It has been so long since I last posted here, and for that I’m sorry! I spent the remainder of the school year in a constant struggle with my symptoms and generally felt too discouraged to write about it. The last thing I want to do is spread a discouraging message in public.
I started PT for my hips which helped for a while but I was set back when I dislocated (and subsequently sprained) my ankle in early May during a short, easy run around the Charles River. I was on forearm crutches for a while (which I would highly recommend over traditional under-arm crutches! What a radical difference!) but then I took a three-week trip to Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Serbia and I opted not to lug those around Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, that means that my ankle is still almost healed. I’ve plateaued in healing mostly because I’m so stubborn and eager to get back to a normal (ha!) activity level after nearly 4 months.
Pro-tip: No matter how inconvenient it is, always seek help to relocate those stubborn joints (like ankles and feet) instead of waiting until you’ve sprained the joint! That’s what I did: in late April, I dislocated my right ankle but I was in the middle of concerts and finals so I didn’t have time to have someone put it back in place. I braced it and walked on it for two weeks until I saw my mom who realigned it…but of course it didn’t stay in place because I had stretched the ligaments so much. After a few days of constant readjustments it finally stayed in place but the sprain remained. And that’s where we are now. Sigh. Thanks to my idiocy and stubbornness, I’ve had to keep the brace on (an elastic wrap, essentially; gentle compression goes a long way!) for almost four months solid.
On to the positive: I’ve begun taking my general well-being much more seriously and have placed my wellness at the center of my awareness (at least until school starts…).
I generally don’t have time to focus on my own wellbeing, but since I was fortunate enough to earn a grant for independent research this summer, I have had time to focus on getting healthier on my own body’s terms. I have started practicing gentle yoga to strengthen my muscles and improve my overall health (I am lucky enough to come to wellness with an open mind in regards to methods, and I firmly believe that Western medicine does not hold all the answers), and until my elbows began subluxing I was able to practice daily. Unfortunately, I have been derailed from that specific practice until I strengthen the muscles holding my elbows together with physical therapy (and even some specific yoga poses without the “flow” component that I love so much).
I just returned from a week-long family vacation in Vermont where we swam every day and even biked 9 miles in the mountains one day, and the change in my body was remarkable. I love to swim, and I was reminded of how much I love to bike, so I have decided to train for a triathlon. This training will take place over a year or more, and I will go as slowly and gently as I possibly can. I work best with specific goals, so “overall wellness” wasn’t quite cutting it.
I have started a new wordpress blog at www.mybodywillrun.wordpress.com where I will post about my training and EDS-related challenges, but it will also be a general fitness-focused blog to keep me motivated and hopefully inspire others. I was inspired by another EDSer-triathlete, and I believe that with the proper care, attention, and PT supervision, I will be able to participate successfully in a triathlon event. I’m excited to embark on this journey, and I hope that having specific training “goals” that are flexible enough to accomodate EDS setbacks (ahem…weather, hormones, cobblestones…yes, I mean you!!) will keep me focused throughout the school year. I have a very busy year coming up, and exercise goals will hopefully ensure that I keep my life balanced.
This has been quite a long catch-up post and I do hope you’ll excuse the length and at least give my new endeavor a look. I appreciate all of your support more than you all know!