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Week 30-31

30 weeks 4 days

My first pair of REAL heels since I was 18… being 5’10’ and an SI patient I figured I’d just stay away from anything that wasn’t a “kitten”heel – this show is the real deal!
My first pair of REAL heels since I was 18… being 5’10′ and an SI patient I figured I’d just stay away from anything that wasn’t a “kitten”heel – this show is the real deal!

This weekend was amazing, like a real normal weekend. On Saturday we drove up to my parents house 2.5 hours away. We went to a family party from 1-7 and then on Sunday went to a play and out to dinner. I was able to do it ALL and I even did Sunday IN HEELS! No meds, no ice, no heat…. a 15 minute tens unit session on Sat night just to loosen some things up, but all in all… really really amazing!

I talked with people, I played with my kids, we enjoyed the childrens theater together and I didn’t fidget at all! The 2.5 hour ride home got a uncomfortable and I was really ready to get out of a sitting position, but after a nights sleep, today was a normal person day. I woke up, stretched, and felt good.

I managed 4 loads of laundry, a load of computer work, a grocery shopping trip, running kids to swim team try-outs, and then took myself to the pool for a 1,200 yard swim! My pain is at about a 1.5… that’s down from a 4.5 5 days ago.

Last Tuesday my PT tried to unearth a huge knot that has taken residence deep inside my rt butt cheek somewhere… I am pretty sure that he touched the table with his hand THROUGH my butt. The end results were good… it let go some… but… I couldn’t move on wed without serious pain, like couldn’t put weight on my foot pain… All spamsy and icky- totally in bed freakin out kinda pain. Ends up that my body seemed to think it was in trouble after trying to unearth said bolder and everything seized up to “protect” the area. I asked my PT when I got in Thursday what was up and he gave me the above explanation along with the following remark…” I thought I might have pushed too hard.”. Yeah….. so we didn’t do that again Thursday.

This week should be good since we pushed so hard the last 2, we’ve found the new limits and what to work for, so I am excited to go in tomorrow.

This morning I really felt overwhelmed with all of the things the family is going to be involved in this year… more than we ever have because I have been all not able to move and stuff… this is the first year that I have really signed up for anything…. one of my closest friends mentioned it months back… I was going to be busy busy once I was able to start moving again…. I shook my head and really didn’t believe it. It’s nice to have friends that know me so well.

A week from today I start school…. 2 classes… and in December I apply for the PTA program… it’s a big step, and I am excited… I just hope I can figure out how to keep everything balanced! I was scared this morning that my body will fail on me again now that I am committed to things because that is what has happened in the past… it seems that this weekend it DIDN’T give out like it use to… and that’s cool!

31 weeks

Hi from the local pool!

This is me, today! It was a good day. I vacuumed my living room for the first time in probably close to a year. Transferring weight was not so bad, it wasn’t as easy as those 1950’s ad’s make it look, but I was smiling and I did do it without needing meds or an ice pack so I am calling it a victory! The best part of today was my swim. I didn’t count yardage, I just really enjoyed the feel of the water on my skin, the sun on my face and music in my ears. Jars of Clay- the original album… their college Sr. project. L.O.V.E. it. I feel so normal when I am doing it, it makes me really happy, AND my husband came with and swam today too, always a bonus! It gets easier to move in the water every week and I am just happy that I can finally swim long enough to feel fatigue! My lower body still gives out before anything else, but the arms are coming in a pretty close second! I’m still working on getting my weight off. I think I mentioned that I am doing the 17 day diet, I miss ice cream and Starbucks, but it’s certainly helping my waist line and my wallet! One’s shrinking and the other is expanding 😀 I have 7 days left on this cycle and then I get to add in a few more things to my meal plans… I don’t remember what they are, but I will be glad for more variety! There were two moments in the last few days that really got my attention, in addition to my victory of vacuuming one room 😉
The first was my husband and I walking into the pool today… My husband has some neuropathy in his feet, and sometimes it can be very very painful, and slows him down a little when we walk. But our ENTIRE marriage has been me walking many many paces behind him- because I could NEVER keep up… especially since we had kids… my body just wouldn’t do it… AND he walks really fast! Today, walking into the pool he said, he Aim, slow down… I can’t keep up…. I said you KNOW this is a blog moment right! He laughed and said it’s maybe happened one other time in 16 years! It struck me again that I continue to get better and stronger, and often don’t notice it… that was one of those moments on how the little things change and we can miss them. The second moment was connected to swimming…. when I was an athlete the smell of chlorine just kinda followed me… it actually chemically bonds to your hair and your skin… it’s kinda hard to get rid of the smell when you are immersed in it 3 hours a day. A friend was just telling me a story of her swim team (20-30ish girls) being at a restaurant and patron mentioned to the management that the restaurant smelled like a pool! We just laughed because we knew it was the team! Well, one of the things I had forgotten was that when sweating I could often smell the chlorine pouring off my skin. At Physical Therapy this week I was working really hard and started sweating…. I just started laughing and my PT mentions the chlorine smell… I said that is ME. and a sign that my life is returning to “normal” and I am able to exercise! It was a fun moment.

