz’s arrival, I felt listless and worn down. I didn’t feel sick, but had absolutely no stamina. My energy ebbed and flowed ( little to no ebb with even less flow). On the third day, ice packs usually reserved for my inflamed back had mosied splat on top of my head and face. “Why was my head so dag’um hot?” I wondered. Beads of sweat dripping, my head felt like a pressure cooker just waiting to explode. “What is the deal? I never get sick!” I thought to myself. After about five attempts, the fickle thermometer confirmed a temperature of 100.1 degrees, As hard as I tried to convince myself, this fever was more than a premenopausal annoyance.

The next day, after self-diagnosing that my fever had broken, I squeezed in to see Dr. Cris. Her first words to me were, “What’s up? You’re never sick!” She confirmed that an annoying virus had invaded my body which was still causing me to run a low-grade fever. Dr. Cris inquired if I sensed any anxiety about Liz’s visit. I replied that I was overwhelmingly excited, definitely not anxious. Soon after, I questioned myself about my honesty. Subconsciously, I think I was ill-convinced about my back` holding up against the unprecedented amount of activity I would soon endure. In my heart, I did not feel stressed out, but obviously, my body was sending a different message.

The weekend before my vile, viral “friend” invaded my body, I sat on the patio for 3 hours enjoying a perfect Texas summer night with some friends. Low key fun.Toward the third hour I could feel the inflamation in my lower back and hip joints blowing up like an annoying balloon. Reaching home was such a relief since the only thing that would quickly quiet the intense pain would be my trusty ice packs. My test drive of my possible party potential crashed into a major pothole. In no way, did I want this to become a foreshadowing of my weekend with Liz.

I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and with God’s grace comes wisdom. I had been comtemplating purchasing an SI belt for a long time, but resisted. Let’s just say, aesthetically, it would be a fashion faux pau. That weekend on the patio put my ego to rest. The freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted, would not be dictated by an unpredictable back. Skeptical, yet desparate,God graced me with the fortitude to overcome my vanity insanity and order the SI belt.

With perfect timing, the SI belt arrived a day before Liz, and it was heaven sent! Shockingly, this 5′ by 3″ belt wrapped tightly around my lower hips, holding my sacrum and hips into proper position. Proper alignment of my hips prevents inflammation and pain. It’s ,also, easily disguised by pulling down my shirt. What took me so long?

This belt gave me more relief than I ever thought possible. Whether my escapades with Liz included visiting the pool with my sister, hanging out on my parents patio, chowing down at a favorite Mexican restaurant before hitting the mall, or spending a late night reminiscing with long, adored college friends. The fact that this long, black,thin piece of material allowed me to go from morning to night, rarely stopping in between, was priceless.

Even though the week didn’t start out as planned, I had to have faith that God would make this a great weekend and that my back could mightily withstand any and all activity…

And that He did! My virus vanished the day Liz arrived and the belt carried me through a fantastic weekend! The best was reuniting with dear Aggie friends, rehashing old stories and laughing until our faces hurt! Being with Liz always transports me back to a more carefree time. I am so blessed to have my BFF in my life for almost 30 years!!