Monday, August 15, 2011

Success Is Measured....

Acupuncture was suggested by Marcus the Master Manipulator. Acupuncture was not something I'd ever longed to do.. or have done. Pinging needles in my ear and my hip just didn't float my boat, excite me, fill me with enthusiasm.... nope, I wasn't looking forward to it at all.

 I went in a skeptic and I left a believer. Explaining that her goal was to move my Qi (my favorite Wordscraper trick, pronounced chee, the life force or energy) more freely through my body. Since I've been describing my hip as being stuck and bunched up this sounded like a good plan. I just closed my eyes and tried to breathe through the sensation of a tiny prick in my ear... and then another... and then another and then I just decided to go with the flow and before I knew it there really was a flow. .

Serena added some Reiki energy work and if you promise not to laugh at me I'll tell you that I could really feel stuff moving around inside and outside my self. It was tangible. The snarky New Yorker who started this blog is ridiculing the New Age believer who she sees writing these words today but I don't care. I know it was real. I was there. .

It felt good while it was going on and it felt even better as the day went on. I moved off the table with alacrity and dexterity and almost no thought at all. That was a change. I entered the gym and let Marcus put me through my PT paces as I amazed myself - I wasn't concentrating on moving, I was just doing it. .

Four hours later I paraded myself in front of TBG's smiling face. We were giggling like idiots and it was wonderful. I was walking. Not lumbering nor listing nor holding myself stiff and protected, but actually strolling out to the living room without a care in the world. .

I was a success. .

I considered scheduling another acupuncture session to see if I'd be able to fly.... the results were that striking... but I woke up the next morning and felt even better than I had the night before. I zipped around the gym with Amster and Elizabeth, carrying 15 pound dumb-bells and 20 pound E-Z curl bars without giving it a second thought. There were hugs from those who were glad to see me up and about again, but for the most part I was just one of the crowd. .

I was a success. .

Elizabeth followed me around on my errands before we ended up at the other gym for a mat pilates class. We'd walked through the post office and the library and the grocery store, depositing and purchasing as we went, never once using the handicapped parking sticker to place my vehicle within easy reach of the door of my destination. Distance wasn't an issue. Mat class was challenging, but I did my best and that was enough. I felt great. .

And I realized that I was starting to measure my success in a different way. My one-legged squats are a little off-kilter, but I don't care. Dr. Boaz won't let me do weighted squats at the gym, but I don't care about that, either. Today my hip is pinching me and walking is a chore, but even that's not weighing me down. .

Why? Because I did it and I know that I can do it again. .

8 months have passed and yesterday I let a Saturday morning go by without once thinking about Christina-Taylor or Safeway or guns or blood. She is always in my heart, but yesterday she wasn't in my head. And that, too, is a measure of success. Accepting the little advances, the small steps forward, the brief moments of peace, these are the markers of my success now. .

There's nothing as dramatic as giving up the walker, or the cane, or the portable commode. There's just a quiet relaxation into this new phase of healing. Allowing myself to remember the smiles and not get bogged down in the aches and giving myself credit when I manage to accomplish them both - that's success as far as I am concerned.


  1. Ha! Kerryn was right! You should send her a thank you note :)

  2. Oh, YES!!! On all psycho-socio-physical fronts.

    The thing I like best about the Alternatives is the gentleness of the approach, the feeling of holding oneself gently in the palm of one's own hand and cherishing our own health. It's hard for that to go wrong and it often goes very right. That makes it medicine according to the healer's dictum: First, do no harm.

    All the smarter docs I know are encouraging their patients to go with a comfortable mixture of both standard American practice and the Alternatives, if we can afford it.

  3. Many people need to be shown that things like acupuncture and Reiki can have a positive result. My sister is a Reiki Master and I am a Reiki I. She has much more experience than I have, but I believe in what it can do to help sooth and heal pain and injuries. Your post is so encouraging, Ashleigh. Way to go!! God Bless you!

  4. I took a class in Reiki 35 years ago, but sadly I didn't continue it. I do believe in the efficacy of it, though. So glad to know you and getting better!
    I want to try acupuncture sometime.

  5. Congratulations. The needles brought out the you in you.

  6. Congratulations! I have never tried acupuncture but this makes me willing to try it sometime. And good for you for being able to live a Saturday without feeling saddened.

  7. I am a big fan of acupuncture and reiki. I'm so glad that it helped you, I had a pinched nerve for months and it was finally cured with those 2 treatments. Keep at it!

  8. It sounds miraculous. Would you be willing to share Serena's office's name?


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