 

31 weeks 1 day

I was cleaning up the desk-top on the computer today and trying to bring some order to the chaos that is our family computer and I found this…. it speaks to how swimming feels to me, and why it is so important in my recovery. I did not write this, it was found with no tribute to who wrote it… but it echoes my heart.

Why do I swim?

“Why do I swim? These who don’t swim can’t understand that the pain is real everyday. Is it easier now? Not really, it’s the same pain I felt the first day. It became only easier to cover greater distances in shorter periods of time. The pain is the same and I understand it always will be. I dread it and in a sense I crave it.

Why do I swim? To stay in shape, keep my health and to feel good. A partial reason I suppose is the reason of confirmation – confirmation that I am in control. Everyday I must make a choice to experience pain or remain in comfort; in order to achieve a higher goal or to give in to the bodies urging to do something else more comforting and pleasurable.

Who is in control? My body or me? Every time I swim I verify to me that I am in control and that I can be the master of my own destiny. That is why I ultimately swim. I feel guilty when I don’t swim – when the body wins, swimming is a test of my strength – not just my physical – but my mental. Swimming is a challenge of my “will” of mind over matter, of me over myself. Swimming is mental conditioning as well as physical. It is therapy of the “will” for me. Each swim is success. The richest and most deeply satisfying type of success. Strange but unmistakably tied to self-discipline, self-denial and self control.

In a world where I often feel helpless, victimized and controlled, swimming helps revive feelings of hope, strength and constriction that I can make a difference and I can be responsible for me. An addiction or choice, you say and you’re right – there is a danger – me. So long as I control swimming and not swimming – me. Positive addiction or not the value is in choosing when the choice is gone, I become controlled and victimized again, one more thing in my life that tells me that I am in control, that I am simply a pawn of fate and circumstance. I must swim as a choice, not out of necessity or it’s real value again is gone for me.

Why do I swim? I swim for success, success in the ultimate contest, the contest of me against myself.”

 

as an aside…When the author speaks of pain, they do NOT mean the kind of pain we as SI suffers experience… it means the pain of training, of exercise where muscles ache, where lack of air burns deep in the muscle belly, where discipline rules the body and the burn of a good work out leaves you tired and sore, but not crippled… pushing past limits to find new ones – that pain…. pain that ends until you get back in the water and do it again because you want to be more, to see what your body can do. This mind set is exactly how I see my physical recovery from my life with SI issues. Pain is ok- pain that never ends is not…

31 weeks 3 days

It’s here… that day I was worried about… the one where the new life starts, the world expands, and while recovery still goes on, my life really can’t STOP to ice, tens, and ultrasound, stretch, and massage any more. That rehab and exercise and family and house and SI support and friends… they all have to flow together like normal people handle this stuff. The training wheels are coming off ’cause tomorrow is my first day of school. Medical Terminology…. then Tuesday/Thursday is Anatomy and Physiology. GLUP… tears are forming in my eyes again… dang it…. I have been SO emotional today. Crying at everything thinking about the fact I am living and not only planning for a future, but actively going out and GETTING IT.

I HAVE to pause here to say, I honestly could NOT have gotten here without you guys. Until today I really had signed up for school because so many of you have encouraged me at different points to pursue it. Your encouragement has been…. overwhelming, needed, life-changing… I can’t find the words to thank you all for helping me get to this point. When I am scared to death to walk into the classroom tomorrow, it is YOUR words, and “likes” on my facebook page that will push me through the door. It will be you all that keep me studying when I want to cry and give up. So thank you for being a part of my journey, thank you for helping shape who I am going to get to be next.

My friends have also been amazing as I bounce these ideas off of them. Right before I signed up for classes I called my best friend in the world and I said, ” Hey I need you to come sit in the crazy place with me just for a little bit so I am not alone… can you do that with me?!” and she asked me what the crazy place was about, so I told her how you all had suggested at various times and ways that I go back to school and learn how to be a PT or PTA… to get more education on SI stuff and help push this issue… how my own PT has encouraged me to go back to school because he can see me enjoying and excelling at it. She just started laughing at me and said, “Sorry girl, your own your own… that’s not crazy… that makes PERFECT sense.” If your reading this… I love you and thank you for not sitting in the crazy place with me!

