This blog is only one day old, and already I'm in touch with others like me. Worn out, painful hips, technically 'too young' for hip replacement. Is this a new phenomenon? Did people's hips seize up like this a hundred years ago? I wonder now if my Grandpa with arthritis who walked with two canes, after a fall from an apple tree suffered as I do. Still, by the time he had the fall, he was 80.
Not that I don't continue to be as active as I can manage. My partner, Zack and I practice yoga together every morning. Almost every morning... We do a variation on the Vijnana series, taught by Orit Sen-Gupta. Standing Poses on Tuesday, Backbends Wednesday, Seated Poses and Twists on Thursday. On Fridays we do a flow that suits what we need. Saturday and Monday we do Restorative practice (ahhhh...) and Sundays we sleep in.
I do my best in my practice to focus on the good stuff. To accept the pain, work in alignment, and look for places of ease. It's hard not to hear in my head and body the echoes of what I could do before. It's a big switch, after a lifetime of stretching, to exercise with diminishing returns. Certain stretches, Pigeon pose, for example, feel more like an exercise in patience than a stretch. I can exhale, breath energy, imagine softening till the (sacred) cows come home, and nothing happens.
Still, this morning, towards the end of our practice, I found some ease. I found the joy in the seated twists, with my legs propped and still. I felt my pelvis sending roots into the earth, my spine singing into the twist like the robins heralding the coming Spring. I remembered the joy of lifting my heart in the dance, for just a moment.
Which brings me to gratitude. Because it always comes back to gratitude. Though I'll have to live with this for up to a year, eventually there is a solution. I've talked to plenty of hip replacement 'survivors' and they all report this: 'NO MORE PAIN'. I'm not stuck with daily pain forever, like plenty of other folks. For that I give thanks every day.
And I do my research, so when the time comes, I can make informed choices. Here's a column that appeared recently in the the Globe and Mail. A not-so-happy ending.