On New Year's Day my mom handed me a bag with these pictures in it, she had big tears in her eyes. I could see how sad it made her to think that her child ever suffered. She told me never to lose these pictures because they are a reminder of how I changed my life story. I spent 52 days in this traction bed when I was about eight years old. It didn't seem all that long though because I was in a coma for more than 2 weeks of that time. I'm not sure where my mind was when I was a sleep that whole time but I am thankful that my body remembered to breathe, my heart kept beating, and body continued to heal itself.
A good thing about being stuck in a bed for 52 days was that I really learned how to use my imagination, get creative with what I did with my hands, and had a lot of time to think about all of the wonderful things that I could do when I was able to walk again. I made a lot of friendship bracelets, potholders, and I love to play tic-tac-toe! My mom still has the game of tic-tac-toe that I played all the time with a little felt dots that stuck to a small board! That was in the bag too! Although my body healed...one leg grew a little longer (5/8 of an inch to be exact) than the other so I ended up having to wear orthotics shoes once I was able to walk again and returned back to school. That was kind of embarrassing and it was really hard to run or to try to play kickball. I still tried but my darn shoe would always fly off my foot because I kicked with my strong leg which was my right leg but that was also the shorter one that I had to wear that really heavy shoe on! As I got older I got stronger but my body was in more pain and I didn't want to wear those stupid shoes anymore. I had to figure out another way to make my back not hurt so bad and make my book bag not slide off my shoulder because when one leg is longer one hip is higher the spine is curved and the shoulders are off-track as well. It would be like living in a house that had an uneven foundation everything above it would be slightly unbalanced and not symmetric as well!
I love the outdoors and as I got older I loved riding my bike and hiking and traveling. The only problem was the body that was a house for my soul hurt a lot! Why is this happening to me I thought? Believe me I was so thankful that I could walk and I will never take that for granted but it just sucked that all of the things that I love to do that seem to be so good for me like hiking, biking, walking, and running hurt so bad. Doctors put me on lots of pain pills and that was no fun that was always what they tried to do for me is give me pain medicine. It made me tired, lethargic, and I didn't feel my inner light shining because I felt somewhat depressed and even kind of hung over when I was around 23 (I didn't even get to party to earn that hangover!) It became very frustrating to me to have to spend so much time, energy, co-pays, and get the same results. Pain pills and more physical therapy. While I loved the physical therapy, that also took a lot of time and money and didn't quite give my brain and heart the comfort that it needed. The doctors told me that I would need a complete hip replacement by the time I was 26. I lived with fear because of this. Going out dancing and drinking helped me but I would always wake up with pain in my hips and back! (Sometimes my head too!)
My boss, at the time, Frazer introduced me to yoga. At first it seemed a little boring and militant to me. I didn't like the fact that the teacher made us hold poses for a really long time and walked around and pointed at people during class. Although the next day I could feel a sense of awakening in my body. I felt that I used some muscles and stretched some tendons that perhaps needed it and hadn't been given attention in a while. Then I decided to try another teacher who had the room dimly lit, helped me feel comfortable in my own body, and reminded me that it was my practice to move in a way that makes me feel a sense of ease in my own body and a sense of love for myself. Love for myself in this damaged hurt body! I thought… This teacher played great music and she got me to move my body in a way that felt so nice to open my arms, open my hips, create space in my shorter leg, help me find some strength in my core and in my heart. She got me out of my head and into my body...The body that is the home for my soul. The only home I will ever ever have. She helped me find courage, strength, and love within myself. I am forever grateful to have found yoga and to have found teachers to remind us that it is our practice, to break out of our comfort zone and explore our infinite possibilities. It takes courage and strength to do something that's good for you...it's not always easy. What's easy is to take the low road and take a pain pills or drink and eat bad and get hooked on shows on TV ....that's just going to distract your mind.
Using my body as an experiment for the last 35 years in healing, and being in and out of physical therapy all these years.. I have learned that strength is equally as important as stretch. Our skeletal system is supported by our muscular system. To help alleviate pain in our joints we need to keep ourselves strong, in the core especially.
I am 43 years old now still have my original hip, still wear a lift in my shoe, and do my best every single day to take care of this home that my soul lives in.
I encourage you to do the same.
We are perishable what we do matters. Please never take for granted our abilities or anyone else's disabilities. Let's help the world become a better place starting with ourselves. 🙏