I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous...Now Read My HIPS!

Now Read My HIPS! is returning very soon. My blog is currently under construction. I am doing some minor renovating and will begin blogging for the New Year, possibly before. I can't wait to start up again. I have missed all of my followers! I love every single one of you! You have helped me to become who I am today! I could never have continued my blog without all of your support. Please be patient, and please continue to support this blog as well as my other blog Chronically Mommy. Pass this information on to anyone that you know may be interested in knowing...To be continued...

I had my shoulder and both hips replaced, and I am changing things up a bit on this blog! I began belly dancing in 2010! Yes you read that correctly!! I am going to be blogging about my experience as a woman with several joint diseases and conditions who had her shoulder and both hips replaced who now belly dances and performs! I still have pain, but I want to blog about how I have fun too! Now Read My HIPS! Please read Chronically Mommy (chronicallymommy.blogspot.com) for info on health/pain.

Hi, I have avascular necrosis in my shoulders, hips, and knees, psoriatic arthritis, sjogren's, fibromyalgia, and hypermobility. I found out that I have autoimmune arthritis in my cervical spine and a bulging disk in my lumbar spine. Seven years ago my spine orthopaedic surgeon told me I had a small amount of autoimmune arthritis in my SI joint. The question still remains: Is the spinal involvement due to Psoriatic Spondylitis, which is a more severe form of Psoriatic Arthritis or is it a new diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis? Whatever the diagnosis, the treatment will remain the same. I had my left hip replaced in 2003 & my right shoulder replaced in March of 2010. I literally gave my right arm to be ambidextrous! LOL! Lastly, I had my right hip replaced on May 10th, 2012.

I began belly dancing. Yes that's correct! I began belly dancing in 2010, so now it is time to "read my hips." Pain is still another part of my life. It is just a question of when, where and how much, but I would like to use this blog to write about my experience as a woman with several joint diseases and conditions who had both hips and a shoulder replaced and now spends her free time belly dancing and performing! I belong to a dance troupe since February of 2014, Seshambeh Dance Company. I am dancing weekly with my troupe in an advanced class and on Saturdays with another class which focuses on exercise and being a strong woman. I am performing a lot more often now, at least 4 or 5 times per year! Join me in my journey!

At times, I take 16 to 20 pills a day. I go every 4 weeks to the to get a 2 hour IV for my autoimmune arthritis diseases. Just when one thing seems to be doing better, something else goes downhill! My attitude, however, is always going uphill! I am 42 years old, have been married 16 years, and my husband and I adopted Mick in Dec. of 2010! I have a lot on my plate right now, but I take it one moment at a time. I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle. However, I do need to learn to ask for help sometimes instead of always doing it by myself!



(Formerly "I Already Gave My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous!")

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these daya are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

Now Read My HIPS!

Now Read My HIPS!
Asmara "Beautiful Butterfly"

Blog with Integrity

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Monday, October 4, 2010

The Funniest Thing About Chronic Illness

The theme for this edition of ChronicBabe's Blog Carnival is: The Funniest Thing About Chronic Illness. It's not all tears and struggles. Sometimes chronic illness is damn funny - either to us or to others. Sometimes we use humor to deal with the hard times.

You may ask yourself, what is so funny about being chronically ill? Well, I'll tell you--belly dancing..

OK,OK,OK...second question that would automatically follow the first one is: What the hell is a chronically ill person doing belly dancing? Well, let me tell you the story before you "laugh out loud" or "roll on the floor laughing" or even "pee yourself laughing". Believe me, you will pee yourself with this story.

I was a professionally trained ballerina, who just happened to develop several chronic pain and joint conditions. I stopped dancing in high school because my boyfriend at the time had hockey practice and his games on the same nights as some of my dance classes. I chose my boyfriend over dance. This was a bad idea because dance to me was a passion. I thought that I could always go back to it at any point in my life. I never thought I would end up so sick that I couldn't actually dance again. Because it was such a passion of mine the thought of never being able to dance again was a serious loss for me. I went through all the stages of grief before I could accept that I could not ever be a professional ballerina.

Lately, since my medication regimen has been working pretty well for me, I have been feeling pretty good. I have reached a point where I felt like attempting an exercise routine. I have still been struggling with fatigue, but for the most part, I've been feeling well enough to start "moving." I began with swimming laps, added a water aerobic class, also started doing yoga and pilates at home, I bought some small light hand weights and ankle weights, I purchases a shake weight, and I felt really fine doing it all. It seems to give me more energy every time I exercise, especially the more challenging work-outs like the water aerobic class. I take it on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I decided it was time to add a dance class...

