There’s Got to Be a Better Way

A few years ago Madeline, Keith and I enjoyed watching Little Bill together. It is a gem of a show created by Bill Cosby that is very entertaining, creative and educational. All the things you would expect when touched with Cosby’s genius. Keith and I revel in those shows from an Instructional Design perspective and we love to be involved in that process with Madeline, using it as a tool to teach her how it applies to her life. She is always an eager student. In one episode Little Bill was trying to figure out how to accomplish a goal (the details escape me) and he kept repeating “there’s got to be a better way” as his mind moved through the creative process of trying to determine how to make it work. That stuck with me and I use it for Madeline, as well as for myself.

Living with MS requires me to be creative. I need to incorporate new symptoms in to my life regularly, while maintaing the pile that already exist. Sometimes that maintenance is streamlined, but often there is a log jam when something is more difficult. It requires a pause and reboot.

So here I am, announcing a pause and reboot.

I’m trying to get back to my yoga routine that ended in December of 2007 when dizziness came to challenge me.  I’ve tried to reincorporate it in different ways in this past year and a half always gravitating to abdominal tightening, I found myself drawn to the very thing that makes me most dizzy in my effort to remain trim. (Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?) 🙂  Reboot.

This is not about physique. I’ve always struggled with the fact that I can’t work out the way I want to; to be as trim as I prefer. Society’s pressure doesn’t passover me just because I have MS marked on my doorpost. (little pesach humor there!)  But that isn’t what Yoga is for. It runs much deeper than that.  

So last Tuesday I went to my first Yoga class. The MS Society was sponsoring this MS Yoga class for free at a church down the block from me. I couldn’t find any excuses for not attending… it was convenient on every level. So, I went. Somewhat fearful of what I was going to be exposed to, in terms of the MS variability, but forging ahead knowing that this was really an old emotion, and 20 years into this I can handle it.  My ego was no longer that fragile, and I need to update my files. 

And I moved through the expertly guided positions (many of which were familiar to me from my home video) slowly and deliberately. The woman who was leading this session Diane Speer, clearly had experience working with people living with MS. Her expertise was immediately evident.  She started us all in an easy place… and we each worked our way though it.  But in spite of my careful effort, I knew when I stood up that I hadn’t been successful.

And here I sit, 4 days later- dizzy when I move my head, clutching my stick, staying home from work and using my energy in stillness. Luckily the stillness works for me and I feel ok when I’m at the computer.   So, while some would give up on this yoga thing, I won’t, because I know there has got to be a better way. And Diane is going to help me crack this. (thank you Diane!)  We’re going to craft a routine that provides the right movement, both inside and out– neurologically, muscularly and emotionally. Until then, I’ll just sit still.

and I’ll keep you posted.

5 thoughts on “There’s Got to Be a Better Way

  1. Phil says:

    Hi. Was talking to Harriet about your dizziness and Yoga. Harriet had, and occasionally, still gets it–related to inner ear disturbance (rambunctious otoliths, viral). She finds tai chi and quizhong (she’s taking a class mondays now) energizing, less stressful, less likely to cause dizziness, for her. Hope you feel better.

  2. Lisa Emrich says:

    Love your humor and trust that Diane will be able to lead you through the process. Take it one step at a time and you will find a way.

  3. Leslie says:

    This was a pleasure to read, and even more wonderful to relate to. You have a wonderful way of putting things in perspective. love you!

  4. Nadja Tizer says:

    Sorry about the dizziness but good for you for not giving up. I wish I could assist you in this journey. Here are my suggestions though.

    Stick to seated poses to start with. Avoid forward bending and flows that take you up and down like the sun salutation. Try using a wall when you balance. Keep your head uprght as much as possible. Don’t move too quickly. Hang in there.

    Dizziness is often an issue for me too and I teach yoga every day. When I get dizzy, I know I need to slow down or take a break. I have noticed that a lot of up and down and head movement make it worse so I try to be extra-careful with those things or skip them completely. When I get overheated I back off. Please email me if I can offer more help. I also recommend the book “Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis.”

    • aglol says:

      Nadja,
      Thanks so much for your comprehensive response! I’m going to forward your remarks to Diane. I wasn’t able to make it this past week but am looking forward to finding the better way. My friend just sent me that book, so you are giving me added incentive to crack the binding.
      Again, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I greatly appreciate it.
      All the best,
      Amy

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