Thursday, March 29, 2012

Road To Recovery

I'm going to fast forward to today, instead of going back to every detail of my past experiences.  I'm blessed and happy to say that my treatments have worked wonders for me.  I've been down to 11 shots for a while now and I've never been happier.  I'm able to bike ride again, type again, exercise again, and do all the things that I had to stop doing.  I had to take two years off from finishing up my bachelor's degree before my I was diagnosed because I couldn't type and it was getting harder for me to read my text book with my neck twisting and moving all over the place, but now that I feel good again I've gone back to school and I will be graduating this June.

Now that I'm back to exercising, yoga has been a huge addition to my daily routine.  I've been doing stretches and tried yoga many times before but when you're in so much pain, the last thing you want to do is move around.  It was very difficult for me to get motivated.  All I wanted to do was rest my head on a pillow and relax my muscles. I found a great yoga studio by my house, Harmony Yoga & Dance.  Contrary to what some people may think, yoga is not a relaxing workout.  My advice to anyone with Dystonia is to let your yoga instructor be aware of what you are, and aren't capable of doing.  A good yoga instructor will guide you into other poses that may be more comfortable for you, so you can still benefit from each workout like everyone else.  My yoga master, Mariko, not only listened to me explain my limitations, but also asked me to write it down for her so she could Google it herself and learn more about Dystonia.  By doing this, Mariko made me feel part of her studio, and not isolated and different from the others.  There are many poses that are challenging in yoga, but the Botox has allowed me to push myself further without losing my balance like I used to.  By meditating and breathing through each pose, I feel empowered when I'm able to keep up with everyone else and get through each class.  When I'm not taking one of her classes, I'm doing the workout at home.  My balance and strength has improved tremendously.

I always loved riding a bike.  I was in three bike a thons in NYC in the past, and enjoyed taking my son around the neighborhood and bike trails whenever we found the time. When I was at the peak of my Dystonia spasms, riding a bike became not only uncomfortable because of the spasms in my neck and in my shoulder blades, but dangerous because I would lose my balance.  My son never said anything to me, but I saw the sadness on his face when he would ask me to go out riding and I'd have to tell him that I couldn't because I was in too much pain.  After a while he stopped asking. Since my treatments I'm able to enjoy riding again.  When I told him that I was going to buy a new bike, he jumped in the car and went with me to pick one out.  We have been enjoying riding our bikes in the park and on the bike trail to the beach. I couldn't be happier and enjoying my life anymore than I am when I'm in this moment with him!!!! I can tell that he's happy too. 

No comments: