"Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go."
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
Despair....who asked you to the party?
So I've had this lingering, sucky cold for a month now, and on top of that, one morning I realized that my knee wouldn't move. It hurt! It wouldn't straighten; it wouldn't bend. I couldn't power through it. So I did what seems natural. I gave up. A lifetime of illnesses, surgeries, pain joined me, and we all agreed that this was the end of a great life.
After a while, in the way we notice at any party, the conversation grew tiresome. My curiosity wandered away. So I thought, "I have a torn meniscus." The pad between the bones in the knee are in little pieces. Every so often a piece moves into the wrong place. I thought, "I know a lot. I can inch this thing out of the way." I did tiny experiments, and learned that resting in between was part of the solution. Gradually, my knee began to bend a little, But if I moved even a tiny bit out of line, pain would take my breath away. It took an hour, but at the end of the hour, I was completely out of pain and dancing up and down the stairs.
Do I blame myself for the despair? No. It was part of the process. This knee thing was no small deal.
I felt the weight of it and got to be reminded that I had good reasons for feeling bad. When we are tiny, especially before we can remember that just because mom is out of the room, doesn't mean she's gone forever, pain lasts a huge part of our life...because we've hardly lived! And we don't know it will end.
I've reassured "little me" a lot. I know what's true. Pain changes. Despair ends. As May Sarton says, "...nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go."
And I say, then go for gold!
So the 3 amazing things to remember:
How about you? Are you dancing down the stairs; problem solved? Or is there something that needs to be addressed? Something that's pulling on your energy. And, frankly, something you've grown tired of despairing about.
Let's have a conversation. I've helped thousands of people decrease their pain; gently and easily increase their activity and get their Mojo back. Call me in the Portland, Oregon area to set up an appointment at
503-230-0812. Let's get you feeling better!
2.5 Million Americans are Living with an Artificial Hip
In 2014 there was a 123 percent increase in hip replacements for patients age 45-64.
The technology gets better every year. And once you're over the healing hump, getting back to the life you longed for can be easy--or not.
The bones have healed, and all the rest of the tissues have knitted, but you will most likely be stuck in some of the movement patterns that you subconsciously learned while your old hip went down hill. Did that take 5 years or 30?
Previously useful movement habits need to change. What can you do about it?
This is the #1 reason to get Physical Therapy after a hip replacement. If the first round of PT doesn't get you where you want to be, advocate for another round. Don't be cowed by a physician who says you don't need it if you feel that you do. After my first hip replacement in 1986, my back went "out" from the change in my leg length, and my doctor refused to prescribe PT, saying, "PT will just make you feel better, not heal you." I took a little trip from despair to determination and talked with my OB-GYN who gave me a prescription for PT. And that got my mojo back!
Get into the water. Water exercise in which you're standing so you have some stability, and moving against water (preferably a warm pool: 92-94 degrees) is one of the best rehab exercises you can do. Of course, check with your doctor to be sure you're ready for this. Remember to walk backward and sideways as much as you move forward in order to work against resistance on all sides.
So find a pool in your area and go! Make it there 3 days a week.
A little push several times a day is better than one big challenge, especially early on. Your goal is increased strength, range and ease of movement, and decreased pain. If you push yourself into too much pain or exhaustion, and without a PT to motivate and guide you, you will back off or worse, stop and assume this is as good as it gets. So decide on a small goal that you will do repeatedly. It makes a difference.
Walk. Walk. Walk.
THIS IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT GETS.
I know, because I've had both hips replaced and revised (yes that's 4 surgeries over 30 years). I've had PT on land and in water. I've had chiropractic to help my scoliosis deal with the changes in my hips. And I've gotten Aston-Kinetics bodywork to un-stick scarred and stuck tissue and to get coached on my own easy, pain-free gait. I have tons of things I've learned and come back to that give me an active life. And sometimes, I just have to go back to my Aston-Patterner to be reminded, or fine tune part of my movement pattern. I didn't have to do it alone and neither do you.
It's why I became an Aston-Patterner in the first place. It works.
I've helped loads of people with joint replacements. People who were frustrated because they weren't back to activities they thought they'd be able to do again. People who wanted more out of life.
Recovering a healthy gait, or pattern of walking is a puzzle that can take time to unravel. So think about this:
How much is it worth to you to be able to play, to dance, even to walk without pain? What would your life look like if you weren't limited by pain or effortful movement? Are you ready to take charge of tuning up your physical mojo? What do you need to put in place so you're ready?
Contact me now @ valerie@MojoRecoveryTherapies.com to set up a conversation.
Or just call 503-709-9983.
If you're out of the Portland, Oregon area, click here find an Aston-Patterner near you.
Do you want a kick-start to feel better fast? Click here to get my free booklet.
I'm Valerie Lyon, the Mojo Recovery Therapist.