long term recovery results

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Nearly 4 years ago, I fractured my patella in a sidewalk injury fall.  This injury required emergency surgery to install pins and wires so the patella could heal.  A year later, I had another surgery to remove the hardware so that I could live without the continuous pain of hardware. (Please see previous posts for all the details on both surgeries).

Recovery required far more time and dedication than I had believed was necessary, but as I had never before broken a patella, what did I know?!  After 3 years of physical therapy, Gyrotonic exercise, and applied Alexander principles, I was able to move much more like my previously vigorous self.  Recovery has required yet another year before my knee pain quieted consistently.  (My knee still hurts when I am confined into a sitting position for long airline flights, but that may be a permanent condition).  Although I can no longer run as I used to on hard surfaces, I can run with great joy barefoot on the wet beach sands of Kauai, and I no longer limp for hours after waking.

Thus, 4 long years of many set backs and frustrations and incremental victories.  Depression and defeat taunted me at many points.  It was a long road.

Alexander principles of dynamic non-interference, allowing the means-whereby, and attending to the whole entire Self made the journey endurable. I learned a tremendous amount of lessons, often painfully and on deep levels, that have enhanced my understanding of students who arrive with chronic pain, serious injuries, and all the associated distress of above.  Patience in recovery is so very challenging, and injury and response to injury is complex.  We aren’t who we thought we were when injury limits our way of being in the world.  The entire Self is questioned and challenged.

However, injury also presents tremendous opportunity.  In the long endurance test of my own recovery, I learned to seek appropriate assistance from skilled professionals whose approach was consistent with Alexander principles. I also learned a much more nuanced and sensitive way of experiencing my instrument of Self.  I can listen to myself, quiet my crazy chatter, engage less non-productively with disturbing sensations, trust the bigger picture, and know, deeply, that dynamic non-interference is an effective and thorough means of recovery from injury.