Back in 2003 I had a server motor vehicle accident. I was a young inexperienced driver and the conditions on the road were wet. I remember rushing a little. Like most 17yr olds, things were done hard and fast and the thought of any consequences were quickly shafted to the back of my mind and would only be re visited if need be at a later date.
I took a corner and in that split second my life literally flashed before my eyes. If you have experienced anything similar, you will understand what it is I’m talking about. Although if you haven’t, it really is quite hard to explain. Visually everything around you appears to be in slow motion, Time literally appears to move at the speed of a slow motion beach run done by two lovers in a romantic film. Your thoughts however move at the speed of light. Assessing the situation, evaluating the scene and even hearing your Mothers voice in the background say “this is why I told you to always pack clean underwear” only to realize on this occasion I actually hadn’t and was going commando under my jeans. Oh the embarrassment.
As the story goes (and remember that’s all it ever is) I ended up hitting a telegraph pole and had my head thrown sideways through the driver side window. I was hospitalised, had my face stitched up with an impressive 37 stiches and remarkably few injuries. Or so it seemed.
As mentioned earlier, I was young. At the rip old age of 17 I was resilient, fit healthy and extremely active. I bounced back super quick and continued on with life like the accident had never even happened.
That was until 2010, or there about’s. I started experiencing pain down my right hand side, mainly neck and shoulder. It would be so painful at times and the muscles in my shoulder, upper back and arm seemed to fatigue quickly with any activity including hanging washing on the line, brushing my hair etc.
For the next 6 years I spent thousands of dollars on treatments trying to manage my injuries. Alternating between Physios, Chiro’s and Acupuncture. The severity of my injuries got worse and the pain started making its way down my spine affecting my thoracic and lumbar region. A three part MRI scan revealed sever to moderate degeneration of my spine, a herniated disk, narrowing of my spinal canal (occasionally causing nerves to become compressed) and some fragmented pieces of bone floating around that had come away due to the degeneration.
Cause… Motor Vehicle Accident. I felt my heart sink and I started noticing my mindset change from one of an active enthusiast who loved life and had an infectious positive attitude, to one that reflected that of anxiety, anger, fear and moments of depression.
I was scared. I am scared. What would this mean for me an active enthusiast, a yoga teacher and in general my quality of life?
It meant I had to face my fears and MANAGE MY PAIN. It meant I had to stop relying on healthcare professionals to fix my pain and I had to start
MANAGING MY PAIN myself. So how was I going to do this? After all I’ve already spent 6 odd years trying to manage my shoulder pain.
I am going to start doing my “own research” and start “listening to my body”. I am no longer going to have an “expectation” of the healthcare professionals I see (having an expectation always opened doors of disappointment). I am going to continue moving, but am going to work out which movement patterns worked for me, my body and my injury and leave alone, or revisit later, the ones that don’t work. I am going to slow things down, and take things back to basics and I am going to be kind to myself and understanding and excepting that things don’t want to move as hard and fast as they once upon a time did.
Here at Clear Water Yoga, 90% of students have experienced injuries at same stage of their lives. Many of you have reoccurring injuries, some of you have niggling pains that come and go. As teachers, we aren’t exceptions to this. We all experience pain and injury and as instructors we are here to help you with yours.
Through our own personal experiences we understand pain can be debilitating. My advice to anyone experiencing pain or avoiding activity because of pain would be to come and have a conversation with us. Let us work with you to design a program that works. Weather it’s simple modifications you can make in class or private lessons that are tailored specifically for you around your injury, we have the knowledge and resources to help you through it.
Pain is merely a four letter word, lets redefine it.
Love Cara Jane