What haven’t I broken might be easier, but then you would miss the gory details. So I’ll dispense with the time frame, I will mention that as bad as my injuries seemed at the time, I really would not want to trade them in. With each one I was able to reflect a little on my life- before and after. My point: pain is the best teacher educator.
Starting at the bottom right side, I have literally crushed the majority of bones in my right foot. The damage was so bad that the prognosis was walking cane or worse. There are pins in my big, second and third toes (in two toes all the way to the tip) several bones on the top of my foot were so badly crushed the doctors had to shave bone from my hip to try to rebuild / replace them. Right ankle was broken in several places, requiring a pin to just hold it together. My right knee was also broken and repaired with a pin and hinge screw.
From birth, my right leg turned out so my right foot, in a natural stance would be perpendicular to my left foot when I stood heel to heel. The doctors were unaware of the defect when they set my leg.
My right forearm- both bones suffered compound fractures which just means, at the time, they broke with such force they came through the skin. They required plates and screws, I’ll leave out the flesh stuff and other run of the mill injuries like broken/fractured ribs, collar bone, face (orbital) and skull.
Let’s see- left leg. I broke both my tibia and fibula near the ankle- more screws. And in order for the surgery to happen they had to operate on my left knee and insert a rod (by clearing space and drilling hole in knee) through the bone all the way to just shy of the ankle. I couldn’t tolerate pain medication at all and took none.
As you might imagine I needed a lot of rehab but I got none because I had no insurance- no physical therapy, no chiropractor- until Bikram Yoga. I stared Bikram several years after my bones had knitted together full of scar tissue that had solidified- not to mention how the muscle had developed. I was living with what I had become accustomed to in terms of my range of motion. Obviously, I have a high tolerance for pain, so thinking back, I just did what I needed to do.
There have been too many positive things about Bikram Yoga to mention them all so I will just try to describe my right foot and ankle then and now.
I’m sure you can relate or imagine the sensation of walking barefoot across a gravel surface, Well, in the beginning that was the way my bones felt pressing through my skin inside and against surfaces. After a time but before yoga-my foot felt strong at peek times of the day but in the evenings many times in the mornings there would be a deep ace to the bone. Enough to make me hesitate to put my foot down and put weight on my foot and ankle. As you might imagine, in the beginning of my yoga practice there were many postures that challenged/pained me, quickly helping me to realize where I was week and inflexible. you think you can’t get your butt to the floor(fixed firm), get all the way up on your toes, lock your knees? Was there pain? Do you think any of us have any true grasp of our potential? Well take it from me we have ‘NO IDEA’. We think the room is hot? We tell ourselves some silly stuff. One baby step at a time almost seven years of baby steps- When do you think my foot and ankle will be healed? It’s taken a while but when I’m in class regularly (4-5times a week) I can’t tell which foot/ankle I broke. Traction- like Bikram says “a natural human traction”- are the words that come to mind- like each bone has it’s own brace (muscle/memory) and it does.
But when my record gets caught in a groove and I just get used to the same old sound and four days of no practice turns into seven days, my teacher (pain) will reappear to remind me that I dont have to listen to the same song over and over again, expecting to hear something different. And you know, the hesitation/fear (memory of the past) to put my foot down returns and the soreness can intensify with each day away from yoga. When I return to the practice, get back into my body, use it to pull my mind back to NOW, I start remembering/feeling how good it can be! Continuously working hard in class will get rid of all the stuff we don’t need.