Sunday, July 5, 2009

DEAR DIARY: but I am stretching

I would consider myself a physically active person. I did dance, gymnastics, and climbed trees as a kid. I did track, volleyball and cheerleading in high school. But somehow, between 18 and now, I have become a person that people assume is 'out of shape' simply because I lack normal range of motion.

That hardly seems fair.

Before my symptoms got really bad I became a huge fan of yoga. Although I was typically in there with arthritis patients, my yoga instructors would pull me aside and reccommend me for their geriatric classes. I was never offended by this or felt out of shape.. I just felt like I had some weird muscle tightness problem...

But my current physical therapy, which is actually reccommended for people with medical issues, is not as friendly.

No mater how many times I explain to them that I cannot lift my arm straight up.. I get:

"There's no can't! Just try harder!"

If I grimace in pain and suggest that turning my neck all the way to the left might be too much for me I get:

"Turning your neck is a normal movement..just go slower !"

As an adult I have watched my body progressively get tighter.. and I dont appreciate someone telling me I should just stretch slower....

(as if a combined 3 years of 3x a week physical therapy or yoga doesnt prove I know how to stretch.. yet my body continues to tighten?)

I know now that physical therapy for dystonia is not always reccommended, but I wanted to maintain the strength in the non dystonic side of my body since it is now working to compensate for the other half.

Maybe in the future, medical yoga will be added as a treatment for dystonia.

but I wont hold my breath.

1 comment:

  1. Boy, do I feel your pain about physical therapists. I went to one who claimed to be an expert on dystonia. She told to roll my arms back and forth to relax my dystonia-affected left arm and hand. Which would be fine 1) if it worked (it doesn't--not consistently, anyway), 2) I could walk around all day rolling my arms around (I can't, for obvious reasons), and 3) if my hand didn't completely tighten up when I stopped (which it most definitely does).

    I've come to the sad conclusion that physical therapists are idiots (at least, that one was).


your comments are appreciated.