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5 Things I Learned From Pain

There are 5 things I learned from pain. If you’re struggling with back pain I hope this leads you to healing.

I’m a photographer, I’m supposed to capture the joy + all that shines. But last fall I had to scale back, drastically scale back,  due to back problems.

pain, portrait-photographer, live, love-more, senior-portraits, photographers-near-me, geneva-il, headshot-photography

It’s funny how life works. One of my 30-day goals had been to slow down and stop being so busy all the time. I guess I wasn’t succeeding, so my body did it for me.

I can’t count how many times I was asked,

“How did it happen?”  So I’m going with, “A LOT!”

So there I was, walking along the street, when this cycler comes out of no-where heading right for me.”

“Surely, he sees me,” I thought.

The next thing I remember I was wrapped around a fire hydrant.

No, not really.  I actually can’t remember the exact moment my little L4 / L5 decided to pop out of its neat little spot in my lower back & try to hook up with my left nerve.

I let them bond with each other a little too long. Their little tryst ended up doing A+ damage to the nerve going down my left leg. 

So why the heck am I writing about this on my blog?

We’re starting a new year, and with that, we start putting new goals into action.  I  learned a few things from those months of pain + became so much more thankful for my family and friends. They checked in on me, called, came to see me, and even sent handwritten notes! I was SO VERY THANKFUL!

hairstyle, face-shape

5 Things I Learned from pain {When Your Body Doesn’t Play Nice}::

  • Tough-it-out Isn’t Always The Right Answer

I’ve never had surgery before, and the idea of being cut into freaked me out! The pain started in July and got worse through August + September. I tried PT, cortisone injections, rest, rest & more rest all hoping that I could FIX IT without surgery.

The surgery did relieve the pressure from my nerve, which was a massive improvement, but I should have done more research in the beginning. My nerve being SMASHED by that selfish L4/L5 for so long took a long time to repair itself.

The back pain was better, but the discomfort down my leg is slowly – very slowly – returning to normal.  By slow to heal, if I said, “it’s healing at a snails-pace” that would be FAST!

  • Ask For “Help”

One-four-letter-word. Not that hard to say…right?

“I can do it all, no matter how crummy I feel!” No…no I couldn’t. You might not like the way the laundry gets done or your spouse cooking breakfast for dinner, but LET IT GO! The laundry got done, kids got fed, and the world kept spinning on its axis. My hubby was a life-saver {as always}.

And my parents coming to stay for a week while Brian was gone was another HUGE HELP. 

I’ve resumed the dinner menu again.

Brian is happy about that.

My teens, probably not quite as happy.  Oh well, Mama’s back! So eat your vegetables!

  • Get Recommendations

I’m SO THANKFUL to have friends that gave me their professional + personal recommendations for the right surgeons. If you ever need surgery, ask a lot of questions and take someone with you to all your appointments. A second pair of ears is always better than one!  

  • Our Pain Can Help Us Be Better Humans

Big or small the things we go through help us see things differently. Checking in with family + friends more often, even if it’s a text to say, “Hey there, I’m thinking about you!”

  • Books Saved My Sanity

I couldn’t stand or walk very long, and there’s only so much TV I can watch. If you’re looking for some great reads to start this year, check these out…

1. FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Adding these two next:: The Attitude Antidote by Jessa Nowak + This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

{girl’s gotta have a new book while I’m healing }

story, headshots

Cheers and Sparkle


P.S. One last must read piece written specifically about dealing with pain, one of the worst pains.  While I knew her personally, her brother has a talent for writing that will bring tears to your eyes + remind you to hug our Lovies every. single. day!

How Deep is Grief

5 Things I Learned From Pain


Modern High School Senior Portraits + Headshot Photographer serving Dekalb County and Kane County


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  1. Kendra

    I’m sorry you had such a rough year. Hoping you’re on the mend soon, I wish we could have connected while you were home. Miss you my friend. Love visiting your Instagram every day 🙂

    • Andrea

      Thanks Kendra! Life’s getting back to normal again “ya know, as normal as Teen Mom life gets. Hope to catch up with you the next time I’m home💖


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