Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just Walking

Every Morning for the past two weeks, as part of my "I've got to do something to help my healing" campaign, I would spend about 10 minutes upon waking, lying in bed, envisioning myself walking around our new neighborhood. I would see myself pain free, walking with a normal stride, just enjoying being able to be pain free again.

I went beyond just seeing myself walk in my mind's eye, though. I would see a detailed image of myself--putting my coat on, opening the front door, opening the gate, stepping onto the sidewalk, easily crossing the street, noticing the trees, the leaves, the beautiful weather. I could easily move my knee in all directions and lightly walk up and down the streets. Eventually, I would see myself walking all the way into town and back, absolutely pain free. Totally healed.

Just as important, I would also spend time imagining, in depth, how I felt during each detail of this envisioned walk. Happy, carefree, smiling, grateful, light, and unburdened. Free of pain and freedom in being healed. I didn't dare attempt this vision until I felt I had really internalized both the physical and emotional aspects of it.

Well, today turned out to be my day! Not only did I walk three blocks to The Kid's school, but instead of coming home the same route, I turned, crossed the street and took a long walk around the neighborhood!!! It truly felt like I was making my vision come true. It was just a great couple of simple moments. The sun was shining and it was beautiful weather for October. I'm not sure how far I walked and that alone is huge because it means that I wasn't counting the blocks wondering if I would be able to make it home. No! Instead, I was just walking.

Just walking. This is a sentiment I do not take for granted, anymore.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This Cat Can Really Chill

I love my cat (whom I will refer to as "Kitty" as to protect his anonymity on this blog:) and since I've been spending a lot of time at home these past seven weeks, I appreciate him even more. He's been great company and watching him has been very entertaining. I've noticed while observing his behaviors these past weeks that this cat can really chill! Check him out here, diligently "working" on building his winter fluff. It's a difficult regimen of piling on the calories, non-activity (as much as possible), and lots and lots of napping. Rough, really rough.

This Was Not Annoying

The Kid's vocabulary and fascination with language are growing rapidly these days. During just these first few weeks of Kindergarten he has become increasingly excited with letters, new words and the meaning of words. He has always been a language kid; he talked at a very early age, he was also fascinated by books and reading at an early age, and now, he's curious and motivated to try and read and write on his own. Still, despite these realities it still kinda throws me for a loop when he throws out an understanding of language that sounds like it should be coming from an older child. Case in point, we were sitting at the table eating lunch together before school today, talking about-meta-ing, if you will-the word "annoying." What does it mean? Why would one use that word? Who would use it? After one attempt to define it for him, The Kid interrupts me and excitedly says, "I'll tell you something that's annoying. If you were a dog and you had a flea on your back, and you couldn't reach it! That's annoying. What? Why are you laughing? I saw it on "Martha Speaks" yesterday. It really was annoying!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Greetings From The Bahamas

Today was my eighth physical therapy session, and I received a great report from my physical therapist. He was busy saying things like "good job" and "way to go" and "that's it" throughout our entire session today. I even got a "that's huge!" while working on the leg press machine when he realized that, from last week until today, I had increased my leg strength and he could switch me to a higher band of resistance. I also doubled the number of reps I was able to complete. It was a much needed positive session, especially after the really tough backslide I had two weeks ago. In fact, my physical therapist thinks that I'll need just a couple of more sessions and our work together will be done.

Over the last two weeks, as I've had ups and downs with my healing process, I've learned that reconnecting with proper core and hip alignment is essential for proper knee alignment. And today, particularly, I learned one humbling lesson: my "core" muscles, or tummy muscles, well, they've seemed to have left the building, so to speak. I was wiggling and wobbling and had very, very little "core" to speak of while trying to complete a particular cross training exercise. So, yes, they have definitely left the building in the past months. I'm guessing that they've been on vacation? Probably in the Bahamas, if they know how to really take a break.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Before We Get To Tonight, We've Got To Get Through This

As I wrote yesterday, The Kid is psyched for the new Clone Wars weekly show which premiers tonight. However, before he can even think about this exciting event, he has been looking forward to watching his very favorite show "Fetch!" And, today is a most exciting event. A special, extended Fetch mini-marathon, if you will.

When I say "looking forward to" I mean that The Kid has been very persistent in tracking exactly when this show will play. He's been asking "When will it come on? Is today the day? No? Hmmm. How about tomorrow? No? Okay, well maybe you should write it on the calendar so you don't forget (I did!). Then, maybe we should look at the calendar again just to make sure we haven't mixed the days up and somehow missed the show." He's been asking about it while he's eating, getting ready for school, taking a shower, going to bed, and pretty much every other moment.