Today I finally felt like it was “my” idea to go to school… what I mean by that is that it’s not me going because you all think it’s a good idea, but that I agree with you all… as my husband said today, “Nice of me to join the party… what took so long?!”

The answer to that is a lot – some is fear of the body failing, I’ve covered that… another HUGE part is this feeling of.. ummm ok but WHAT am I going to do with this PTA degree? I’ve been moving forward with the belief that this is “a God thing”. What I mean by that is that I believe HE has given me a desire and a gift set that can use this knowledge in a BUNCH of different ways… but I’d really like to know what that is before I start. Funny thing is God rarely works that way, and I have learned that… so I am trying to step forward in faith and let it just be. ( This is NOT a spiritual strong suit of mine… I don’t like the meandering… I like a good solid plan, with a map, with detailed landmarks, and specific directions!)

All I know is I have rarely felt as at home and as confident and comfortable as I did the day I followed Vicki at GPT. I know I love it when my PT challenges me and asks me all kinds of questions that make me problem solve and think. I love it when he teaches me new things about the muscles and imbalances ( I wish they weren’t mine, but I do love it.) I love it when you all ask me questions that I need to go look stuff up for and I have no idea if I am anywhere close to right and then I bring my thoughts to PT and I am told if I am close or not…. most of all, I love it when we connect and you share with me about your life, and together we work towards stability and being as pain free as possible.

All that said, today at church the sermon was on new life…. God taking us from where we were, to a new life… and he doesn’t give directions other than follow me. I watched a number of people come up and be baptized today… full immersion in a huge tank of water, in their Sunday best… it was an unexpected call… a call for new life… I was in a different head space than these folks… I committed my life to Christ almost 22 years ago, but I KNEW this feeling of rebirth… that the old had gone and the new had come. That 22 years ago I had accepted a chance to live life to the fullest – and I felt that some of that “fullest” had been taken away. But today as I watched those people and the joy on their faces as they said to the world… today I will trust Christ… I knew what they felt… I felt like I too was being born again. It was very very powerful and moving… I cried for a long time. I wasn’t renewed in the baptismal, but somehow I was standing there watching these people thinking…. ok Lord, I get it… I’m suppose to live a new life…. and you’ve got something in store for me… and I have no idea what it is, but I’ll take those baby steps of faith trusting you know where we are going.

I don’t have all the answers and I never will… there will always be more questions than their are answers, but I believe today God winked at me and said.. “It’s a do over… you get to build on all you have learned in all the other things you have done… walk through the door Amy… I’ll show you what’s next later… just walk through the door.

31 weeks 5 days

Oh Gosh… 2 days in to school and I feel like my head might explode! I don’t think I have ever had classes this heavy in memorization – EVER. Have I mentioned that I am horrible at memorization? The reality of the time away from my family and the tax on my body, as well as the possibility of disappointing the people that believe in me is weighing very very very heavy on my heart right now. I am typing with tears in my eyes….
I never thought it would be easy, or that I would skate through – really just the opposite, when I first started tossing the idea around I landed on the idea I could get through this type of learning situation because there is a purpose behind it. There are people in pain behind it…. what if I CAN”T do it. What if I try my best and I just can’t do it. Not that I can’t understand it… but hat I can’t spell the words right which count for points, or I can’t memorize a zillion things in 1 semester weeks…..

Not to mention attempting to even try and focus at PT today… ugh…. I was talking about the fact I sometimes just stop to look at that Venus de Milo…. to remember what we are trying to build…. a body that works right… and when I want to give up I look at the statue and it helps me keep going…. I was really struggling to do some of the stuff my PT introduced today… walking on the treadmill with resistance bands pulling against me.. normal walking was ok… but high knees so that the unilateral standing was longer… I made it a little over a minute before I just couldn’t keep it together! He has a tendency to reflect things I am thinking or feeling before I know I am thinking or feeling them… sometimes that’s really great… sometimes it’s REALLY hard…. today… hard….
I was talking about the idea of calling it quits and saying… bah… I’m good enough and how I KNEW I couldn’t do that but sometimes I want to…. he looked at me and smiled kindly and then said, ” but Aim, we are just getting started!!!!!!!!!!” Normally I would have tracked with him and laughed about that and had some cute come back… today I just put my finger over my mouth and said … SHHHHHHHH only positive statements today….

I just feel so defeated… and there is really NO reason for it… I don’t’ want this to appear like I am blaming my PT because I am not… a different day that comment wouldn’t even have registered, it just did today. I feel strangely fragile today.

I’m fairly certain I just need to see how the rest of the week goes and know that I have down time all day tomorrow to get stuff around the house done, and study and all that… I just need to see that it’s not impossible…. right….

I mean it wasn’t all bad… we got to dissect a rat in anatomy lab…. I mean that’s kinda cool right!

 


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