Tag Archive | Spinal cord injury

Reality is Sugar Free

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Some of my doctors are better than others at providing a clear view of reality, while others offer the sugar coated version. Some are extremely confident while others provide wiggle and waffle room. I would, sociologically speaking, find it fascinating if it wasn’t my future we were discussing.

I visited one of the top spine rehab neurologists in the country yesterday. I’m glad I didn’t get my hopes up before the visit, but I am also glad I went so this can be settled once and for all.

His phrasing refreshingly sugar free, so I am going to provide a  summary of our discussion here.

Dr: What is it that you think I can help you with today? What brings you here?
Me: Well, I haven’t seen a neurologist for my spine since I was a child, after the initial injury occurred, and based on a recommendation from my physical therapist I wanted an evaluation of current status and what I might expect for healing, and if you could do anything for the other bothersome symptoms I have like stomach issues, bowel/bladder, leg twitches while sleeping, balance trouble, leg weakness, things like that. And I wanted to see if you had any information on how this might effect vestibular function or migraines. (I think I rambled on a bit actually but that was basically what I tried to say)

He gave me a good long stare.

Dr: I have reviewed your charts. I see your xray here (points to screen) and this is not a healthy spine, I would be amazed if you didn’t have balance issues and leg twitches. I saw your vestibular testing, some of that was rediculous to give to you, you have impartial messages going through half your body, of course your brain is confused by that, that doesn’t indicate malfunction, that indicates adaptation to so many years of your central nervous system doing its best.

He then did a standard neuro exam – watched me walk up and down a very long hallway, hit reflex points in knees, feet, ankles, arms with his rubber hammer, had me try to push against his hands in various positions to check strength. He noted the weakness, abnormal reflexes, difference in size and temperature of my legs.

He made that face they always do when they confirm spinal nerve damage. Even when they know, they don’t like to see it. I don’t like it either.

He seems like he wants to dismiss me, and I almost panic, this can’t be it, I waited 4 months to see him, drove 2 hours, and walked 20 min, waited an hour past my time. I was getting my questions answered.

Me: Would it be worthwhile at this point to do any testing to evaluate the nerve health, like EMG or anything else to see how the nerves are functioning now? Either to help with physical therapy or provide information as to the extent of the damage? Give me realistic expectations?

Dr: No. It would not be useful. We use those tests as pass/fail, the numbers are irrelevant for treatment. You have already failed without further testing, you have signs of severe nerve damage. If we tested you, your numbers may come out high or low, but they will come out as abnormal, which we already know, so its a waste of time and money.

Me: Oh. I see. So I was once told that I might expect some healing every 10 years or so, the rate of nerve growth. Is that still true based on recent medicine?

Dr: Only the Good God knows if you may expect some healing, but some doctors do say some stupid things, don’t they? This type of damage is not known to be reversible and at some point it may be time to stop seeing doctors and get on and live your life as you can.

I had to blink that back, totally was not expecting that response.

Me: Okay… but what about some of the other secondary symptoms. I’d really like to sleep better. Anything to help my legs stop moving and twitching? Or to keep my stomach moving along to prevent the heartburn and constipation? Or to give me better sensation to know when it is time to use the bathroom instead of watching the clock?

Dr: We don’t have any magic pills for you. Again, with the damage and curve still left in in your spine I would expect some considerable irritation and twitching. You should ask a GI about those other issues. What I will do for you is contact your vestibular therapist and add some exercises to your plan that will help with balance, make you more confident, and reduce falls. I’m also referring you to a vestibular neurologist. There’s nothing more we can do for your spine. You should know it is very strong now, between the fusion and the hardware, your spine itself is quite safe and protected within its armor. You could still pull a muscle, but there is nothing you could do to hurt your spine, even drive a truck over it. hehehe

He recommended Otago and Tinetti exercises. I looked them up and found that they are mostly for older adults fall prevention. Hmm. Seems like my CNS has aged prematurely. Here is info on Otago and here is some on Tinetti exercises, each has a pdf to download and youtube of course has many videos too.

So I guess I appreciated his attempt to give me confidence and lighten the mood. I believed him, every word. My spine is solid. The damage has not changed much since I was 12, I don’t really expect it to change much, better or worse, so I guess I can accept that. It isn’t something that needs monitored. OK. I am fine with one less doctor, really I am.

And I agree that I don’t need any more painful, expensive tests to prove what we already know. Fine. Move on.

