It has been quite a week – quiet, restful, slow and boring, soothing, tedious, nurturing, melancholy, crazy making – that’s a week of Karen on a couch. I am being asked to let go in a way previously unknown to me. My practices, instead of timed inversions and vigorous backbends, are now things like asking for what I need, taking slow walks around the block and resting when I am tired. It is requiring a new level of detachment and patience for me to remain so still and rest so much, but it is absolutely clear that it is the only thing to do.
I don’t know what population the doctor was talking about when he said I could return to work after six days, but I am not in it. The studio will open as planned on September 24 and a highly capable team of substitute teachers will conduct my classes that week. These teachers all have demanding schedules and I am deeply grateful for their willingness to help. I hope to return to teaching on Monday October 1 and I plan to make that a restorative yoga week to help conserve my energy.
We wisely asked a friend to stay with us for about five days to help Cliff take care of me. It was wonderful to re-bond with my heart sister Barbara Walker. She met my every need with such love and intuitive grace and wisdom – I was truly visited by the Mother Goddess in human form.
My days have taken on somewhat of a rhythm. I get up for about 2 – 3 hours in the morning. I am able to do some office work, play the piano, and walk outside. I can walk about two blocks. I am able to go up and down stairs and try to do it 5 – 6 times per day. I have started some very gentle yoga. I can do reclining pranayama on a bolster and it feels wonderful to open my chest after lying and sitting so much during the past week. I cannot yet take deep breaths, but I can focus on making the breath smooth and soft, so it is a start. My teacher Dean recommended that I begin, and it does certainly help my mind and my spirits. My asana practice is very simple. I sit in a chair or in Virasana and do basic arm work. I can do a few leg positions on the floor, but without much muscularity or lift yet. I stretch and massage my feet. So those are my formal yoga practices. Detachment means being at peace with that being all I can do right now.
Each day I take a 2 – 3 hour nap, and I am sleeping well at night. Pain has not been a problem – it has never been greater than a 2 and is usually even less. I was very uncomfortable being on a narcotic – Percocet – and was able to eliminate that within 2 days of being home. Ibuprofen is working fine for pain and as an anti-inflammatory, and I am slowly reducing those doses as well. I have had one acupuncture treatment and will get more. I will also have a lymphatic drainage massage next week.
I have had some low moments mentally. It is difficult to experience such a profound loss of physical ability. It helps me to remember some of my students who shared that they also have had hysterectomies. I visualize them doing headstand or kicking up into a handstand, and it gives me faith that I will do those things again too when the time is right.
I spend a lot of time on my iPod – I am really glad I made that purchase! For reading it is easier to manage than a book. I am re-reading childhood favorites. I just finished Black Beauty and am now enjoying Hans Brinker. I have watched tons of YouTube videos of favorite singers – especially Alison Kraus and Linda Ronstadt. Oh the joy of hearing clear, rich voices singing three part harmony – thank you Linda, Emmylou and Dolly! I have kept up with email, played Yatzee, and figured out how to use the camera. These things matter when you are on a couch for most of the day! I have enjoyed fabulous meals provided by a loving group of helpers. My appetite and digestion are both good.
Not too much poetry here today – a fairly mundane report. I appreciate your concern and care, and continue to feel the circle of support around me.