I'm starting this dialogue a little late in the game. I wish I had started blogging BEFORE my surgery, but better late than never! At present I am 6 weeks post-op, having had surgery to remove a large synovial cyst that had been growing in my spine at the L4-L5 level. It was occluding 50% of the diameter of the spinal column, right at the exit of the sciatic nerve on the right side. I'm sharing my story so as to be an example of what a consistant pilates practice can do for everyone and anyone, as we just can't know what life will bring us sometimes, and when the unexpected and unplanned happens, coming from a strong "place", increases our chances of a quicker recovery, allowing our bodies to do what it was intended to do, and that is to heal itself.
When my sciatic nerve was in spasm, due to the pressure of the cyst, I can only liken it to labor pains, which I'm very familiar with, as I'm the mother of 6, all delivered without an epidural ( although I'm sure I should have had one for a few of them, silly me!!), because i was so protective of my spine. My pilates practice had helped my spine to stay flexible and strong, as I moved into my middle years. But now, here I was with a big problem in the very place I had long protected and cared for. Contemplating how to handle the pain, and my daily living, without disturbing the anatomy of my lumbar area, was my challenge. The pain interrupted everything!! My sleep, how far I could walk, my energy level, my workouts, my social life, everything!!, as hard as I tried for it not to.
Thru sheer determination, with a big dose of help from advil and one round of steroid shots in the area, AND the support of June Hines and my fellow instructors, I never missed any work because of it, and actually depended on my pilates practice to keep me strong, keep me upbeat and positive in the face of chronic pain, and to just keep me physically moving, but moving with a purpose. My purpose being to learn as much as I could through my own body and my own symptoms, and apply it to my teaching as an instructor, to help those clients of mine that were also dealing with back problems, whether they be long standing or new.
I want to qualify my writing by saying that the human body is an amazing thing!! AND the practice of Contrology/Pilates, is just as amazing, as it allows the body, through the controlled practice and sequencing of exercises, to help the body heal on it's own, focusing on the strengths, not it's weaknesses, and allowing much needed circulation to get to those weaker parts to eventually heal, and gain strength and flexibility, so that the body can, once again, move as a complete entity. All the while, elevating the spirit and creating balance, equilibrium, and an increased sense of well-being, inspiring an even greater commitment to you one's pilates practice. Where there once was great imbalance, and a sense of disfunction, balance can be restored.
Ok,,,,,now back to ME! I'm going to end this first entry by saying I went back to work for the first time yesterday, and I can't tell you how great it was. I started slow,,in as far as my schedule went, giving just two lessons and also receiving my first pilates session myself, post op. I know , without a doubt, that having the cyst surgically removed was the best thing for ME, even though I struggled with it for about a year and a half. Allowing my body to rest and heal after the surgery was very necessary, but finally arriving at the point where I could start moving again, allowing my body to heal from what my surgeon masterfully performed, was/is, a little piece of heaven!! Yesterday was a great day!! Can't wait till Monday!!!