Here is a short story told from my body’s point of view.
Being human you live in a physical body.
You have no choice about that.
And what stories your body can tell!
Each body has a mystery novel, a romance novel, and most definitely a history book inside it.
Your body has stories of pleasure and pain, of judgements and accomplishments, and perhaps a few horror stories to tell.
Chapter one could be about the first time you fell off your bike. Imagine that story told from you body’s point of view. Or Chapter 2 about the day you tried out for the track team. I wonder how your body would tell that story. Every human body has stories to tell. This is my story about my left hip as told from my body’s point of view. The story begins the day I scheduled a hip replacement surgery for my left hip.
“Hi, this is Barbara’s body speaking. I heard her schedule a hip replacement. Naturally I am a little anxious about this decision she made. I was there when the doctor said the joint is gone, finished, kaput– no cartilage left and the loss of bone was to the point of no return. I am worn out. Well, my left hip joint is worn out—Not all of me. Most of me is doing quite well. The doctor wants to cut off the head of my femur, jam a rod down the healthy part of my large leg bone and put in a new ball and socket with some contraption to replace the lost cartilage. It puts me in mind of those civil war movies where the “saw bone” doctor gives the hurt soldier a pint of alcohol, puts a rolled up cloth between his teeth and saws off the leg. Blood and guts everywhere and disinfection an uncommon concern. War is so sad for bodies. Why do people keep doing it?
But it won’t be anything like that for me. I’ll have anesthesia. The place will be sterile. I’ll even have a morphine drip after. Still I would prefer things had not gotten to this point. I gave her plenty of warnings. There were the times in college when she sprained my left ankle. Oh yes, plenty of times. Hello, wake up call but then no one listens to their bodies at 20. Seven years later I spent a year with sciatic pain in the left leg. The cortisone shot was a momentary fix. She handled that one well but it took her seven more years to learn about the connection between the lower back and the hip, knee and ankle. That led her to the Feldenkrais Method and Feldenkrais got us through. I’m so glad she didn’t follow that crazy doctor at George Washington University. Getting the graduate degree in Dance was a blast. It was fun for both of us. We both love to move. But the doctor wanted to fuse the lower back vertebrae with Harrington rods. Not so fun and misdiagnosed as well. That doctor didn’t even notice the instability of the left hip. Well, no one did. Clearly all those dance professors missed it.
I have sympathy for my person. So much of the time she really didn’t know where to turn for help. It seemed that no one understood the problem much less knew what to do about it. Generally speaking people don’t understand their bodies. They keep looking outside for the fix. She did work tirelessly to understand me with Feldenkrais, yoga, craniosacral therapy, internal energy practices t’ai chi——well the list goes on. And I know she bought me many more good years. I think her focus on body awareness with the Feldenkrais Method and the application of those awareness’s to everyday activity were the most important lessons learned. I’ll be back to yoga, biking, swimming, dancing and walking soon. Her overall intention to move well and enjoy moving has been good for both of us. I don’t look forward to having this surgery but, because she has kept me strong and resilient with yoga and aerobics (Did I mention the ten years of teaching 14 classes of aerobics a week that she put me through? It has been a crazy, fun ride.) I expect to heal quickly and get back to living. Also I know my person. This will be a learning experience for her. She will use this experience to help other people understand how everything in the body is connected. She will continue to teach people the importance of listening to their bodies and understanding that pain and disfunction are attempts of the body (that would be me) to communicate. What does it take to get heard?
So I invite you to stay in touch. This story isn’t over yet.”