Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 319

Today was a bit better, but boy, am I ever sore! Also, yesterday afternoon I fell into bed and slept for two hours after my practice, clearly exhausted by the effort.

My arms are shoulders are aching. My low back felt fine (until I started to do my practice, then...ug). My legs are sore - this is unrelated to yoga though. On Sunday, I was impatient while waiting for elevator so I took the stairs - all 15 flights - down. I was fine yesterday, but this morning I woke up to painful calves. My hamstrings hurt. My neck is a bit stiff.

However, that shoulder pain that was bothering me earlier in the summer is nowhere to be found. If it wasn't for my tight hammies, I would totally be able to do Halasana!

I'm doing vinyasa between postures, but not between sides. By the end of my practice (Navasana, then closing), I'm shaking with exhaustion. This feels far more difficult than when I first started Ashtanga. I hope it gets better!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 318

I'm back.

It's been a long recovery - far longer than I ever anticipated. I'm usually so strong and healthy, it was a tough adjustment suddenly being very ill and being required to take bed rest. Even then, I was stubbornly determined to get back to my daily activities when I got out of the hospital. During those first days, I tried to take the dog out for a long walk but returned home after a few minutes, absolutely exhausted. I unrolled my mat but was too exhausted to even sit for very long. I slept a lot but had little appetite for food. I lost a lot of weight. I've gained some of it back, but my diet has been terrible.

I only had a few more weeks left at my contract, so I decided to focus all my energies on finishing it up (I was done on the 19th). The plan was to return to my Ashtanga practice the following week. I did try to practice on the 22nd, but 5 A's and 5 B's completely exhausted me. I spent the rest of the week resting, taking occasional walks to build my endurance, and working on small projects around home.

Today, I unrolled the mat for real with the intention of doing the full Primary Series for the first time in months (I had been doing a modified version of the series during the contract because of time constraints). I only managed to practice through Navasana. And I finished in a puddle of sweat. I'm absolutely stunned by how much strength I've lost in a month. I had to start modifying Chaturanga Dandasana because my arms were shaking from the effort. My hamstrings are so tight I can't touch the floor and my low back was having spasms. I've lost much of my core strength.

I feel like I'm going back to the very beginning.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On the mend

Just a quick update. I realise I left you all hanging. Apologies for that!
I was released from the hospital into my partner's care. By Saturday night, I was feeling well enough to join friends for a dinner out, though I didn't eat very much. On Sunday night, I went back to my own apartment, cleaned and did some laundry in preparation for the week ahead.
I'm still not up to full strength - I'm very weak and get tired easily. I taught a class and did a half-hour of restorative yoga on Saturday morning and I was absolutely wiped out afterward. I've done no yoga since then. Clearly, my Ashtanga practice is on hiatus for the immediate future while I recover. Even meditation is difficult because I'm often in pain and sitting is tiring.
At the moment, I literally have no appetite! Foods that I normally covet, like ice cream, cake, candy and cookies just turn my stomach (my sweet tooth is broken!). I can't even drink green tea. Water seems to be the only beverage that appeals to me. For now, I'm sticking with simple, bland foods: prepared soups and low-sodium Ritz crackers. I've been drinking a meal-replacement shake every morning in an effort to maintain some level of nutrition.
I'm still in some pain and my sleep is disrupted. According to my doctor, things should improve significantly for me in the next day or two. In a week, I should be back to my old self.
In terms of yoga, I was amazed by how tight my entire body is. It's like my body crumped up into a fist from the pain and the trauma. I'm also releasing a lot of toxins and I smell 'funny'. I normally don't have a body odour, but I certainly do right now! And I'm astonished by how weak I am. I hope that I haven't lost my strength completely when I do get back to my practice.
In some ways this illness has been really bad timing but on the other hand, I'm really glad it didn't happen in October when I was carrying a full-time teaching schedule. I guess there's never a 'good' time to end up in hospital. I'm just glad I'm out and on the mend.
Thank you for all of your kind emails and comments! I'll be back soon...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Out sick

I've been very ill for three days. Going to hospital now. Will update soon.