On a Fourth of July about sixteen years ago, I woke up with flu like symptoms. The only problem was that the body aches didn't go away! I found I was getting stiffer and stiffer. After several appointments, my allopathic physician found nothing to explain the muscle stiffness; but, offered an antidepressant medication for the pain.
I didn't take the medication and lived with the pain. I thought this is what life is like as one ages. One day, I was attending a chamber of commerce meeting and I met a naturopathic physician. Through her, I met an acupuncturist, Michelle Newell. Between the two of them, with a lot of time and effort on my part, I beat the pain and moved into "normal."
In 2009, I was rear ended in a car accident. I was pushed into the person in front of me too. All total, I was hit twice from behind and hit the person in front of me twice. My neck and back were a mess. The constant headache was almost too much to bear. I had such nerve issues, that I was unable to hold the phone for a conversation longer than a minute. I was unable to address an envelope without my hand going numb after writing the first line. I had a cervical fusion which helped; but, I had to seriously change my lifestyle.
I gave up gardening which was difficult. I'd try to pull weeds, plant or transplant; but, looking down as well as being on my hands and knees aggravated my neck and back issues. (I still try to do a little something in the yard occasionally; but, that activity bothers my neck.) I still can't talk more than a few minutes on the phone or write more than about three paragraphs. I also had to give up cleaning. Honestly, I don't miss cleaning ONE bit!
Giving up quilting was NOT an option. Through Michelle, I met two licensed massage therapists who became an integral part of my health team. Lori Kramptez showed me that the body can continue to heal and she showed me how much massage can improve my attitude when it hurts less to move.
Valerie Lyon, on the other hand, taught me how to move so that I could type on my laptop to stay connected with friends. More importantly, her sessions on how I sat when I quilted were priceless.
They have continued to support me through a shoulder challenge, a foot challenge and most recently knee challenges. Had these three ladies not been part of my health team, I'd be years on pain medications by now and no longer a quilter.
Sadly, Tuesday marks the last day that the clinic, Circle Healthcare, will be open as the property owner has decided to demolition the office and build apartments instead. Michelle is closing her private practice. I hope to follow Lori and Valerie where ever it is that they land. Good byes are really hard. Although I truly wish them well, I miss them already!
Who has it been in your life that has helped keep you on the quilting track?