Somewhere I was maybe hoping for some radical new treatment, something cool with stem cells, or a brand new medicine that speeds up nerve transmission, or something that filters out these random twitches, an implant, an electrode…but no such luck. Its ok. I’m ok. I’m glad I asked.

 

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Some questions have more than one right answer

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Taking tests in school I never much cared for multiple choice tests that allowed for more than one right answer, as in check all that apply. I always had an uneasy feeling that I was being tricked somehow, or that I was missing something.

I get the feeling my doctors are feeling the same way right now as they sort through my symptoms and test results. It seems that I have more than one reason for some of my symptoms, and they could be working together in some cases. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

So let’s narrow this down to one issue I have right now out of the dozens. We are actively working on vestibular dysfunction. The vestibular system is a complex combination of eyes, ears and central nervous nervous. I have several abnormal symptoms, but I want to focus on just one to show how difficult this process is. I have trouble standing on uneven surfaces. By trouble, I mean I get disoriented, a dizzy, lightheaded feeling comes over me, my vision dims, my chest tightens and it gets difficult to breathe, my knees buckle and sway, my leg muscles spasm and tighten, I get nauseous…depending on what it is I fall over, nearly pass out, or need help getting off the surface. Examples are squishy snow, mud and sand. Memory foam. It takes forever to find shoes without memory foam now, but it is absolutely evil. Basically any type of foam. They have a blue bit of foam they keep pulling out at the doctors or physical therapy that I now refer to as the blue bit of doom. It looks like this.71-ZQEqun2L._SL1351_.jpg

Seems innocent enough. But when I stand on that, I completely malfunction. Okay, the first time it was a complete shock to everyone and I did almost fall and we all went “what the heck was that?” But now they pull it out, and I say I cant stand on that, they give me a bar to hold onto and a couple of spotters and allow me to ease my weight onto it.

So it shows a problem with my nerves, that part is clear. But where? The physical therapist was explaining to me that my legs don’t seem to be getting clear signals back to my brain. When we encounter squishy surfaces it engages our balance system and our brain has to make all  these tiny corrections of flex and relax. It seemed like the “relax” portion of the messages were not coming back, so my legs would get tighter and tighter only, never correcting for this position, completely lost and confused.

So I’ve been mentioning this to several different doctors now and with the new data, it may not be all from my lumbar spinal cord injury, but a processing delay in my brain as well. Like all these confused signals jam up my brain and it can’t keep up like it used to. This is my current understanding anyway.

What do I do with that? Meet more doctors of course. I see a spine rehab specialist tomorrow to see if he can help sort out which of this stuff is coming from the spine and which is coming from the brain and then maybe we can make a plan after that. I’m extremely anxious but also a bit eager to meet this new doc tomorrow. He is basically the guy I should have met nearly 30 years after my first back surgery went wrong and my parents didn’t let me have aftercare. I’m hopeful he may have some tips or meds for me to help with all the issues that come along with a spinal injury at waist level: bowel, bladder, digestion, twitching legs, legs moving in sleep, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, drop foot, knee pain…. and now how it has affected my central nervous system, chronic sleep issues, migraines.

I’m very curious if he has another piece of this puzzle, and maybe some advice to make my life slightly more comfortable. It’s going to be difficult and embarrassing to discuss some of these private issues, but I feel I’m up to it. I have my notecard with a checklist so I don’t forget anything. I takes months to get in and see a doctor like this, better be prepared for your 10 minutes with him. I’m only half joking. I’m sure I will be assessed by a PA or fellow or student thoroughly and then the doctor will try to dismiss me, and it will be up to me to make my case both interesting and valid. I’m also being realistic. I understand I have had this injury since I was 12. I am not asking for a cure and I know it isn’t likely that they can improve the conditions of the nerves themselves at this point. But I want to hear him tell me that AFTER he has done some testing and really considered my situation. Which I know means hours of poking and prodding, likely some nerve conduction tests which are not pleasant at all. And hopefully some other tests or procedures that I don’t even know exist that is brand new and high tech and showing promise with incomplete injuries like mine. I’m just so tired of them giving up on me before even starting, so please new doctor, please be open minded.

Mama needs a new pair of shoes

My mom’s memorial service is tomorrow morning.

I’m still breathing, and I guess I’m holding it together somewhat because here I am typing, not hiding under my blanket in a dissociative state.

I can’t wear pretty or even most normal shoes. I’d like to look nice for my mom’s service. I’m unable to wear anything resembling girl shoes at this time, so a dress is definitely out. Planning what to wear has been horrible, in one way it doesn’t matter, in another it matters a great deal, and mostly, it is just making the fact that mom is gone way, way, too real.

