Friday, November 26, 2010

Posting History

I love posting this stuff. It took quite a bit of my time this evening, but the project is on fire. I love it! Check out my Hudson/Joy old letters blog to read the letter. In an urelated comment, my backpack smells like Starbucks, and that ain't all bad.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bank Posters at Auction

Photos of all posters by Jim Northrup.
If you happen to copy any, please credit Jim
for the photos and Robert A. Wilson
for the artwork. If you feel like making
a link to my blog, that's cool, too!

For those who remember The Bank rock'n'roll club in Torrance in 1968, or just like estoteric rock memorabilia, these rare posters are at auction for the next few hours. They were drawn by my first husband, Bob Wilson (Robert A. Wilson). Interesting stuff and fun memories getting to see the groups for free each week (free for me, he had to draw the poster!). Check out The HeART of Rock and Roll for lots of vintage and collectible posters from an age of the most amazing music. If you're so inclined, type the word "bank" in the search box. I couldn't make a direct link to the search results.

I still have a few, and I regret not trying to take my own photos, but it will be fun to post details of the ones I have left at some future date.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 23: Loosening Up

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 20, 2010

This photo has nothing to do with my Egoscue Method theme, except that the morning brilliance reflects some of the feelings I have after my appointment yesterday. It was my third appointment, and a long drive to Portland in pouring rain with a little snow over the pass on 26.

We went through the excercise routine I'd been doing for two weeks, and Matt asked if I felt I was still getting benefit out of all of the exercises or if there were some I felt done with. Being new to this, I didn't know how to evaluate that, except that if I was still feeling stretching or pain with any of the exercises, I guessed they were still doing something. So, we went through them and talked about how I felt doing each one, where there was still any pulling or stretching, and he watched how I walked and moved, asked about feelings of balance, etc., as before.

Then he tried me out on a whole new set of exercises. After my first visit, he had kept the original routine and added three. Most of these new ones were very different, so it seems I had made enough progress with the original set to begin stretching further to deepen the results or add to them. They were hard, and some of them hurt, while others were easy, just different. By the time I was done going through the new ones, I really felt limber and less painful in a whole new way. I'm beginning to have a real feel for how this works. Matt answered some questions I had about why I still have pain in certain areas. My feet have been especially bad the past few days, and I realize that probably has to do with a) being more active, b) getting into positions with my feet at the computer or during work that exacerbate the problem, but he also explained again how the twist I've developed over the years in my upper body affects how my feet work when walking and standing. He didn't say this, but I envisioned a marionette. If you twist the shoulders and upper body, the feet aren't going to contact the ground the same way any more. You spend years walking and hiking in that condition, and you're going to create problems in the feet. I also asked about some issues with strength for lifting vs. pushing in the upper body, and he demonstrated that, too, so it made sense for the first time. What we will be doing is correcting these things, and as we did the new routine, I could see even more than with the old routine how one side of my body performed differently than the other. The goal, of course, is to balance it out. I left feeling extremely positive about my progress, and I when I got home, despite a difficult drive in the rain with car headlights in my mirror and fog on the road, I felt looser and more natural in my skin than I have in a long time.

A few things I've noticed over the past few weeks:

1. I've taken stairways rather than the elevator just because I felt like it. I used to do that until I crashed at the end of last May. It felt good doing this again.

2. I can box up orders in the store with less pain than before.

3. The exercise routine became easier over the two weeks, and I didn't find myself doing only part of it and then taking a break and going back to finish. (I also learned from Matt that it's good to do it all at one time and in the right order, because one exercise may get your muscles ready for the next one, etc.)

4. I've generally felt better with less pain, but then when I feel better I do more, or maybe I've spent more hours at the computer, so it creates a feeling of being static and not making progress unless I really notice something like taking the stairs or walking farther without thinking about holding myself back to favor my feet.

5. The pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia are improving. I don't know that I could have done this routine back in June when the relapse was new, but during the summer I did find some very simple Egoscue excercises online for fibromyalgia, and with those I began the process of feeling better. They were not as dramatic as these, but they made a difference, and they were easy enough that I could do them at the time. (I did the one linked here and two others. Here is another page that describes all three. There may be a better link somewhere that shows all three visually the way the first link shows the one, but I want to get going.)

I thought I would be really sore this morning after yesterday's new and somewhat painful workout, but I was hardly sore at all, and I still felt flexible . . . better than waking up most other days. After yesterday, I thought I would be dreading the new set of exercises, but I'm very much looking forward to them. There are 11 exercises in all, including the new ones and a few of the old ones that were kept or modified. They'll take a little longer, because one requires lying on the floor for about half an hour. I would usually rather be DOING than not doing, so this is always a tough one for me to follow through on. It will make me feel better, though, so I'll just turn up the music and relax into it.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 5: Keep Moving, Part 2

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 3, 2010

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I was reading all evening instead of moving around in physical space. I had done my Egoscue exercises right before bedtime, then slept on it. This should not have been a problem, but since work was slow and I was still engrossed in the book I was devouring, I didn't get out of bed until 11:00 a.m. Do I even have to say this is very strange behavior for me? Anyway, I was stiff and sore when I got up, so I was not feeling as much benefit from the excercises as I would have if I'd been behaving normally.

