It’s been a rough year, 2009. Not for important reasons. But for stupid annoyances, things that just get in the way of my enjoying my yoga, which, truth be told, leads to my having difficulty enjoying many things in life. When the yoga goes awry, the grumpiness tends to set in. I don’t obsess about yoga the way I used to, but when I have trouble with it, when it doesn’t feel good, I tend to return to it over and over in my mind, wondering, why? why? why? what is wrong? what is going on with my body?
And you know what? Usually, if not always, it has been true that something IS going on with my body. For the first several months of the year, I had an undiagnosed tooth abscess, during which time, I felt malaise and stiffness. My arthritis acted up. I put on a few pounds (and on someone of my size, it only takes a few pounds to feel the difference). Something was wrong, and everything felt wrong. In March, the root of the problem was discovered, no pun intended, and root canal (plus antibiotics) was the solution.
As soon as the bad stuff was cut out of my tooth, I felt better. My yoga returned to its usual goodness. Of course. I should have known.
But when the tooth abscess returned, as it sometimes does after a root canal, the same physical symptoms came back: symptoms of inflammation. More antibiotics. Well-being returned.
Then in June, I broke my hand. My thumb. My hand. Whatever. There was also, as it turns out, some soft tissue damage. It’s still not 100 percent, although it’s getting there. The whole episode did my yoga practice no favors.
But just as things were starting to get better, guess what? My tooth abscess returned. My face hurt. My body ached vaguely. This time, there was no more that my dentist could do. He sent me to a specialist where the choice was either remove the tooth or try a special surgery called “apigoectomy”, where the apex of the tooth is removed, along with the source of the infection.
I consented to the surgery, although it’s questionable whether it was actually “informed consent”, as I was not told that the surgery would require several weeks of downtime where I could not be upside down, and a full 10 days of being unable to leave the house due to my face being so swollen that I was literally unrecognizable. I also was not told that the bruising would last another month after that. And that the pain would not necessarily go away for much longer. Or possibly ever. Nevertheless, the abscess was gone, really and truly gone, and after the first few weeks, after the stitches dissolved and the surgical site healed, I began to enjoy life without inflammation.
Once again, my body felt happy. I began to reintroduce myself to vinyasa practice, after a summer off, and then weeks of forced rest.
Then last week, I caught a terrible cold, one which decimated my voice and left me listless from Sunday through yesterday. Today, however, I woke up feeling better. I took Lewis the Bagle for a long hike this morning, and late this afternoon, I did my yoga practice.
And all I could think was: Wow…so this is what it’s supposed to feel like. So THIS is what my body is supposed to do.
It’s been a long time, and I had almost forgotten how good yoga can make me feel. I can only hope that I get a nice stretch of feeling good, that my surgery turns out to be a true and permanent success, that I don’t catch the flu (getting a shot in two weeks, doctor’s orders) and that I can catch a break in general (REALLY no pun intended). After one good practice, I have had a taste of what it’s supposed to be like on the mat. What it used to be like. What I’m hoping it will be like again.
Is that too much to ask?
Oh, and as of September 17, 2009, it has been seven years since my surgery. I hate to even bring it up, but since I’m bitching and complaining about what a rough year 2009 has been, I should at least temper it with an acknowledgement of what REAL troubles are.