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Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Treasures

I've been lucky, in a way, to not have had much of a run in with death and losing loved ones. Yes I'd lost grandparents, teachers, and uncles and aunts, but no one whom I was particularly close with. (My English teacher was probably the closest, but I was out of school already when she passed away.)

But that changed this year. And fairly drastically. In January, the absolute best grandmother in the whole world passed away. Even though I wasn't as close to her as I had wanted to be, we'd had a connection that is difficult to explain. She was always there for me. If ever I needed advice or to talk, she'd be there. Even though I didn't make much use of it, just knowing that I could if I wanted to made a massive difference. And that's not even mentioning that she was the kindest most loving most forgiving and most accepting person I've ever known.

Her death changed my life quite a bit. For one, I got more into my gardening :) and I fully believe that it's her spirit that's making my garden bloom so incredibly. (Almost) more importantly, it had a drastic effect on my outlook on life. On where I was at, and how I was dealing with things. The previous year had been particularly rough for me and my reaction wasn't entirely healthy or sustainable. The change was difficult, but essential, and amazing. Her death was the push that turned me from a bud to a rose. So, thank you, Oumies.

That same transformation, as good as it was, was equally challenging. There were tough decisions, hard changes, a lot of psychological work. Apart from my awesome psychologist, I had the unending, non judgemental support of a great friend. Our friendship had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, mainly because both our lives were a roller-coaster ride at the time. But our rhythms matched and we were perfectly suited to helping each other deal with the mountains and hills of our lives. In many ways we were mirrors to each other.

In the weeks before he died, though, our friendship reached a new level. Its difficult to explain, but it's like we hadn't realised before just how supportive we had been to each other. For two weeks I consciously had this pillar of support. He'd always be there to help or encourage or advise, or just listen. Always. As was I for him. So when he died... He was suddenly just not there. Yes, that's generally what happens when people die, but... like... it was so much more than a physical loss, or an emotional loss even. A little piece of who I had become was shattered. If soul mates were a thing, then this was it. And it was gone.

If my gran helped to transform me from a bud to a rose, Cuen helped to make me bloom into a stellar rose, to start standing tall (even though I'm actually really short), to shine my brilliant colour out to the world, whilst protecting myself from... The aphids of life? 😬



I strongly believe that my gran is in my garden, and similarly that Cuen is in every bird that sings. Always there, in the background. And when you pay attention, they're the absolute beauty of the world. The birthing, growing, blooming beauty, death and re-cycling of life. A constant reminder of death, and a perpetual reminder of beauty, love, kindness, giving and caring.

Sometimes I just stop to smell the flowers (I haven't been able to keep roses alive yet) and listen to the birds. And it makes the world of difference to my day.

It may not have the same meaning to you at all, but I'd still suggest that you give it a try every now and then. It can't do any harm, but perhaps it freshens your day, or cheers you up just a tiny bit.

And hopefully this is my last somber post on death 😬

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

It's been a while

So, I haven't written for a while. It started out as a mild form of writers block, that then escalated to getting absolutely frustrated with not being able to properly convey my sentiments. In fact, the previous blog that was posted was written after this one. My frustrations led me to ask a good friend, who happened to be excellent at language and communication and bullshitting his way through meetings that had everyone believing that he was an expert in the field, to read through the rough draft and try to help me figure out what I wasn't portraying properly. He gave some excellent feedback. That was then followed by a large dose of procrastination on my part, as well as a move to a new studio space that took ages and so much effort and time.

Anyway, long story short, three days after I had moved to my new place and started getting settled, I got a message to say that my friend, the same excellent grammarian, had died in a motorbike accident.

From there, you can probably imagine why it's taken so long to get back into my blogging. Even now as I type I'm wondering if things are blurry because of my recently diagnosed astigmatism, or from the tears welling up, once again, even though it has been nearly four months.

I'll probably write another post about him, but for now, let's get on with the post of all posts, the dagger in my heart.

