Hello There. I made it home a week ago after 10 days in hospital. They let me home because I could get up and down the stairs at the hospital. However, they were an absolute breeze compared to the (much steeper) stairs at home! At home getting upstairs was fine, downstairs not so much, so I started using my bum to get down instead of legs. During those 10 days in hospital I appear to have lost all endurance or aerobic fitness as climbing those stairs initially was wiping me out.
It's been a big adjustment having to think and plan movement. Particularly moving out of bed, because of the fractured vertebrae my waist and middle are painful to touch. My right leg has been weak and cramps easily.
There are the drugs too, the side effects are a bit scattered but watching Teen Titans cartoons has been a bit psychedelic. I haven't had much capacity for concentration but this has been improving so I can read now and do the admin that’s required around all these changes in my life.
Over the last week my movement has improved a lot, much better on those precipitous stairs and getting up and down from chairs and bed. I have been doing a gentle breathing and movement practice, both seated and standing to work out the most appropriate way for me to do this. I am trying not to push too hard, which is easier said than done. I find that I am quite tired in the afternoon so I am trying to honour this.
Thursday was the end of my first round of chemotherapy treatment, so I have two weeks off which I would like to spend doing a bit more yoga. In my mind I would like to share some of this but I want to see how I go.
Because of the Myeloma I have shut the shop in Callendar Square in Falkirk and will not be doing massage therapy for at least a year.
I have contacted all my clients but if you have any further questions please contact me.
My intention here is to share what has been going on with me this week.
You might ask why I am doing this as I don't have to, but I would like you guys to know what has caused the changes in my movement patterns that you have observed over the last 5/6 weeks and the reason why despite the work I have put in there has been no improvement. The yoga rules 'yamas & niyamas' – mostly the 'yamas' – tell me not to lie and not to self-harm so this is another reason to share this with you. Further, by taking part in my classes you will unintentionally be a small part of the self-study and investigations I take part in to help me heal throughout this process so I feel you need to be aware.
On Sunday morning (5th July) I got up from a toe squat whilst feeding the cats when the muscles around my pelvis went into a huge spasm. I reached out to grab the stairs and get onto all 4s and crawled to lie prone. I was there for a while in pain and eventually realised it wasn't calming down and I was heading for shock and needed an ambulance. Gordon is not mentioned so far as I am very stubborn and at his point I knew I had to shout on him. He made me comfortable and phoned an ambulance, they turned up with gas and air to get me moving.
They moved me prone to supine using belts around my pelvis and a blow up seat to get me to 90°. At this point Gordon said he'd only heard women in childbirth scream so much. I got up from 90° to standing with less difficulty and shuffled out to the ambulance (a car was not a possibility as I couldn’t sit).
At the hospital I waited for 2 hours feeling my pelvis spasm before they started feeding me drugs to calm the spasms down. They gave me diazepam, dihydrocodeine, paracetamol, oral morphine and I was still in pain. At this point they decided it wasn't a musculoskeletal injury and they determined that I wasn't suffering an ectopic pregnancy. Next I was x-rayed and nothing was unusual and eventually I was admitted into a ward because of the pain.
By Monday 6th July they decided to check me for kidney stones via a CAT sca. This identified a growth on the L3 vertebra which was either going to be an infection or something a bit more "serious". Further CAT and MRI were done on Tuesday 7th to see if there was anything higher up. On Wednesday 8th they used CAT scan to take a biopsy and took some bone marrow. Thursday 9th they confirmed that I have Myeloma (info here https://www.myeloma.org.uk). Then on Friday I got a trip to the Beatson for radiotherapy to shrink my growth which will take a week.
I have caught up most of my closest besties and I apologize if I haven't and this is the first time you are hearing about this, it is not a personal slight.
My journey medically is pretty clear: chemo for 6/8 months then possibly a stem cell transplant.
The yoga journey is my part, the bit for me that I'm looking forward to and want to share with you. This is gonna look different and be gentler. Maybe we can work together and I can get some help with demonstrations? I will incorporate all the bits of yoga and other interesting techniques which will be FUN. I will work on my instructions and coordination.
I really hope you'll keep in touch and share with others who might be in a similar situation.
If you like I can help you with "1 to 1s" which will be talked through with lots of instruction, drawings and whatever resource I can play with to help you.
Any questions just ask x