Time to Practice Resiliency…Again


I will be taking some time off from the hustle and bustle of the workday world to practice my resiliency in the coming weeks. In other words, I am having surgery. This will be my fourth surgery to fuse one more of six fused levels of vertebra in my neck and/or back; one of those little inconveniences in life.

So, I thought I better give my readers notice that I will take a little time off from writing after this post. I promise to be back with more articles on the Seven Dimensions of Wellness and Ageism; with potential fresh material and insights on resiliency (other than being born with a less than perfect spine); and, of course, sharing the journey that makes us Refined by Age.™

Speaking of resiliency, the last diagnostic test I had about a week ago called a discogram or discography was in itself a test of my resilience; not quite that of surgery, but a test nonetheless. It was interesting to observe.

After the doctor injected enough radioactive dye in my spinal disc to push me to a pain level of eight or nine out of 10, he withdrew the needle. I then waited to have a CT scan to show what the dye was doing in there besides causing pain. The doctor told me the fact that it caused pain was a good thing. Imagine that. That meant they had finally located the point of my chronic pain. The CT results showed my disc was leaking dye from every direction possible, so that led to a diagnosis and determination that I needed yet another spinal fusion.

Back to the discogram…I was trying to be strong and resilient after the injection as I lay on the table waiting for the CT scan. One moment the tough side of me would get all up in the face of the pain saying, “Come on. Is that all you have?”

Then reality would break through that toughness and I would cry to myself, “I want my Papa!”

The next moment my mind was challenging the pain again, “This is nothing! I’ve had worse than this before! Is this the best you can do?”

Then the pain would start to take over as I thought, “I feel like I’ll never be able to move again. What have they done?!?!” And so it went – back and forth. Kind of a variation of “good cop, bad cop” in the movies on television.

That’s how it is with resiliency in the beginning; I vacillate between tough and tender within seconds of each other. I’ve been through tough times before. We all have. This is life after all. Fortunately, we have a tough spirit within us to stand up to whatever comes our way. My faith has only made that spirit stronger. That doesn’t mean the present reality and pain, be it physical or emotional, doesn’t exist. In fact, the tough and tender co-exist within us all.

We do the best we can to hold on through the tough times – sometimes for dear life. In the end, it’s all about how we come out on the other side of our pain and our trials. Are we going to be stronger, or are we going to shrivel up and wither because of the experience? Resiliency, made up of a large dose of faith, makes it possible to come out stronger.

I’ll talk to you on the other side – of this test of resiliency, that is.




  1. Kathy – toughness, endurance, survival all take you to the place you desire only after you decide you want the results as much as you desire your next breath of air…. I hope for all the best to come as Heb 11:1 will take you further than what seems impossible… Keep us posted, may the hands of your Dr lead to the best outcome just around the corner..


    • Terry, Thanks so much for your words of comfort, well wishes and references to God’s word. I am confident in my doctor and my Lord. It is a hard fight back to “normal,” but I have climbed that mountain before. Peace be with you, too, until we meet (online) again. – Kathy


  2. Janet Nygaard

    Kathy, I’m enjoying your articles since I first discovered them a couple or one month ago! I’ll keep you in my thoughts during my meditations. I wish you resiliency more often than not during this surgery especially!


    • Janet, Thank you for your kind wishes and positive comments about the blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. More to come in a little while. – Kathy


  3. Kathy, that article was such an inspiration and I am in admiration. I HATE pain and am really a wimp when it comes to it. Extremely claustrophobic and was about to hypervenitilate while reading this. I will try harder next time (God spare me) now that I’ve read your strength and endurance. My prayers are with you. M


    • Malia, It’s easy to talk or write about resiliency. It’s another story to have to practice it. Unfortunately, I’ve had more practice than most. I’m finding it interesting to observe first hand what part faith, inner talk and more have to do with the process. More on that later. Thanks for your prayers. They are needed and most welcome. – Kathy


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