10-October 2017 Jeanine H

Jeanine Harren

October 2017

​What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?

I was an active, healthy wife and mother of two beautiful daughters with a passion for fitness. I enjoyed running races, participating in mud runs and teaching at the Warehouse. I have always had some minor back problems that would put me on the sidelines from time to time. In July of 2016 it all changed for me.

While training for my favorite race, the Twin Cities 10 mile I started to have back and leg pain. Over the next couple weeks the pain became unbearable. I could no longer sit, bend over or sleep without a great deal of pain. I went from running 5 miles and teaching fitness classes to needing help getting dressed and putting on my shoes.

I was diagnosed with a moderate sized disc herniation in my lumbar spine that was pinching my left S1 nerve root. I’m not a fan of pain medication so I struggled and battled with this for about 3 months. I tried chiropractic treatments and injections with no luck. I was depressed, sleep deprived and desperate for relief. I decided surgery was my next step.

I had a partial discectomy on October 7, 2016. Everything went well and I was very grateful that I could do simple daily activities and sleep again.

What made you decide to make a change?

Soon after surgery I became very nervous because my left leg and foot were numb. After a quick visit with my surgeon I was told It was nerve damage from surgery and it’s very common. The nerve damage caused loss of strength and numbness in my left leg and foot making it hard to walk. I was told that nerves heal very slowly and it could take a year or longer for the nerve to heal. This was a huge blow for me as I was hoping to be back teaching at the Warehouse in 3 months.

As part of my physical therapy I would walk every day. At first I could only walk about a block. This was very frustrating. I could not stop thinking about how just a few months ago I was running and now just walking was difficult. I became anxious and worried I would never be the same again. This started a recovery rollercoaster ride for me. I had good days and bad days. Some happy moments and some real UGLY cries.

I decided I was not going to let this take control of me. I was going to take control of it. I did this by setting small goals for myself. As I started reaching my goals I started to feel in control again. As I gained control, I gained confidence.

In January of 2017 I hit a big goal. I was back teaching one class a week at The Warehouse. It was so great to be back. Teaching fitness is my passion, my FUN job and I was back. The love and support from my Warehouse family is like no other.

What has changed (race times, blood work, attitude, etc)?

Today, about one year post surgery my recovery still continues. I still have numbness in my left foot and it fatigues quickly. Although it’s not a perfect outcome, I’m finding ways to work around it . I know in time I will make a full recovery.

I want to thank my friends and family, I wouldn’t have made it through is past year with out all your love and support.