Physical Pain

April 5, 2012

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Bad timing.  I’ve been on bedrest now for almost 5 days with more pain than I have ever felt and nothing seems to be working. Pain meds, acupuncture, chiropractor, deep tissue massage, physical therapy, epidural injections, etc. I can’t stand up for more than 10 seconds without shooting pain from my back to my foot. I can’t sleep, can’t shower, can’t drive, can’t sit, can’t stand, can’t walk, can’t do much. Feel pretty bad - miserable.  Not super inspiring.

On the upside, I’m watching a few movies on my new iPad, I get to work on some work stuff without distractions, grew some facial hair, and enough time alone to reflect on stuff.  Figured I’d post some stuff that I’ve been thinking about.

Some of the random stuff that I’ve thought about:

1) Man, I run hard and don’t realize often how hard I press. Only when forced to slow down do I realize how hard I’ve been pressing. I’m definitely grateful for the physical strength that I do have and will be even more grateful for my health when I get back into shape.

2) It’s unreal if I ask the hospital how much a procedure costs, no one knows the answer. They mention I’ll get a bill in the mail. It is what it is. Strange.

3) Out of curiosity, I called around for an MRI and found an office that was willing to charge $1,299 for it if I have insurance, but if I wanted to pay cash they were willing to charge me $475 but only if I proved I didn’t have insurance.

4) I wouldn’t survive without my wife. Not sure how she handles me anyway, but she’s been an absolute hero through this week which I won’t forget.

5) I canceled a trip to SF this week and it was great to see one of our team members take the lead and attend all the meetings. It was his first solo trip on behalf of the company. I’m excited about the new level of responsibilities each of my team members take when I’m totally out of the office.

6) There are a couple of ways to respond to tough circumstances. It applies both to your personal and business outlook. When tough times come, you can respond with dejection, frustration, and fear. Or, you can respond with hope, new opportunities, and optimism. It’s a choice. I definitely wish I didn’t have this physical pain, but I feel that coming out of this, I’ll have stronger perspective, stronger relationships, and more optimism. For me, it comes down to a choice.

7) I’m looking forward to a bunch of stuff now. Fresh air, board meetings, work, exercise, sunshine, travel, friends. Can’t wait.

8 ) One of the things I’ve asked our team to do more of is recognition. We need to recognize people more, there are so many things to celebrate in life - hard work, imagination, teamwork, excellence. The more that I take a back seat and watch what our team is capable of doing and recognize it, the more I’m impressed with what they can accomplish. Are you recognizing your team? With more recognition, I believe everyone gets better results.

9) One thing I’ve also noticed while being out of the office and bedridden is the challenges that I’ve brought upon myself based on my leadership skills. How clear am I on the vision of the company? Is each team member given the right tools to succeed? Do they each know what success looks like? While I feel that we’re in a good place, there are several areas that I’ll need to focus on in case I get stuck again. Those areas have become clearer for me in the past few days.

10) Which leads me to my key point. As a leader, am I building an organization that can be self-sustaining without me. Have I built an organization that has a deep bench, pointed in a very strategic direction, and working as a team to reach a big goal? I want to build a great company that is capable of being great without me or at least me with a bad back.

11) Why is it that prescription meds don’t mix with alcohol?  Oh well.

12) Goon is a pretty funny movie while watching on pain meds.  Trust me.

Well, I’m super fortunate I’m alive with a great family and running a business I love with great colleagues. I don’t have all that much to complain about, wish me luck!

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36 Comments »

Comment by Max Subscribed to comments via email
2012-04-05 19:07:17

Times like this really put things in perspective. Great post and hope you feel better buddy!

 
Comment by Sean Subscribed to comments via email
2012-04-05 21:12:47

Hey pal,

Sending good vibes ur way to get better soon. I have had similar moments before and relate to your appreciation thoughts. When you get back, normal feels epic!

 
Comment by J.Paul
2012-04-05 23:21:57

Andy -
I just read a great book - “Anything You Want” - by Derek Sivers (the guy who founded CD Baby)… check it out if you don’t know about it already. Your comments here reminded me of that book. Takes about an hour or two to read.
I suffered a bad episode with sciatica in my right leg 2 years ago. Not sure if that’s what you’re experiencing but I definitely feel for you.
Blessings,
J.Paul

 
Comment by Steve Poland
2012-04-06 04:21:48

Hope you get back on your feet again soon! Hope to see you at Elite Retreat!

 
Comment by John Kogle
2012-04-06 12:41:03

Andy,

It sounds like you are using this time to the best… reflecting on the things you have been blessed with and choosing to be appreciative. Praying for your recovery, more insight and great follow up.
God bless,

John

 
Comment by Kris Jones Subscribed to comments via email
2012-04-06 17:59:56

God speed Andy!

The degree to which you persevere in the face of hardship defines the strength of your character.

You my friend are a gladiator!

Get well soon and thanks for the reflection.

Kris

 
Comment by Toren Ajk
2012-04-06 18:57:24

Hey Andy, sorry to hear about you back issues. Sadly not much you can do for a workaround for back pain. Rest, relax and do your best to eat/supplement well. Of course enjoy your meds as much as you can ;)

That said even more impressed you have managed to take the time to do your best to forget about the pain and not only think about the big picture but blog about it. You are the man!

As always Inspired by your thoughts. Take care,
Toren

 
Comment by Brad A Subscribed to comments via email
2012-04-08 05:34:09

Hey Andy,

It’s great that like a true entrepreneur, you’re seeing your current situation as an opportunity to reflect, think and come out stronger (hopefully physically and mentally). Painful situations can sometimes be the best reminders of what’s important and an excellent source of perspective.

By the way, not all acupuncturists are created equal. When I injured myself, I had one that was awful, but tried another which had great results.

All the American Pie movies are excellent with or without Pain Meds. Hot Tub time machine is also pretty funny, if you’re looking for more movies.

I hope you feel better soon.

Brad

 
Comment by Ades
2012-04-08 09:22:00

Sorry to hear that. Get well soon!

 
Comment by Nick P.
2012-04-10 19:11:44

Hey Andy,

Feel better. I really enjoy reading your thoughts. They always seem to come at the right time for my frame of mind at the moment.

 
Comment by Neal Freeland
2012-04-30 21:18:21

Hey Andy - Sorry to hear this, catching up a bit late on my blog reading. Hope you feel better by now.

 
Comment by Illium Millium
2012-08-05 22:23:04

Sciatica nerve…

Hope you figure it out. Your posts are great.

 
2013-03-05 09:04:18

Firstly, I want to thank you for the very useful material you blogged here
about low back pain. I work as a professional fitness and pilates trainer|
and I have seen people with low back issues. I myself had some issues with my back previously and I can tell for sure
that active lifestyle will definitely help if you know methodologies or work with professionals

 
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