I’ve been wearing one pair of sneakers for the past year or so since this hemiplegic migraine stuff started. I only have one pair of shoes that I can get my weak foot into without it crumpling up inside or twisting when I walk. Once I determined I had a nice pantsuit to wear, I was not too keen on wearing these beat up blue sneakers with it.

I asked Hubby to help me buy some nicer shoes. I need it to be totally flat, no arch support, and no memory foam that they seem to be putting in everything, and no heels of course, and no odd textured soles that slip out from under me. I need the shoe itself to be lightweight, I’m already limping and dragging. It needs to be flexible, not too stiff, so it doesn’t push back against the way I limp and trip me.

I tried on some cute shoes first. That was a mistake, because it hurt deeply when I couldn’t even stand up in them, unable to support any weight on my weak foot and ankle. Next I tried some loafer styles, but they were too open and didn’t come up high enough and slipped right off my noodlish foot. You see, you don’t think about how much muscle tone your foot has, but when it is gone you can’t even hold a slipper on it, it just slides off when you lift your leg. Next I tried some shoes that had laces, almost like men’s dress shoes. They stayed on, but either my toes crumpled up and I couldn’t flatten them inside, or they were too stiff and heavy.

Cue the flashback. And the tears. I was suddenly 12 again, desperately trying to get a recently paralyzed leg to wear the 7th grade band uniform black dress shoes to go with the black skirt. I made myself a toe splint out of popsicle sticks and medical tape, one stick under each toe and then a support bar under the ball of the foot and one on its side in between each toe jam, and between the toes and ball. Then I packed tissue in all around it to make up for loss of muscle tone, and taped the shoe to my actual foot in every place I could as well to keep it from sliding off. I made it through the concert and afterwards unwrapped a very bloody foot that night, but I was very pleased with myself because it worked, the shoe stayed on. I played perfectly and smiled prettily during the concert, no one knew about the construction set in my toes or the blood seeping into the tissues. I thought that was a normal solution and that I did a good job. No one, not even my parents knew what I did or how it hurt. They didn’t force me to do this, I did it myself, because I had to. I knew I had to hide my flaws, solve my own problems, and smile while doing it. So I did.

I told Hubby about the flashback and wiped away the tears. He said something like, “This is so not fair you have to go through this again” I said “yes, but this time, you need to tell me that the shoes don’t matter. Right?? That if the only shoes I can find are zebra striped and hot pink, that I’m more important. That walking without pain, that not falling, is more important. You need to tell me that now. Tell me.” Seriously I am laughing at the absurdity of the cruelty of the universe to have weakened my leg so much again, to send me back to these childhood memories. But I’m almost wondering if I have to relive some of this crap to let it go. Because this time I won’t hurt myself, and this time I have people that care more about me than the impression it would make if people knew I couldn’t wear the proper shoe.

Hubby looked right at me and told me the words I should have heard long ago. That its okay to show up wearing whatever shoes can get me there with the least amount of pain. That no one cares if my shoes match, that they only care about me. Then he looked at me with that sideways look he gets, and asked if that was what I need to hear? Because he thought I should know that. I confirmed I needed to hear it, needed permission to do something ‘wrong’ like wear the wrong shoes, because I’ve never been important, I’ve never been anything. He says ‘Hmmm…’

We both seemed to gain strength from that, and looked over the store shelves one last time before giving up. I finally found something! I couldn’t have done it without Hubby’s help – both his physical help of bending and getting shoes from low shelves, and his emotional support. I would have given up like I had the other times I had tried to find shoes in the past year and came back with only my ratty old sneakers again.

So I am sorry mom. I tried, I really did, but the only shoes I could find are actually suede boots. But it snowed again yesterday so boots aren’t so out of season even though it is Spring, and it will look fine with my black jacket. And with a little luck I won’t fall when I wear these-practicing at home here today. They aren’t comfortable, that would be asking too much – but they are lightweight, flexible, flat, and have good traction.

This made me think of an old commercial for perfect fitting socks…found it…   🙂

So my noodlish drop foot is only one concern weighing on me. I’m dealing with each one as it comes up, somehow. But I feel like a punching bag. Or maybe a barfbag. Katy Perry feels like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind. I have one of those stuck in the thorns of my rose bush outside, so maybe that works too. I feel baggy. Out of control. And so damn tired. Enough already.

Shoes done – check!

Next I get to fight with my insurance company and see why they denied approval for my surgery. On Wednesday. Yeah. Seriously. Just let me take care of myself without fighting so hard. Why….

