Friday, June 22, 2012

Second Rolfing Session - Walking

Yesterday's big event was my second Rolfing session, and I am still loving it!

This appointment's focus was on how I walk. 

We started by evaluating how well my newly lifted shoes level my hips.  Not only are my hips more level than when I walked in for my first appointment, but she told me I am moving more normally than 3 weeks ago.  Then we moved to my feet.

Looks like, in this situation, EDS is a benefit.  The joints between the carpals, the small bones in the foot, are very flexible.  She was able to easily get them moving, which was a little scary at first since I have slipped some of these joints before.  We worked with what it feels like to move the foot properly as if walking, then she moved on to my legs and hips.

One of my legs likes to turn out.  Through deep tissue massage she turned it in and helped me to feel how it should face forward.  This also involved the hips and teaching my coccyx, or tail, that it is separate from the hips.

Then, I got up and walked.

It is strange that I now understand what I've been told for years about, "walk on the outside of your foot."  It involves a lot of rolling of the foot, bending of the knees, movement in the hips.  And, I didn't fall!

As I've aged I've become more scared of falling.  In my defense, falling has resulted in much bruising, subluxations, and dislocations.  It hurts a lot!  The body's natural reaction is to defend against this, but it does it by limiting or eliminating natural movement.  This, in turn, causes more instability and can actually cause more falls.  A vicious cycle. 

I would not have believed anyone if I was told that to minimize pain I had to learn to walk again.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Alternatives to Surgery

My last update was about the immediate need for surgery. 

Hasn't happened.

I consulted with an adult scoliosis expert at the same hospital as my EDS specialist.  His conclusions:  I'm too scary to operate on.  I would be in more physical pain with more physical limitations after surgery.  I am flexible enough that there would be a near total curve reduction (as evidenced by a push-pull x-ray series), but the odds are for a lower quality of life. 

My orthopedic specialist thinks the surgeon is too comfortable in his tenured teaching position and wants another opinion.  Me?  If one of the best of the best says, "Eek!" I want to try non-conventional alternatives first.  I won the argument.

At this time I am working with a new orthotic/prosthetic specialist who reevaluated my short leg and changed my shoe situation.  I am spending the next two months, the warmest and my least painful, walking in and adapting to the changes before we determine if this is best.  After a few hours in my new sneakers I already decided I like it if for no other reason than I am  very stable.

I also am seeing a physical therapist who specializes in a technique called Rolfing.  So far I like the results and have even gained about 2 inches of height!  Granted, I shrank almost an inch between the first and second session, but I have experienced minimal back pain (though my back muscles are very tired at the end of the day even if I skip my exercises!).

So, I'm heading into the summer with no surgical scars, new physical therapy technique, new shoe lifts, and a positive attitude.  Let's see where this road takes me!