Further report: metal free knee

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on June 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

For a year and 4 months, I have been living with varying levels of continuous discomfort due to patella fracture.  The hardware that was surgically installed post-injury was initially necessary to stabilize the patella for healing.  Once I established (recently) that the hardware was no longer needed for bone healing, I had it surgically removed.

The results of hardware removal seem nearly miraculous to me.  I can now sleep, walk swiftly, ascend and descend stairs, sit for more than 10 minutes, and pursue all daily activities without pain or fear of pain.  Although I still habitually guard or limp in some circumstances, I can quickly recognize my response as unnecessary and relinquish the compensation.

Today, I returned to Gyrotonic exercise with a happy curiosity as to what I could do with ease or effort.  I was overjoyed and ecstatically thrilled to find that I could do my routine without any knee pain at all!  Former restrictions due to pain no longer applied.  Now, I can pursue both overall movement exploration and specific injury related strengthening without the limitation of pain and inflammation due to hardware interference.

Many lessons are apparent  from this recent experience.  We can use ourselves as well as possible with any condition of self, but structural interference (surgically inserted hardware, for instance) limits use and function in huge ways.  Pain as a continuing signal restricts an overall elastic strengthening, as well as disrupting a whole person response.  Pain becomes primary, and choice in response becomes dictated by pain.  Alexander thinking can assist, to a point, in responding with the whole self  in a manner of use, but can’t diminish pain, only a choice in response to pain. Removing structural interference that causes pain allows a vastly new world of response.

I did pretty well with living and teaching while in medium to high levels of pain in the past 16 months.  I was able to keep a big picture, find ways to use myself as well as possible, and even explore strengthening with good use.  It was a deep and large challenge, on far more levels than the physical.  My entire sense of self has been questioned in this experience.  I am not any longer who I was previous to injury, nor do I expect to be ever again. Now, however, with pain as a past measure, I can actively un-prepare, not fix, allow new coordination, and begin to explore life without the pain that has informed me for so very long.

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