Every day can bring something different. Sometimes days start with low pain only to have it increase throughout the day. Living with chronic pain is draining not only for the body but for our mind.
Because you never know when pain is going to go from 3 to 7+ you worry about where you are going or who is going to be around. Are you going to be in public? Are you close to home? Is the a place where you can attempt to get some relief?
When living with chronic pain there are so many things to consider. Yes, medications do help some, but they never relieve the pain fully leaving us to find ways to cope.
Yoga and other forms of exercise can be beneficial. Learning to breathe and stretch can help during spasms allowing some relief. Everyone is different and we must all find what works for us.
Our struggle and pain is real even if we don’t look ill. Most people living with chronic pain do there best not to show it and to stay positive. But when we have high pain days and can not do much don’t call us lazy or think we are faking it . Instead show compassion and understanding. Pray for us in those moments and let God’s healing hands do the rest.
Yoga continues to be a must for continued progress in regaining more stability. Because without proprioception and balance just standing is difficult. Each day continues to bring challenges whether it is high pain, increased spasticity, or both. Yoga helps with reducing spasticity through stretching while reducing pain through breathing and relaxation. There are times on high pain days where all I can do is rest, but whenever possible taking time to do at least 30m mins. of yoga seems to help me to continue to progress.
When I first started I could barely lift my leg/legs and had to hold on with both hands. My body is gradually regaining more balance and proprioception allowing me to tell where my leg/legs are in space. This is crucial for walking.
Being able to balance and lift my leg behind while holding for 3 full breaths is such an improvement. I can feel my leg and ankle adjusting while I hold the position. This is also being done without engaging the breaks on my walker making use my core.
As you can see, I can elevate one leg high than the other. Because of the loss of proprioception and balance on the left side of my body it is much more difficult to engage fully.
Yoga continues to be a must for continued progress in regaining more stability. Because without proprioception and balance just standing is difficult. Each day continues to bring challenges whether it is high pain, increased spasticity, or both. Yoga helps with reducing spasticity through stretching while reducing pain through breathing and relaxation. There are times on high pain days where all I can do is rest, but whenever possible taking time to do at least 30m mins. of yoga seems to help me to continue to progress. I am so thankful for all God has brought me through over the past few years. All glory belongs to Him!
A few months ago, I began to do Yoga twice a week to help with flexibility, build core strength, and balance. Because of my injuries and surgeries my muscles atrophied, I lost proprioception and balance. I worked out in a gym setting with a trainer for about 9 mos. prior to starting yoga. Strength and endurance training were and are important, but my balance and proprioception was just inching along and for me to regain the ability to walk without a walker I decided to try a different approach.
In just a few short months there is marked improvement. I am much more steady/balanced. My walking is also improving. Maybe in another 5 months I will be walking without a walker.
This was in early Feb. 2020. I am barely able to lift my rt leg off the ground. I am also very unsteady. This exercise is quite difficult.
This was the same day in Feb. I am again unsteady and lifting either leg is difficult.
This was May 3, 2020. Notice the improvement. There is more control, both legs raise higher and my core strength is much better.
This was back in Dec. 2019. I was very unsteady. My walking is very jerky.
My walking has improved since Dec. I am more balanced and not as choppy. Still needs work, but it is coming along. Who knows what it will be like in another 5 mos.
During these trying times we all need something to hope for. I hope by sharing that I can encourage others to keep pushing and to keep moving forward even if they are baby steps. If I had taken what the doctors told me I would be in a wheelchair. I believe I have a purpose and that is to encourage and share God’s message with others. Regardless what we are facing God is by our side and because He is with us there is nothing, we can’t get through nor accomplish. We are not our disability, injury, and/or our short comings. We are strong and resilient, and we all have a better story to tell.
Standing doing my hair without any assistive devices! My balance has improved thanks to doing yoga with an instructor 2x per week (5 weeks so far) and using my LifeGlider.
I did have a recent fall🤪. I was bending down to pick something up off the floor, I had undone the safety belt on my walker as it was restricting me,there was water on the floor and my legs slipped causing me to loose my footing and down I went. Not smart on my part. Just because my balance and proprioception have improved some does not mean I don’t have to continue to pay attention to what I am doing. I still have to remind myself of walking hill to toe, to pick up my feet, and not to lean forward. Old habits are hard to break!
I am still excited about all the progress I am making. I know I am not doing this alone. Thank you everyone for your continued prayers and your words of encouragement. I know God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be my side every step of the way helps to keep me moving forward even when there are set backs.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10 NLT
Everyone has experienced fear, but it is how we deal with it
that matters. We all can face our fears and overcome them, or we can let the
fear cripple us. Becoming disabled at the age of 50 was not what I planned for
and it led to so many questions and uncertainties. Thankfully fear kindles
courage and courage is what helps us overcome our fears. So, we must find the
source of our courage in order to confront our fear.
It is my belief that courage can come from our experiences,
from those around us who encourage us, but most of all from God. When I attempt
to face a fear on my own, I tend to become overwhelmed and anxious keeping me
stuck. But when I seek God’s help first, He lets me see that although my fear
may be bigger than me, it is not bigger than Him. When the physical therapist told me to stand
for the first time after my spinal cord injury, I was scared, and I did not
believe my legs could hold me up after all I couldn’t even feel them. I cried
out and asked God to help me through this. He answered by giving me family, friends,
therapists, and doctors which continually encouraged me letting me know that
they had faith in me and my ability. Their faith in me was greater than the
faith I had in myself and because of this it gave me the courage to get through
some of the scariest times.
Our fear regardless of how small or big can cripple us if we let it. It can keep us from reaching our full potential, but when we seek God – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). He guides us, showing us, He is there by helping us to keep moving forward despite our fear. He brings people into our lives to help us through. It is my belief that this is another way God lets us know that we are never alone and our fear maybe bigger than us, but it is not bigger than Him.