Now, in all fairness, I can be quite the TV junky myself. I have been known to write the premiers of beloved TV shows in my personal planner. I've been known to lock myself in our bedroom at night to take a break from life by watching reruns of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", uninterrupted, even though I've seen them all at least 5 times (Hey, it chills me out! I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't like video games. It's my form of escapism, what can I say.). So, I get where The Kid is coming from. Looking forward to a TV show can feel like a major event is going to happen. I get it, I really do. I just don't dog people incessantly about my favorite shows for days and sometimes weeks on end. I guess that's just one of the differences between being 38 years old and being 5 1/2 years old. When you're my age, obsessive-compulsive tendencies are no longer seen as "cute."

So, finally Fetch is on (!), and just to add a bit more excitement for him, I picked him up from school and, as a surprise, I brought him cookies baked by Aqua Man last night (They were very good. Thanks Aqua Man!). That's a pretty good start to his big Friday night, if I do say so myself.

However, after the cookies were consumed, I realized, perhaps too late, that I may be slightly out of my mind to mix double chocolate fudge cookies with extended cartoon watching. But, what can I say, that's how I do it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weighing Heavy On His Mind

This morning at breakfast, The Kid, shook his head in disbelief, let out a huge sigh and, unprompted, declared the following: "I can't believe the Clone Troopers were brainwashed by the signal that the Sith Lord turned on." It was only 6:50 in the morning.

Also, in a separate but related note, our whole household is geared up (it is unavoidable as The Kid is out of his jar excited for this show) for the premier of Cartoon Network's weekly "The Clone Wars" series.

Of course, I can't forget to mention Halloween. Only 30 days until Halloween! On this most important day (my personal favorite holiday), The Kid will leave the house dressed as either a Storm Trooper (he already has the costume-bought for him by my BFF-and often dresses up, fighting imaginary battles) or as a Clone Trooper. So, will The Kid be a good Storm Trooper or a bad Clone Trooper? Will he be both? With 30 days left until Halloween it is much too early for The Kid to decide.

May the Force be with Aqua Man and I, as the days unfold.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Since my last post, the days and nights, at times, have been filled with intense physical pain, and an ever present sense of frustration that I do my best to just acknowledge rather than to latch onto and feed. I kind of say, 'Hello frustration. Yes, I know you're there' and then try to just move on from it. Believe me, when in intense pain, not attaching to frustration is much easier said than done. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I had a total backslide. One moment I was off my crutches, slowing getting about, cutting back on my medicine, feeling sassy and, mostly, pain free. And the next moment, I quickly slid back into excruciating pain that lasted for days. Pain that I hadn't felt since the original injury. Up all night, can't go to sleep, crying, can't get comfortable, or get a break from, pain.

So what happened? A combination of doing too much partly because I had too (Aqua Man went out of town for the whole weekend for his job and I had no back up to help and life goes on with a child) and doing too much because I thought I "should" be doing more than I was (I thought I would be the "good" patient who stunned doctors with my ability to heal, well, not so much), and just the natural, lengthy process of healing a knee sprain. At my age (This statement? This seems to be something that, unsolicited, people like to remind me of these days. Great. Super. Kick me while I'm down, why don't ya!).

From this setback I have started to learn my limits, and more importantly I've gotten in touch with the exact type of movements that aggravate my knee and put me back into the place of the original injury. I'm learning to back off when I go too far. I'm learning not to go too far at all. All of it progress. Yes.

But I can't help but feel a bit disheartened today. Just six weeks ago, on Monday I was interviewing for a children's yoga instructor position, and then the next day I was on my butt having slipped and fell in that damn coffee house rendering me totally incapable of teaching. And tomorrow was supposed to be the first day of the start of my Adult Yoga Certification training program something I've been wanting to do for years now and took a tremendous amount of courage and hard work for me to work my way up to being ready to do. Obviously, I am not in a place to participate in this, and if being honest, I am a bit crushed on the eve of the start of that training program.

My best friend, an atheist and great advice giver, keeps reminding me that everything, in fact, really does happen for a reason. Being the cynic that I am, I'm not entirely sure of this. But I do believe this: Either, everything happens for a reason, or, rather, I like to find a reason in everything. I vacillate between the two sense making philosophies.

And the sense making is what I am struggling most with right now. I thought I would find something to replace my previous path by now. I thought I would have already discovered "the reason" I fell and injured my knee. I thought the "what's next" would have presented itself by now; the reason I am currently unable to teach and train in yoga. I so wanted to be the "success story"-to take an injury and turn it into something positive, something else-a new business, a new direction, a great epiphany that set me on a new, positive path. Instead, these days, I'm feeling a bit like an aging, untold story-and a boring one at that.

I know that I am back on track and slowly healing, and making progress. But it is taking all that I have right now, in terms of my healing process, to hold onto the small successes and to accept them as enough, rather than dismissing them as not enough, yet.