A facebook friend of mine teaches a Nia movement class on Tuesdays and Friday nights at an all ladies gym near my home. It is a South African Dance/Movement class that focuses on balance and movement. It is a lot like Tai Chi, where you switch from balancing in one position to another or one side of the body to another side, incorporating the healing arts with it. I loved it so much! I felt the music inside me just like I did when I was a ballerina! I felt like I was a dancer again. I am so thankful for this class because it is so easy on my joints, and I really work up a sweat!

Then I found out about a belly dancng class near my house. I decided to push myself a little further. I went for the first time last week. It was at another apartment complex in their clubhouse. There were 5 students and the instructor. Everyone had a coin scarf around their waste except me because I missed the first class so I hadn't purchased one yet. Three of the students and the instructor had a belly-bearing top. I chose not to bear my belly. The thing about belly dancing is that you really use a lot of the hips and the belly as well as the arms. They worked on arms the first week that I missed, so the week I started was to focus on the hips. Of course it was! Now I have arthritis and avascular necrosis with a total hip replacement of the left hip, and my right hip is partially collapsed. Are you started to see why belly dancing was funny?

We began with the vertical and horizontal figure 8's, then the hip lifts and hip shimmies and finally the leg shimmies. Everytime I tried to do anything with my hips, I moved my knees. You are supposed to separate the two and have the hips move as one unit by themselves. I would laugh so hard because no matter how hard I tried, I could not separate the two. The instructor even would laugh with me. She said to bend my knees slightly, and that should help. It didn't. She came up to me and placed her hands on my hips to try to help me move them without moving my knees. She said it would take practice, but I will eventually get it. Every new hip movement, those darn knees would move right along with the hips. It was crazy. I didn't get mad at myself, but rather I would laugh uncontrollably. The laughter was contagious because everyone would laugh with me as I tried so hard. Then when we finally were taught the leg shimmies, she said that this was the only time we were not to move our hips, but focus on the knees and move them in and out to make it look as though our bodies were vibrating. She looked at me, laughed, and jokingly (yet seriously) said I should be able to do this one because I can actually move my knees. I began to move my knees, started to speed them up...faster and faster. I was doing it! Everyone was laughing louder than before because I was doing it perfectly, and no one else could do it!!!!!!!!!!

After class, I paid my fee, bought my coin scarf and a CD of music to practice with. I told the instructor how much I enjoyed the class. I said that it was challenging, I knew it would be, but I love a good challenge. I said that I love to dance and that I was a professional ballerina years ago. It is nice to get back to dancing. I said I know I am struggling a bit, but I will practice everyday. I promise. I told her that I am struggling with the hips and knees being connected I think because my left hip is replaced and my right hip is partially collapsed. She looked at me with a surprised look on my face. I said that it was OK to laugh with me. I wouldn't take a class if I couldn't laugh at myself. I like a class where I can poke fun at myself and be a normal person. I am having so much fun dancing again. I may not ever look like the perfect belly dancer, but I am having a lot of fun doing it. I know I look funny doing it too, but it's all part of the fun of it. It's OK to laugh with me. Don't stop laughing on my account. After all, I'm a person with chronic pain and several joint and mobility diseases, and I'm taking belly dancing classes. That sentence alone deserves a laugh!

2 comments:

phylor said...

I love your belly-dancing story! Thanks for sharing it! How are the classes going? Keep us posted!

Dana Morningstar said...

They meet for class right now the second and 4th week of the month. It began in Sept, and I missed the first class, so next week Wed. will only be my second class. I will let you know how it goes! I have been practicing though! I would love it if someone from Atlanta would go with me as my dancing buddy, and we could practice together too. No one has said they're interested yet. I'll post it on my social networks. As I said, I have been practicing lots. I even brought my coin scarf with me when we went out of town to visit family. I still continued to practice in front of a mirror. My parents were a bit concerned, but proud of me at the same time. Once they saw me actually able to move my hips, they were amazed!!!!!!!!!! I'm getting better at it.

Walk Team

Walk Team

2012

2012

2012

2012

Belly Dance

Belly Dance
Before the Performance 5/6/12
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