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The Life-Friendly Living Blog


It was honestly more painful than childbirth

Coach and mentor Erin Thomas Wong with her two children

I was desperate to enjoy the School Christmas Fayre, so I gingerly hobbled round with my son, terrified someone would knock into me. The pain was excruciating. I kept going until I felt like I was going to pass out, and luckily I saw a friend and told her how ill I felt. I was embarrassed as everyone crowded round to help. She got me water and the teachers took me off to a separate room to recover. 

This was 4 years ago. My back pain had started a few weeks before. I had got stiffer and stiffer. But then the sciatica started, all down my left side. The doctor said I needed a scan but the wait was 12 weeks, so just kept throwing stronger and stronger painkillers at me.

I remember pacing around my bedroom in absolute agony, tears streaming down my face. I couldn't sit, lie or stand without searing pain. 

I paid £350 to have a private MRI scan to find I had herniated my L5 disc, and it was now pressing on my sciatic nerve.


But at least with that diagnosis I could make a plan. I started with a chiropractor and also an acupuncturist. (I also discovered that what I thought were panic attack symptoms were actually a reaction to the strong painkillers, which I've now been told never to take again, so I had to wean myself off them as soon as I could).

During this time, I was incredibly grateful to have my Online Business Manager. Being so ill tested our systems and processes to the max. And thankfully my business continued to run even whilst I felt so terribly ill.

There was one thing though that I felt awful about. I had to cancel The Cocoon Christmas Party, and I hated letting people down, but I felt so bad I couldn't even fake a smile for an hour on zoom. 

And this week Facebook reminded me of this. It popped up a memory of my announcement post cancelling the party. And there it was - a comment from one of my amazing members - "Thank you for modelling great self care Erin"

It stopped me in my tracks. 

We are so worried about letting people down, even when we have nothing left to give. But if we keep soldering on with an empty tank, does that mean we are modelling that's what we think everyone else should be doing too? 

Or are we good at just being super hard on only ourselves?

Food for thought.

And for now, I am eternally grateful to be pain-free this Christmas.


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