My interdisciplinary healing practices to heal fractured upper arm continued.....
Since I was in Florida for the winter, I had a community pool to get in every day. I found out what it was like to be in water aerobics with lovely mature women that were going after it to disco music while I was only able to let my arm float and sway just a little bit.
Doc insisted on NO weight bearing outside of being in the pool. Moving my arm up slowly through the water was a big deal. It was comforting to let my arm float while watching this lovely group of women dancing in the water to some of my favorites from KC and the Sunshine Band, Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks and Wild Cherry. Use your imagination...as it really made my heart sing. Instead of always doing the teaching, I was in a place of taking care of myself mindfully with a chance to smile with these incredible women.
I was pathetic outside of the pool. Absolutely pathetic. I missed an entire season of golf that I paid for. I could not move or do anything that made my arm jiggle in the slightest. Gravity was not my friend, not that it is at this age anyway, so I had to put my arm in a sling. I slept in a chair or had to be propped up in bed, telling my husband not to touch me every time I felt him move. The pain had gone from a 10 to a 6...but I was still pretty miserable.
After another two weeks, I called my friend, Dr. Raymond Long, who had been my guide through this entire process. He thought I was being a big baby and offered me absolutely no sympathy. I told him what I was doing and my plan of action, and he promptly said NO STRETCHING and said to try allowing my right arm to dangle when I was bent over. If that posture was pain free, to try swaying back and forth letting my right arm move from the sway. It felt lovely.
So bring on the new action plan:
I texted my niece who is a physical therapist and asked for the protocol for shoulder impingement syndrome. She sent me a pdf file that is probably a standardized way of treating shoulder impingement, but there was no way I could do even half of the exercises. I could however, do many of the exercises with adaption in the pool. From Pilates, Yoga and Yamuna Body Rolling (YBR), I focused on strength and the breath. I fell in love with the sustainable practices found in Yamuna Zake’s work. I studied yet again, Dr. Long’s work that he posts regularly on his Daily Bandha blog and found many posts that helped immensely. I felt like back bends, so I returned to the beauty of Iyengar yoga over blocks holding my elbows on my chest as I could not lift my arm yet. I could do my hip opening series without holding onto anything. I could “roll” anywhere…I loved it, even though I had to creep slowly into rolling out the back of my shoulder on the wall. So this became my daily routine, along with alternate nostril breathing with attention to bring my breath into my back upper lobes, followed by my meditation time.
My diet changed to exclude all non-foods (snack bars, chips, strange powder supplements, etc) and was whole food based excluding sugar, rice, dairy and gluten, which made me swell and retain water. Inflammation (holding on to fluid) is painful and boy, did I get an experience with food and water retention. Ghee, organic coconut oil and the best organic olive oil I could find became my only fats and I made sure I supplemented with the minerals that build bones and vitamin D3.
A few weeks later, I felt like I needed another Yamuna Body Logic session, so Cookie referred me to Dianne Glass in Sarasota, not far from us. I called her and got in the next day. AMAZING! This work is so powerful…..what more can I say. I felt as if I had been transported to a different place and I continued my learning about Yamuna Zake, and how she invented her methods. I also created more love and compassion in my life by getting a Havenese puppy in February, Gracie, who continues to fill me with joy constantly.
Love and compassion....how healing they are....more on that later.
So before I knew it the six week checkup had arrived to see Doc in Tampa. Another set of x-rays, office visit and $180 cash. Doc told me, after looking at my x-rays, that he could not tell I had broken my arm and released me. He was amazed. So total investment to the traditional medical community was $620 which would have cost me thousands if I had gone to the ER. Dr. Ray Long, however, advised a conservative entry back into more yoga, being careful with Gomukasana (Cow Face - which I could barely do) and Garudasana (Eagle - which was a bit scary). Chatarangas — you kidding me, forget those. I could barely hold my arm up for standing poses — uggggh. So I kept Yamuna Body Rolling, doing my strength moves with my Pilates bands off the Great Yoga Wall, and Dr. Long’s unique approach to the rotator cuff that I could actually still do here: http://www.dailybandha.com/2016/04/connect-your-cuff-to-your-core-in.html
With all of that said, it can take many modalities to heal as long as they are sustainable. It was also the laughter I witnessed during water aerobics, the conversations with Dr. Long as he would make fun of me and talk me off the ledge, it was the patience from my husband and community in Florida, it was my long-time yoga and Pilates practices, it was my dear friend Cookie (Kate) Dunn and my new friend Dianne Glass and the work of Yamuna Zake.
So what were the take aways? One, find a Yamuna Body Rolling practitioner and do a class. If you cannot find a class, Dianne has virtual Yamuna Body Rolling classes that are amazing and different levels. You can find a link here on the IIYS website to give it free trial for a week. Good luck.
Two, and the biggest take away for me. A lesson in compassion. When you’re struggling and suffering, that’s when everything in your world changes. Self-love and taking care of myself did not bring me peace. It was compassion that woke me up. My compassions for my husband and my new little Havenese Gracie. Love is not what keeps two people together....it’s just not. When you’re in the beginning of a new relationship and everything is easy and life is over the top, love can be all you think you need. But when an obstacle appears in any form, love is no longer enough because human love is not the creator of peace. Back when I took EST training in the 80’s, I can remember Werner Erhard saying, “many relationships go like this...I love you, I love you, I love you” until the day comes when one says to the other ...now what else do you have?” Boredom sets in...no surprises anymore...everything becomes predictable...at least you start thinking that. Oftentimes, the same two people over years of life and obstacles can become mortal enemies. Loving another can turn to hating that person quickly unless compassion is part of the relationship. Compassion is the sticky stuff in any relationship. You nurture your ability to create more compassion in your life when you have a pet. So go ahead, and make fun of all the mature ones walking their dogs...they have it going on...they are increasing their compassion storage tanks. It keeps love alive and stops love from becoming sour and resentful.
And when it comes to self-love—loving yourself without having self-compassion can turn to hating yourself easily. If you’re suddenly facing pain from an accident, chronic illness or an emotional challenge, self-love can disappear and self-resentment can be your new normal. Hating oneself and the way things are, especially the things that you cannot change, is one of the greatest obstacles to peace.
To be in the present moment, acknowledging what you can do and what you alone can choose, is a powerful place to start when faced with a struggle or pain of any kind. Exercise your free will to choose to be positive, compassionate, and loving to yourself so you can share your outlook and your inner peace to others. Having compassion for yourself is a release—a release of blame, a release of any judgement...a “taking a pass” ....allowing you to be forgiven as a human being.
Love, peace and compassion to you all!