Friday, February 24, 2012

When I Almost Had to Buy a Cane

Becoming this person I was born to be seemed to have happened in an instantaneous and magical moment, but as I have explained, that moment only was able to happen because of so many other moments that had woven together and created the opportunity for my epiphany on the dance floor.

For example, in my mid to late 30s, Marcy and I were already cane shopping for me.

I was born with some structural difficulties in this body and have inhabited and acclimated to a pain body from the time I was pretty young. I always woke up feeling stiff.  I often would trip out of the blue because one or another joint would give. I don't remember a time when my lower back did not hurt.

I walked with a funny little gimpy limp.  Marcy found it endearing.  I found it ... weighty.

Into my 30s, I developed another frustrating symptom of God knows what: I would be walking and my front inner thigh would just suddenly give out.  It hurt like hell.

I thought I knew pain...

Then one evening, I was walking through our living room, and I stepped onto my right foot and felt a searing, blinding pain like never before.  I screamed.  I started crying.

I could not move and I dared not look at my foot, because I was absolutely 100% certain that somehow, some way, I had managed to step on a nail that was standing straight up out of the floor.

There was no nail, of course.

I was convinced that if I looked down, my foot would be GUSHING BLOOD.

There was no blood.

Over the following months, this happened more and more.

There were days when I could not walk in our house.  I would pull myself up the stairs with my arms.

I started to think that a cane was in my future and I figured if that was that then it better be cute.  So Marcy started cane shopping.

Then one of those magical threads that needed to be woven for me to one day be able to dance again happened.

We went to dinner at a friends. A lovely outdoor dinner.  A woman whom we'd never met was attending.

I was going on and on about my love for martial arts films and she very intuitively asked, "Do you think you love those films so much because you want to DO that?"

"Well, yes, but you see, my hip..."

"Yes, I see your hip. I've been watching it all evening.  I can fix that."


Freak.  Like, I was born this way and this is it for me.

Also? Hello! She was not a DOCTOR.  Just some freaking know-it-all physical therapist type.  (Note: I was raised by a physician who taught us that only physicians know anything about the human body and everyone else is a QUACK!)

The dinner evening progressed.

A couple weeks later, the friend who had the dinner told me she was going to see this woman named Sunday for some issues of her own and she would love to take me.  (Sunday's practice was in another city.)

I don't know why but I went.

I paid many hundreds of dollars that we did not have for an hour and a half of Sunday's time.

And Sunday changed my life.

She taught me how to walk from my core and not my thighs.

So simple yet so not.  (To understand how the majority of people are actually falling when they think they are walking, see this post.)

I spent weeks taking slow walks around the park near our house, training myself like a toddler how to walk correctly.

And now?  Now I dance more beautifully and stronger than I ever did as a pain-body teenager.

Now I tell other people, "Yes, I see that...and I can fix it."