(Oh, also, I don't have the guts yet to post this myself, so just a quick shout out to my sister for being a rock star support. I love you.)

It never rains, it pours.


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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The bright side of pain

Sigh. The past two weeks have been horrid. Or, at least, the pain has been horrid. Which kind of makes the day horrid. Which makes a week horrid. I'm sure you get the picture.

I am, once again, on the verge of being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylosis (Ooh! I found out: spondylosis refers to the disease state, while spondylitis refers to the inflammatory flare, or specifically to the inflammation of the joints). My most recent scan shows severe inflammation in my lumbar spine, and, to a lesser degree, in my cervical spine, hips, SI joints, and knees. On top of that, I've been in a wrist brace to immobilise my wrist, so that it hopefully heals from an injury that I sustained two months ago, whilst ice skating. Or, more accurately, whilst falling, while ice skating :-p



On meeting a new client, I explained to her about my injuries (I had the brace on and she asked), and I also explained to her that, while several of my injuries are yoga related, I feel that that has contributed to making me a better teacher. My non-yoga related injuries have done the same in the sense that I know very well what to look out for, how to modify, and when to back down. I realised, while explaining this to my client, that being a chronic pain sufferer myself, puts me in a unique position to relate to people in similar situations. I know from experience that no amount of explaining or empathy can fully reveal what someone in chronic pain is experiencing, so it's super useful to have an instructor who already knows first-hand what you're likely experiencing.

While my pain and awareness of injuries may make me a little hyper cautious, I have overcome so much in the process of dealing with my own pain that I have grown my determination and confidence in my ability to help others with the same problems. Coupled with my thorough understanding of anatomy, I help people get into those show-off-y yoga poses too. Because I'm a pretty awesome yoga instructor, for people on a broad spectrum of levels and abilities.

And that is my bright side of pain!

Laughter is the best medicine. As is movement.



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Friday, 27 October 2017

New words

Some of my clients, and all of my friends, are aware of my ongoing struggle with pain. Again something that I'll probably go into in more detail as time goes by, but, for now, I thought I'd share a little bit of my current frustration with you.

Fibromyalgia: widespread pain that is present for at least three months; must occur on both sides of the body, above and below the waist, and along the length of the spine. There must be pain in at least eleven of eighteen specific points in the body.


I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It's still largely a mystery to  health professionals, and used to be used as a I-don't-know-what-is-wrong-with-you-so-let's-diagnose-you-with-this thing. There have been some advances in the understanding of fibromyalgia, like, they can now prove the brain involvement with special MRI scans which would show that the brain perceives pain differently in someone with, as opposed to without the condition. Essentially your body becomes hypersensitive to pain.

The average person takes five years to be diagnosed. This is seriously painful... in more ways than one; going for that long without knowing what is causing your often constant discomfort, having no treatment for it, and usually being told to just 'get over it', is awful.

Because fibromyalgia is still a relatively new diagnosis, and because it's such a vast disorder (symptoms vary from pain in specific tender points of the body, to IBS, to insomnia, to depression), it is often misdiagnosed (for approximately five years). Similar symptoms appear in Rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia Rheumatica, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome (aka Willis-Ekbom disease 😳), ankylosing spondylitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, major depression, thyroid disorders, myofascial pain syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity... If you understood all or most of those names, then you're either a well-trained physician, or you've been through the diagnoses wars.

If you're the latter, then my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain. And I wish you a speedy diagnosis, and a very wonderful and friendly doctor that understands your pain, too.

So far, smiling, laughing, and playing around as much as possible has been my best medicine. Doing (and sometimes teaching) yoga helps me to deal with the constant bugging annoyance of pain. Testing my limits every day, to see where my body is at, and, MOST importantly, listening when my body really just needs to rest, even if I feel like I'm just being a lazy poop, or like I'm over-reacting to the pain.









K, I've had enough of talking and typing about pain for now. So, my leaving message: just be kind to your body, dammit. And smile.



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