I am finally released from bed rest and strict limitations on my activity. I can even drive. Today is a glorious day. I saw my doctor on Monday, and am healing slowly but surely. They are still concerned that my wound has not fully closed, and about the possibility of infection, but I am careful, and they will continue to monitor that. However, I have reached the glorious mark of six-weeks, and my doctor officially declared that I can start to resume normal activity and even drive my car as long as I don’t feel impaired. He’s even insisting that I taper off of medications. Hurray!

Mostly I am a fan of being able to drive again. Driving is so linked to independence. I couldn’t go to the doctor without a ride, and I couldn’t do a lot of the things I normally do to help my family, like grocery shop, without driving. Our local mass transportation is not at the level of many cities, so driving is almost a necessity if you want to have a job, or get anything done here. I am super excited. Tomorrow, while my son and husband are at school, I will grocery shop, fill the car up with gas and run the errands that my very supportive, but very busy husband just doesn’t have time for. Hopefully I will restart my Yoga classes soon as well. I think I will give it one more week, as returning to normal activity leaves me stiff, sore and tired.

He told me to be careful to not overextend my neck or do a lot of neck exercises and stretching, but otherwise I am clear for physical activity, and that my body will tell me when I am done. My body is great a telling me to stop. Pain is a real bummer, but it is also an easy to read sign that I am done.

Ironically, just as I am starting to really recover, feel better and have great hope for the future, I found out that my disability case will be heard in court in July. Now I also get to run around to all the doctors and hospitals and update my records for court, and fill out mountains of paperwork. I have been truly disabled for two years. It would have been handy to have that money then, but I’ll take what I can get. I don’t want to stay on disability, and if I get awarded disability, we will use the funds to pay medical bills and set up a buffer for future emergencies. I have a lawyer helping me, and hopefully everything will work out for our benefit. In the meantime, I am also very hopeful that this surgery will result in a recovery that will allow me to at least teach again. I can play the piano again, and once my neck is less stiff I’ll try the violin. I want to be a health coach and resume my training and practice as a doula, or birth assistant. I would love to become a midwife. We would also love to adopt.

It is nice to dream about the future again. I had been so sick with no answers for so long that I had basically given up. Now it seems like my life is opening before me, and I have so many options. My pituitary gland still doesn’t work, and my immunity is still compromised. I will probably always struggle with that, but compared to the pain and fatigue that the Chiari malformation caused, that is trivial. I won’t be able to work a lot with groups of children, and will have to do a lot of my work either online, or on the phone. I am okay with that. There are a lot of things that I can do as a writer and blogger. I may not be able to return to teaching music, but I can play again, and that is huge. I didn’t know how much I had missed that until I sat down to play again. I may not be able to become a doula, but I will definitely become a health coach and can help new mothers and soon-to-be mothers through my blog and through my coaching.

I have a friend whose back has had multiple surgeries and has to change careers because it is too hard physically for him to continue. He is struggling to find a new career/definition of himself as this is what he has always done. I am familiar with that. Each new diagnosis, each surgery, each challenge has forced me to change my definition of myself and my life. It is extremely difficult to redefine yourself on a regular basis. Changing career paths, passions and pursuits are not easy tasks. Re-writing your life to fit your current ability level is not easy. I have done it many times, and it really doesn’t get easier. What does get easier is my confidence that I can and will find a way. I am also stubborn and that has carried me through some really tough times. I will not give up on my dreams, but I might change them. I can find a way to make a difference in the world and help people from home, and from my computer if necessary. I would rather do it in person, but that may not be an option, so I find a way around it.

There is always a job, or a way to do what you love. I am finding new ways and new loves. If you find yourself having to redefine your life, I can help. Health coaching and Life coaching are about just that, making changes, and finding new approaches. I have had many mentors and helpers, and would love to help anybody out there searching for a new way to get by. I know what it is like. I have been there so many times. It is also why I have chosen to become a health and life coach. I want to help others through this process. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. So here is my offer to you. I will give you a free consultation via phone, Skype, or in person. I have a program that is amazing and skills to teach with. If you are interested, my e-mail is aliejudd@gmail.com. Let me be your support, your helping hand. I know what it is like to be in pain all the time. I know what it is like to be lonely and feel like there are no answers. I can help you. I want to help. There will be more information coming up. I am launching my coaching business, its’ website, newsletter, and such next month. I invite you to join in there. I have had amazing teachers, and I can transform your life, like I have transformed mine every time something new comes up. So stay tuned and contact me if you are ready now.

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