 

Trusting Dr to relieve pain

This Dr didn’t run away or insult me! He’s up for the challenge of a ‘complicated’ spine.

I’ve seen numerous orthos and neuros over the past 20 years for the chronic pain, balance, weakness, and whole big ball of tricks my spinal cord injury causes me. Now see it has been tricky to find a Dr that would treat me, they either say I must see the Dr who originally did the surgery…yes well that was over 20 years and he was pediatric surgeon and is now retired and well my a$$hole AF tried to sue him for paralyzing me during the surgery so I didn’t really get great after care so I waited until I was an adult.

No I don’t have any records from that surgery because well see above, and the hospital threw out all my records without asking me and I didn’t know they could do that because I hadn’t been there in over 10 years because I was busy learning how to walk again, escaping AF, raising my kids, and it didn’t dawn on me to take care of myself.

I have such a rare childhood scoliosis with full fusion and metal instrumentation along with the nerve damage and now so many degenerative discs and odd bone formations from the areas of the curve that were not corrected in my lower back and neck that each top spine surgeon would refer me to another, wait another 6 months for that appointment to be asked the same stupid and triggering questions all over again.

Well I think I found a guy. good and bad, because we may be talking surgery…

He says he does 4-5 cases like me a year, he was not phased by my complexity at all. He is ordering full contrast CT scans and we will meet again in a few weeks. I felt at ease with him and his office, other than the triggers, so many unavoidable triggers. But I used my new skills to keep myself grounded and present and lower anxiety and it was pretty much ok, ok enough that I went and I’m ok to go again.

It’s so hard for me to trust Dr’s so this is a huge step. Feeling scared and hopeful too. He might be able to repair and reconstruct some bad discs and restore the natural lumbar curve I should have instead of this fix flat back that is painful and hurts my hips and legs and makes it hard to stand and walk. I’m ready to let him try, at this point, I’m not working, I can barely walk anyway, I’m working on my mental health, why not consider attacking some chronic pain issues too? Back surgery has come a long way since 1988….

So I’ve only just met him, nothing has been decided or even actually discussed yet. I’m just amazed that I’m willing to discuss it. Does this mean I have less fear? Think I’m worth it? Or just making sure I don’t have to go back to work anytime soon? Or do I actually think I might die during surgery and this is me giving up? I’m actually not sure why my brain is allowing me to do this finally.

I think its because the gabapentin gave me a taste of a life with slightly less pain, and now I’m curious if we can do even better. What if more of my energy could go into living life instead of distracting from pain? That’s a huge what if, and so I’m tackling that from both physical and mental dimensions.

I’m way too stubborn to admit DBT way be working for me, especially after that terrible post I had about all being crap. Much of it was crap. But damn sometimes great things grow in crap, right? hmmm. My brain is thinking different thoughts. I know it is. Too hard to explain yet though.

The weird thing was this guy was so alarmed at my neuro state in general, my entire right side, my arm has such a deficit like my leg now.Most days I can barely hold a pen long enough for my signature. He said I have the same appearance as his older patients that suffered a stroke years ago. I explained to him about the hemiplegic migraines, and he said “hmmph” and asked me if I had a head MRI because he only saw head CT on file. I was like ummm ???? And then he got angry and said I need to call my neuro and ask for one right away. ok…

So I did call them today and of course the neuro I was seeing there has left the hospital and I have not yet been reassigned a new Dr and blah blah blah, and oh they did see some notes that I was not to have an MRI due to the metal in my back, and said well I just came from back specialist and he said its fine to have the MRI done and to call you…The nurse says well why didn’t he order one then – well because he is a spine specialist and he wouldn’t be able to read it for me, so he was just telling me that out of concern. I love (really dont love at all) this part, being my own advocate, spending hours on the phone, never knowing what to do, wishing a dr would treat ALL of me, wishing insurance would let them even if they knew how. So someone will call me tomorrow.

Its a good thing I’m not working because its a full time job being this sick

My body is talking to me

English: A young seal at Donna Nook This perso...

I thought this little guy’s tummy was a much better image to share my own 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My body is finally talking to me, or I am finally able to interpret what it says, not sure which. Either way, I am very happy about this development!

I have had a long journey, spanning 3 decades, of disordered eating. Between the dulled nerves from my spinal cord injury and constantly ignoring whatever hunger signals I did have (for various reasons I have posted about previously), I can’t recall ever feeling full or satisfied from food. I remember that feeling of being over-full, like after thanksgiving or my binge sessions, but I never had the “you’re almost full, you can stop eating now” signal.