The morning threw me off, but I became more active as the day went on. Despite some interruptions in the routine, I did my exercises more slowly and took a few breaks, getting in the 10 different ones over a period of several hours. And the pinch in my back while doing the two I mentioned yesterday was better. Doing them this way should make me feel more normal tomorrow. And I am still amazed at how much better I'm walking.

I'm not planning to keep up and day by day account, but I have already experienced so much benefit, that I'll note the signposts as I think of them. I have another appointment on Friday. The appointments are once a week at first, then spaced farther apart as you need fewer changes in the routine. At first the progress is very rapid, and the routine quickly becomes in need of updating. I can alreay feel "minor" (though not so minor if you've had to live with them) changes here and there, both internally and unexpected, and externally and more expected. The fear I have to get past now is that it's not all going to go away, or (worse) that it will come back. But I'm changing the very basis of how I stand and move, and these are the things that have created the pain. I look forward to the day I'll be taking long walks again and NOT have crippling back pain. I've lived with that one for almost 9 years with only minor respites and have slogged my way through it, taking long walks and hikes anyway; so it's hard to get over the feeling that it's with me for life. But the changes I feel already tell me this should not be the case.

Today's photo: Although it's more expensive, I've begun to shop more at the co-op this year. I started last May, really, because I could no longer walk through a big store like Safeway or Fred Meyer without having repercussions to my feet. I rediscovered what food is supposed to taste like, and I like supporting the local community. All health benefits aside, if you think vegetables and fruit taste like cardboard, try buying some real ones. Oh - My - God! What a difference. Even oatmal. It has flavor. And that's just a start.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 5: Keep Moving

Warrenton, Oregon ~ November 2, 2010

I did not keep moving, and I'm here to tell you, today it made an unfortunate difference. I'd gone in to Lucy's Books the other day to ask for a book I "couldn't put down." She found one for me: a murder mystery/relationship story called In the Woods by Tana French. I sat in the chair at Starbucks (the photo above was taken as I got out of the car) and read for two hours, then came home and read for many more hours. I'm a slower reader, and I could NOT put it down, so it added up to a lot of hours.

I put my exercises off, but I DID finally do them just before going to sleep. I had waited until so late in the evening that I didn't do them slowly with breaks as I said I was going to. But I had more stamina for them than yesterday and they came easier. Part of this is that I remember how to do each one more and more without reading the instructions, and partly my muscles are being trained. There was a little back pain, and I'm not sure if it's from the original twist in my body or from muscle pain from the exercises. It wasn't bad, just irritating.

So I jumped back into bed and read a bit more before going to sleep. (See next post.)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 4

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 1, 2010

The weather came in again, and it poured like crazy. Pouring rain has been alternating with cool and absolutely gorgeous days. But I chose Astoria. I really don't mind the rain. Here's what it looks like, though, serious puddles and no horizon line. I took these pix from the end of Doc's on 12th Street. I drove to the hair appointment that I used to walk to. I'm not pushing it yet. Although I move more easily and smoothly now, it will take some time for my stamina to come back. I've made progress since the end of May, but I'm not nearly there yet. It feels like a miracle because some things changed so fast, but I can't forget - it's still a process. It still seems miraculous, though, because it's happening at all. My condition had become so bad that merely washing my hair in the shower created intense back pain. So here I was, going to simply have my hair washed by someone else. I never thought that would happen, and although I deplore the reason, I am enjoying the luxury. Plus, I like Celestine a lot.

More rain over the edge of the pier. Note the little cormorant in the upper left. It seems quite at home.

It was not hard to convince myself to do the Egoscues today and I threw myself into it much faster, smoother, and without taking the breaks I've taken on the other days. In retrospect, it was a little too fast. I still felt all of the benefits afterwards, except that feeling of tiredness afterwards lasted for the day and I ached more. To be fair, I put in a full day of work, not only at the computer, but tearing up boxes and putting away inventory. It was a good day. I was still walking more smoothly at the end of the day, and I noticed that I didn't limp after emerging from the car or getting up from a chair. This is good. It's fantastic. Tomorrow I'll go slower with the exercises, try to remember to drink more water, and continue to get better. I already know from experience that I will have to push myself to take that 20 minutes to do something repetitive. Eyes on the prize. I'll need to remember that.

At the end of the day I went through the video rental with an unaccustomed freedom from back pain. My feet still have weird sensations in them, but the actual pain was almost gone. Ironically, one of the video guys dropped a DVD on my sandaled toes, and I yelped. My feet are sensitive, but at least the pain had not come from the inside.

This pic is for you, Francisca. I voted  :)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.