Standing’s Domino Effect

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Grateful that the rhythms of life were finally boomeranging back to me, I was still far from the imperfectly perfect body I had always appreciated. I knew my body wasn’t fully recovered even after five, long years of a diet overhaul and a strict training regiment. But, hope filled my heart as I was eagerly moving in the right direction.

Or, so I thought. Manifesting thoughts, feelings, words, and energy to adequately express and write about these past, strenuous six months has been impossible…until now.

image-8-e1462932155548-300x225Just as I was starting to feel good and really get back into the swing of life, standing brought with it a blind-sided sucker punch. Unfamiliar muscle spasms and tightness tugged mercilessly on my body, in early October, 2015. This new, painful ailment rendered me stressed out, extremely frustrated, and at times, immobile. What was happening to cause such spasms in the lower half of my body? Why now?

Muscle weakness always played a familiar, never painful, constant in my life. This new tightness, which I can only attribute to the fact of placing new demands on docile muscles, was accompanied by a useless and unwanted strength.

The muscles were becoming so tight that they, literally, were pulling my bones out of ailignment. And, they weren’t just pulling out my usual troublesome SI joint . The spasms were rotating my pelvis, throwing out my hips and sits bones, and even effecting my bladder. The domino effect was in full force. If one went, they all went. Internally, my pelvis felt like it was floating on a free-flowing water bed while awkwardly balancing on a pile of Jenga blocks. The act of sitting was painfully challenging. Nothing felt normal. Nothing was consistent. The inconsistency was maddening at times!

Standing wasn’t totally foreign to me since I could walk with assistance until I was 12 years old. But, even at such a young age, it was never easy. However, I was oblivious to the fact that standing at the age of 49 could never trump 37 years of sitting in a wheelchair. In reality, when it came to standing, 30 years of muscle memory proved too much for my body to overcome after only 6 months of vertical conditioning in a stander. My muscles became confused after asking them to perform one “unnatural” way for so long and, now, requiring them to perform the way God intended. They were having no part of it. They revolted! They were not happy…and neither was I!

My wacky norm, again, tilted way off kilter. Mobility had always graced me with independence. Strong hips propelled me when scooting, moving and transferring myself. For the first time, immobility became an issue. Scooting and transferring, two of my main sources of transportation, were off limits. Any movement would throw me out. My parents, showing the truest meaning of unconditional love, delicately assisted me, daily, when moving from point A to point B. As one who never took movement for granted, freedom of mobility became even more preciously treasured.

“You ran a marathon…,but forgot to run the 5k,” consoled Dr. Cris as I was lying on her adjustment table, tears streaming down my face. Being upset was partly due to excruciating pain. The other part, pure disappointment.

A case of too much, too fast?…probably. Chalk it up to a hard lesson well learned, but will, absolutely, never regret trying.

As much as I hated it, my intuition sensed that the “growing pains” I was experiencing were necessary in order for my body to gain future strength and stability. Prayer sustained me through more than a few agonizing days, but sometimes just lingering in faith was all I could muster. This inexplicable, disheartening phase thoroughly tested my faith. I knew that God had my back, and that there was a reason for all this physical turmoil. He just hadn’t let me in on it, yet.

As the days dwindled, the arrival of each holiday meant a fresh chance to set a goal to feel good by. Consistent adjustments with Dr. Cris twice a week, and biweekly workouts with trainer Bob, left me in a holding pattern. Nothing was working. As Halloween, birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas came and went, diminishing patience was a direct result of gradually increasing time and pain .Two weeks after Christmas brought anguish never before experienced. Unable to sit up or lie down, the task of getting comfortable was non-existent. Physically feeling like I was drowning in quicksand, my health continued to decline no matter how hard I fought. A big shout out to my mom, dad, and neighbors, Billy and Helene Peppard, who lifted me in all aspects when I could no longer lift myself. My family and I were exhausted, and at our wits end. I knew I needed a different approach. At the time, there were no details to this ambiguously, foggy plan.

Luckily, God’s plan was crystal clear. My wireless intuition just needed to fine-tune into His channel. I knew in my heart that my SI joint was the catalyst. If I could just keep my SI in place as soon as it started to slip, giving it a chance to heal, that everything else would follow suit.

The only doctor who originally diagnosed and relieved my SI joint pain, and who created positive physical change when all others failed, is Dr. Cris. She is definitely one of the most influencial people in my life. I am so blessed and thankful to call her my doctor and friend. She, also, introduced me to Dr. Maureen Jamieson, a chiropractor who adjusted me when Dr. Cris was out of town. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that chiropractors have distinctly individual techniques when it comes to adjusting. Dr. Cris is skilled, focused, intuitive, and a master at working on the entire body. Dr. Jamieson’s yoga background brings a gentler chiropractic technique as she massages each joint before an adjustment. My body was ready for some TLC, and my wallet could afford twice a week visits to Dr. Jamison, as opposed to once a week with Dr. Cris.

I knew I was on the right track with Dr. Jamieson’s biweekly adjustments and Dr. Cris’ monthly adjustments, giving my body less down time when out and more time to be stable. Now, muscle spasms were the major problem ruining each fresh adjustment. It was imperative to impede the spasms. Although medication was not my preferred choice when calming my muscles, all other natural alternatives failed to give any relief. Saying, “Yes,” to drugs gave me temporary muscle relief for a few hours, but more importantly, allowed the muscles to relax. This enabled the SI joint to start stabilizing and initiate healing. Still no permanent solution, at this point, I took what I could get! Yet, I prayed that I could find a natural alternative to replace the medication.

Ever thankful, the clarity and fortitude inspired by the Holy Spirit navigated my health around what often felt like insurmountable obstacles. Through His guidance, strength and flexibility are slowly being regained, giving me confidence that I will be able to trust my body. Once again, hope fills my heart!
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