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Carolyoga - Special, injury

When moving my household, suddenly, tailbone and hip joints became unbearably painful. The photo above (© 2002 Martin Duffy) shows the truck I loaded. Here is journal work telling how carolyoga deals with the injury. The writing starts after two weeks of pain, early February, 2002.

" Last night leg joint pain huge on each step. This morning haven't had a big twinge yet. Hurts to sit. But tolerable and walking pain is tolerable. Hmmm. Surprise. Last night I thought it was getting worse. But I did a lot of work yesterday.

Wow, I can do many things in yoga today that I couldn't do yesterday. Discovering some principles in working with and respecting your body. They are go slowly, relax into the pose, find slightly alternate ways, and gradually resume function. After the specifics, think about what is happening to me.

Go slowly

The hurt part screams in pain when approached rapidly. It is tensed to protect itself against more abuse or even use, since it has been overused. It screams out in pain to stop.

Relax into the pose

Talk to the hurt part, tell it that the hurt happened because of emergency situation where I put priority of moving material over well-being of my body. Also I shifted awareness to the job rather than the act, so I didn't get the signals or heed them that hurt was becoming too much. I say that I don't know if you are permanently damaged, or if when you let go, you can do the simple yoga stretch here that you used to enjoy doing.

At that point, I feel the part let go some, the pain goes down, allowing use somewhat. Not full use, but it gives a little. It is tentative. It has been abused. It is defensive. It needs time and repetition to rebuild trust. Also I must keep awareness right on that body part, focused and in communication. I think this local tensing might be what actually causes body damage, say to the disks. Say a disk is pushed around. If now all the local parts are relaxing and resuming normal function, gradually the disk might just fall or migrate back into the most normal functioning position.

Find slightly alternate ways

If the usual movement or pose is impossible, ease around the pain. That is for yoga poses and also for daily tasks. Use the other hand or leg. Bend instead of keep straight. Turn in another direction or angle. Use more parts to do the same thing, help out.

Gradually resume function

In my case, when the pain happened, I was still far from my moving goal. I felt that was more important than the body. So I took pain pills to kill the pain. That enabled me to spend two more days. One day moving heavy stained glass panels through too-small openings, a very taxing task. The next day finishing all moving to the truck, rearranging everything and securing it with rope. Still lifting and placing heavy items and reaching and stretching to hard-to reach areas, plus the stress of being behind in schedule. Renting a truck costs $100 each extra day. I kept telling myself that was a small percentage of the $3000 truck rental, but I still wanted to keep within the 12 days paid for. Waiting would mean extra days on the road, overnight costs, and related consequences.

I got help unloading and took a long time to unpack or move in. Each day I do a little more.

What's happening?

In the truck, I sat rigidly on a bouncing truck seat for hours of the day. When I took a break, I could hardly walk. I resisted constant pain pills, except when needed to get coffee, gas, rest room, food, and place to sleep. I became acutely aware of the stumbling, shuffling, worn bodies of people around me. Especially the older or heavier ones. Many of them seemed to be limping or protecting some nonfunctioning body part. That made me wonder if I just have an aggravated case of old age (67 years). My theory is that is only partially true, maybe 30%. Our culture doesn't give us enough support in how to gracefully age and treat our bodies as the temples and actors that they are. After stress, if the stressed part isn't attended to, it locks more and more into a knot. Those people hobbling around carry these knots of previous experiences.

I still don't know if I'm injured enough to need a doctor. But I do know I can improve a lot on my own. When standing here, feeling pain in the hips, I try to loosen the grip, relax the entire area, and send soothing care, warmth, love, happiness, and healing energy to the pained place. It lets up.

When walking, instead of hobbling jerkily, once in awhile I remember to do smooth dancing movements instead. Express joy and freedom of movement so the part feels it is expressing as an art form, a fun happening. We enjoy where we are going, and our enthusiasm for going is just as important as what happens when we get there.

During moving, carolyoga was compromised by stopping doing yoga and stopping nutritional supplements and eating right. Coming across the country, the trucker food was white sugar, white flour, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, meat, fat, and carbonated beverages. Nuts were roasted in oil and over-salted. There was almost nothing I cared to eat. All those convenience food marts, with nothing helpful to buy! I really feel for truckers. Why are they offered such an array of junk?

Then of course, I had to work to get up and running in my new place. This is two weeks after the injury, with a week of repair. I'm pleased with results and have hope of recovery without drugs, expensive therapies, manipulations, or surgery. I long to walk in these woods and greet the sea breeze. "

See a travel story of the move from CA to FL. See carolyoga top page.
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