So here's the thing. I've always said that FFG was going to have limits - limits to how much I share. But then, yesterday, it dawned on me that when my work is highly affected by my personal life, it's time to change those boundaries a bit and share a little more than I usually would with you guys. I try to keep things on the positive side here. FFG is a place where you come for inspiration and enjoyment - not for any sort of Debbie Downer moment. And even with what I'm about to share, I'm keeping it that way. So follow with me here through to the end.
This summer, after 13 long haul flights in an inhumanely short span of time, I landed myself in the ER between flights to LA and Milan. I had arrived at my destination and found that I was having a lot of trouble getting out of my seat to disembark. Well, I put on a stiff upper lip sort of attitude and soldiered on. Only four hours later I was in agony and crying in an Emergency Room in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had 24 hours before I was on a plane to Milan for 48 hours and I was thinking I had some sort of weird infection that was kicking me in the butt. Well, the ER doctor couldn't find anything so decided to take a CT scan of my back. Turns out the problem wasn't an infection - it was three herniated (slipped) discs. So, lugging 75 pounds worth of luggage around the world on a regular basis is a bad thing. I am not a person that asks for help. I lift and load bags around the world and refuse assistance. It's finally backfired, in a big way.
To make a long story short, I was given some good pain meds and told to take it easy and consult a specialist when I was back long enough in the UK to make an appointment. Fast forward five weeks and I'm still working like a maniac and paying no attention whatsoever to my pain levels. I'm working through because, well, I flipping love what I do... more than any pain can keep me away from.
When I finally do make it into the doc I find out that the three herniated discs have progressed to five. I find this out 48 hours before fashion week. And what I'm about to share, I myself find frankly hilarious. The doctor actually said to me, "there is something we can do to dim the pain so you can get through fashion month." Yes, this guy knows this is my busiest time of year. So I go in for a 11cm injection in my spine - one that's supposed to calm things down and make me feel right as rain for the workload ahead. Problem is, 12 hours after the injection I was in more pain than I had ever been in. Not to say I'm a hardass, but fashion week doesn't give a flipping you know what about what kind of pain levels you're in. Ever seen a model's feet post Paris? These ladies see pain that doesn't come close to five herniated discs - it supersedes it in a major way. So, I got this. Bring on the pain and the travel. I can handle it all. Or so I thought.
After fashion week, I made the trip home to the USA to introduce the new Mr. FFG in my life to my parents. It's an epic weekend, right? So, I'm still holding in the pain. I'm trying to make sure this all goes over without a hitch. Mr. FFG leaves to return to London after 48 hours on the island and finally I reach breaking point. When I say breaking point, I want you to imagine the worst. Something that looks like this-
Naturally the parents think I'm dying. And of course I feel even worse that I'm making them feel worse. Then every night I'm all like "must write blog post, must have interesting instagram content, must tweet." Queue the part where everyone in my life says "your health is more important than FFG." Then roll the lines where I say - "are you crazy? This is my life. It doesn't wait for a little back pain." Only problem is that this back pain has turned into sciatic nerve pain and I have lost the plot. I can't sit down, let alone lie down and I haven't slept (literally) for four days solid.
I'm told I need surgery - back surgery - which will take me out of the game for a while. Not ideal. But, I'm flying back from the island to London on Friday to approach this whole situation with an open mind next week.
Now, here's the good news in all of this. I have a feeling this is going to be a learning curve and the more people I talk to the more people who seem to want to know what the solution ends up being as they themselves, or their friends and family, have the same problem. So, if you don't mind I'd like to take this time to do three things. First of all, I'd like to apologize for things not being business as usual. Content has been slow, but I've tried to keep it steady and it will continue that way unless something epic happens - then consult social media for announcements. Dear God that sounds wrong and defeatist. Secondly, I will be giving a bit more of a logistical message and solution blogpost as soon as I know for sure what the hell is going on here and what the answer is to solving it. Third, I want this to act as a warning to every woman out there who gets all "Beyonce" when it comes to doing it on her own. I've put myself into this independent woman frame of mind for so long that I have quite honestly brought myself to my knees and what has that done - made me reliant on everyone I know for assistance. Independent no longer, that's me.
For now, I'll just say I'm back to London next week and carrying on with business as usual until I know for sure what next steps are. In the meantime, be patient with me and FFG. Once this is over with I promise bigger and better and just generally more fantastic and wonderful things. I figure this is all a great big learning curve right?
As always, thanks for sticking through it all with me.
(Ps. Picture above courtesy of the island called home and two golden retrievers that seem to be the only thing that keep the pain manageable. They've been sleeping with me every night out on the screened porch where we've brought up a brown leather lazy boy chair - the only thing I can try to sleep in. Yes, this is my current life. Oh so glamourous)