Until recently. Yay! I apologize if this post seems silly, like ‘is she really writing about how her belly feels’? Yes, yes I am.

I decided to use the New Year as motivation to improve my health (like so many others, but hey, I don’t have to be unique). I don’t have a specific weight loss goal, instead I am focusing on eating more whole foods and less junk, and exercising daily (wii fit plus!). I used to rely on so many boxed and packaged foods to quickly feed my family. We are getting much less wrapped food now, and instead going for fruits, veggies, greek yogurt, cheese, etc when we want a snack. Sugar is being reduced slowly, but significantly. I’m not going health food crazy, just little changes that I am hoping will add up over time. Teaching myself and my kids how to make healthy choices. (Hubby is a lost cause I’m afraid 🙂

The first time I felt full was about 2 weeks ago. It was such a strange feeling, I actually had no idea what it was. I thought maybe I had some gas or IBS acting up, but realized it wasn’t uncomfortable, just foreign. I ignored it, and then it happened again the next time I ate. I still had food on my plate, but I felt this strange feeling again. I actually thought something was wrong, and that maybe I was getting that tummy virus that had been going around, so I stopped eating dinner and didn’t eat any more that night, just in case.

Next morning I was woken up by my tummy growling. What? I have heard other people’s tummy, but not my own in way too many years. I ate a little breakfast, and had that same strange feeling. It was then I figured it out. My tummy was telling me I had enough to eat! Is this what full feels like?

I am so happy to have rediscovered what should be such a basic part of my functionality. I keep listening to this new feeling, and it keeps coming back, and feels so good now. It is such a simple contented feeling, and so peaceful. And I have already lost 5 pounds this year. I don’t think my scale has gone backwards for over a year and a half, maybe longer.

Here’s to a healthier year!

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You’re Already a Dancer

I debated sharing this one, as I wasn’t sure if it gave too many personal details. But I’m starting to wonder what does it really matter? So here goes.

I started a new type of dance class again. It is a dance just for women. My friends are already quite good at it, and I NEVER thought I would be dancing with them when I first met them. Has it been nearly 2 years now? Woah. Yes, I met them the August before last, because they posted a call for musicians to accompany them while dancing. I answered that call – and it changed my life.

Why didn’t I think I would be dancing? Well, I assumed the world of dance was closed to me, due to a spinal cord injury in my youth. I had severe scoliosis, and the surgery to straighten my spine had complications that left me unable to walk for an entire summer. And left me with a limp for the past 25 years. Only recently have the nerves begun to heal and allow my little leg (That’s what I call it, because it looks like a peg leg with no muscle at all, and calling itm y weak leg never sounded nice to me) to regain strength. Over the years, and many ortho docs and neuro docs, they all told me it was hopeless, and that muscles to do not regrow. Muscles and nerves do not regrow quickly – is what they should have said.

And what do I think has helped me regain control and strength the most? Dancing. Yup. All the physical therapy and exercise in the world  never seemed to help me reconnect how to use that little leg automatically. It was always an extra thought process. Walking, for me, has been a mindful “heel, toe, heel, toe” concentration and if I lost lost thought or got startled, it was a stumble instead.

Michael Jackson dancing with the living dead.

Michael Jackson dancing with the living dead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last fall I decided to join a dance class. It was to learn a version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller! My friends encouraged me to join, saying anyone could dance like a zombie, limping was actually a good thing! So I did, and it was wonderful. And difficult. And painful.  I had never tried anything so difficult. I would watch the instructor and the others in class pick up new steps easily, but I had no mind-body connection and struggled with each step. The pain afterwards was excruciating and baby muscles tore and grew. My awesome instructor adapted a few moves for me, the ones that required too much weight on my little leg. When it was over, I missed dancing.

So I joined another class with those lovely ladies – beginning bellydance! What? Me?

Belly dance

Belly dance (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

A Mother, a musician, someone with a fused spine and a little leg? Yup Me. It was also great fun and made me feel powerful. Then this past Fall, I performed another Thriller performance, and now more bellydancing classes. This whole troupe is women of all ages, from 20 to I’m guessing the oldest is upper 60’s since her daughter is in the class too and is my age. We laugh, we smile, and we work hard to show what powerful forces women are. It is not naughty or ultra seductive, not really, most of us hardly bare any skin. It is family-friendly. It is womanly, and beautifully choreographed, and absolutely mesmerizing to watch.  It is just beautiful and makes everyone smile.

