In 2012 I was performing double routines in aerial pole shows. When rehearsing, I was up high on the pole and my partner was down below. Flowing tandem to each other all I had to do was reach below with my right hand to catch her as she wisps herself off of the pole to fly around me, using me as her pole. We had done it so many times before, so perfectly. It was important to find the catch and the letting go of the pole at the very same time for that smooth transition. This time, we didn't match up and it was smooth. It was so jerky that I heard a snap and felt a click in my shoulder. We took the rest of the night off and were back at it the next day. We performed it beautifully at our show, but I was in pain. I had it checked out then and was sent to physical therapy. It would often flare up and I would ice it. Eventually I was sleeping on ice.
In October of 2014 I got in to a major car accident. At the time all they saw was that I herniated a disc in my spine and a few bulging discs. The doctors advised no more poling and no more headstands. I complained of pain in the front of my right hip right away. Flexion in the hip hurt like crazy. They sent me to physical therapy. Taking a few months off of all activity, it naturally felt better. A few months later, after getting back in to my yoga practice, I started to feel this constant need to stretch my psoas on the right side. I had began a new relationship and when we would do the unmentionables it was a little irritating in the lower right quadrant of my abdomen. It became very irritating. My OBGYN easily pointed at something completely unrelated. Just a couple of months later, some arm balances that take a lot of abdominal engagement and heavy flexion in the spine and hips became extremely uncomfortable and would cause a sudden cramp, like a charlie horse in my belly. Now I started to think this was truly my psoas. Your psoas originates in your lumbar spine and inserts in to the top of your femur bone. Given my stomach history, that's where the doctors wanted to look first. Now begins the hunt (late 2015).
All in the while, I continue my yoga practice where my handstand practice is growing miraculously. Thanks Bianca Fearon! Floating from handstands to low planks in all kinds of fancy ways. That old right shoulder injury got upset right away. Early 2016 my yoga practice devotion was very apparent, but physically had diminished to cat/cow vinyasas.
Alas, the doctors had answers. In his words, "your right hip labrum has been obliterated from forceful trauma." They also found that the neck of my femur bone has a nice sized dent in it. Thank goodness it's not broken! For this, they will go in for labral repair and smoothing down the bones. It really could be a lot worse, and again I am so incredibly grateful that I am hear to tell you about it. Don't drink and drive! You might hurt someone.
As for the shoulder, the supraspinatus tendon, one of four rotator cuff tendons is 75% torn from within to without. A very unique tear in that the tendon is acting like a suction cup, tearing from the center and hallowing out. Often times when you endure an injury and don't take care of it properly a bone spur develops. Your body builds the bone thinking it will replace what's missing. Often times these go unnoticed. But when you walk on your hands and fly around a pole, you feel everything. They will be going in to repair the tendon and shave down the bone spur.
Maybe it was the knowledge of this, but the pain became overwhelming fast and my practice came to a screeching halt. As I go through all these prep tests and wait for a date, I continue to teach. This has become so difficult as my shoulder has gotten so bad that I find it difficult to breathe. The pain is creeping up my neck and in to my chest. It's been hard to simply hold my head up, especially by the end of the day. As for my hip, I've been off of my legs for the most part, naturally feeling better in my hip.
The plan is to fix the hip and be on crutches for 5 weeks, where I will tear my shoulder up more. I can't even imagine this. Once off of crutches, we go in for shoulder repair. About 3 weeks later, I am told I will be able to stand long enough to stand in a room and teach people the yoga. As for practice, that will slowly come in and back to normal in just 4 months, which is very exciting.
My doctor calls it a tune up. My father calls it a remodel.
As I wait for this date, my muscles are getting tighter and tighter and all I want to do is stretch! The thought of feeling free in my body, feeling juicy stretching in yoga, is the light at the end of my tunnel. It is my hope and my meditation.
In the meantime, my devotion for yoga continues in a non-asana manner. Meditation, reading of the Bhagavad Gita, blogging on philosophy and sharing my journey. I've been through three major surgeries before, two of what I remember. It would have been so nice to read someone else's story or know someone that feels me... just to know that I'm not alone, just to know that these weird things that come up in recovery are not weird, just to know that there are options. So, here it is.