I bought my own jingly hip scarf, and I’m so excited to wear it to class for the first time tonight. They say I’m a natural, that my music background allows me to feel the music. I love playing music with my hips! Each step is a playful, yet powerful “Ching-Ching!”

And I will never forget the words of instructor, as I told how pleased I was to even dream of becoming a dancer, something i never thought was possible for me. She looked surprised and said, “Dream of becoming a dancer?? My darling, you’re already a dancer!” Ileft that day with joyful tears in my eyes and a new resolve to tackle this life of mine.

And so, I am revealing my new goal. This summer, I hope to bellydance with my girls at the festival performances that I usually only play music for. It would show an acceptance of myself and my body that I never thought possible. So we’ll see what happens. I certainly never saw this coming!

Healthy Habits and Growing Pains

I found this article motivational today.

http://zenhabits.net/7-little-habits-that-can-change-your-life-and-how-to-form-them/

I’ve been working on step 1:Positive Thinking for a few years, and actually do squash negative thoughts fairly effectively – most of the time. Thinking positive, to me, does not mean you have to be disgustingly, gushingly happy and cheerful 24/7. To me, it means that you do not give up hope when things go wrong. It means you stop the negative spiral into despair, and know and trust in yourself that you can stop it. My positive thinking mantra is very simple.

I WILL BE OK. IT WILL BE OK. PERFECTION IS NOT NEEDED. THIS IS NOT PERFECT RIGHT NOW. OK IS OK.

I am now working on the second step listed in the article: Exercise.

I have learned so many ways to trick myself into NOT exercising over my 36 years, that I often don’t do it. So I figured out ways now to trick myself INTO exercising, little bits here and there. I combined it with my other least favorite thing to do, waiting. Every morning I kiss my darlings and bid them a fond farewell (Go, just go already!) as they head out to the bus stop. The school bus comes to the end of my street, 2 houses away. I can watch my kids through the window while they experience morning weather and I hide inside in my jammies. Everyone goes to the bus stop about 10-15 minutes early, and I used to struggle to stay at the window the entire time to make sure they get on the bus safely. One day I started doing some fidgets and toe taps to keep me there. Next day I added wall presses. Next day I added leg lifts. And now, I just realized, I look forward to my 10-15 minutes of exercise every day. I basically stand still the entire time, and use the window frame to push against for great stretches and isometrics. I get a nice burn in my arms, chest, bottom, tummy – everything really.

I’ve been doing this routine for a month or so now without really thinking about it. I noticed yesterday that a blouse with elastic ruffly gathered sleeves (I know nothing about clothes, so giving a visual, probably not the right words) did not touch my arms any more. At first I thought it must have gotten stretched out, but a quick tug showed the elastic to be in good shape, and a look in the mirror showed my arms to be in good shape too! Is that, wait for it. . . . muscle tone? Hooray! All those wall presses have given a slight tone and definition to my biceps and triceps, and much less jiggle hanging off my arm. It was a magical moment. Although I am in a normal weight range, my muscle tone was equal to umm, about that of a jellyfish.

Dance Floor

Dance Floor (Photo credit: enric archivell)

 

So when one of my dancer friends told me she was starting a beginner dance series, I knew I had to do it. I had my first class yesterday! It was fun, yet challenging. I have danced with them before, but in a comical style that did not require much skill, grace or strength. I am not naming the style of dance I am learning now, but it takes a lot more control than anything I tried before. My weak leg (from a childhood spinal cord injury in case you don’t know) was screaming and twitching (one move with knee bent and toes extended is actually one of the tests the neurologists do on me to evaluate spinal nerve health and triggers the twitching, but I learn to adapt and be OK with what I can do) well before the hour was up, but it was a good kind of pain. A pain of growth.

And that got me thinking about how I’ve been feeling the past few weeks here mentally. All that pain – is just growing pains!

I feel more ready to accept the road ahead, to continue healing from past abuse, to recover from PTSD, when I know it is just growing pains and will only hurt a while, and I will emerge stronger and healthier from it. It also makes sense that it will hurt often, just like exercise, overdo the situps and your tummy hurts. Overdo the emotions and your brain and nerves hurt. Really is quite simple. I’m actually dancing right now with this realization. An “Oh Ya, I got this, Who’s awesome” kind of dance.

I didn’t even read the next steps of the article I have been talking about. I’m content to keep working on this goal. I’ll read number 3 when I’m ready. I don’t need to do them all right away. The first 2 are already transforming my life.