Corkscrew yourself

February 19, 2015

Chris took that crazy picture of me two months after the last stroke. Some people might be embarrassed have it out there, but I’m not. It marked the first time I was able to put all my weight on my left leg, even though I hit the pavement right after. Plus I love that Frankie is in it, always standing guard.

Little things like opening a bottle of water or getting the fitted sheets around the corners of the bed have gotten easier for me. Small victories. Ones I still shake my head at if I stop and think about them, which I try not to do too much.

Last week I decided to nut up and try Pilates. I think most of the people who read here (all 20 of you) know I used to love Pilates and practice regularly. Welp, here is a summary of how it went down:

  • What’s a corkscrew again?
  • Wait, I used to be able to do a corkscrew.
  • Flailing
  • 5 minute breaks every 5 minutes.
  • Where are my abdominal walls?
  • What are abdominal walls?
  • Do I still have abdominal walls?
  • You zip up from the belly button to the spine, lady. Oh, you already are.

The real kicker came when I tried to put my weight on my right arm and thread the needle. All that happened was a bunch of shaking and me collapsing on the mat. Humility 1, Carrie 0.

When it was over I was dripping in sweat from beginner moves. Actually, I was dripping in sweat after 3 minutes and just maintained a steady stream throughout. My legs felt like rubber. I was bewildered. Beginner moves weren’t a struggle for me even when I WAS a beginner.

Even though it’s hard for me to say these things out loud, I know it’s good (and hopefully helps someone else out there, too). Recovery is nothing to be ashamed of. At times like these Pilates ones, I wish I would have documented more last time around because, for some reason, I feel like the recovery process is dragging on forever. A few days ago I was really beating myself up, thinking about how well I was doing just this past summer.

Then I got out the calendar and realized it was 19 months after my first stroke.

Humility 2, Carrie 0.

Bad things happen fast and we have to live through them slow.

::Bright side: I did a modified corkscrew today!::

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  • Reply Debby March 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    I love that you are sharing your recovery journey. I don’t know if you remember, but I had a huge blot clot in my arm and jugular and luckily they caught it just in the knick of time. Scary.

    I’m wondering if you have a clotting disorder? I found out I do and so does my daughter. By the sounds of it, it sounds like you have had more than one stroke?

    You are an inspiration and I love your new blog design.

    Deb (formerly Inspired Design)

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:48 am

      Hi Debby! It’s so good to hear from you. I have had more than one stroke – I was almost two years out when I had another one in the fall. The first got me mentally, this one more physically. I can walk and talk and write so I’m well ahead a lot of other people, and fully realize that. My doc said these are stress induced; too much stress over a prolonged period and my body just broke. That said it never hurts to run it by her. Thanks for mentioning and I hope you’re doing well! xo

  • Reply Kristin W February 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Girl! Keep on keeping on! You are an inspiration. I can’t wait to see how the score changes as you continue to overcome obstacles.

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:46 am

      Thanks Kristin! I hope that acupuncture is treating you WELL. Woot!

  • Reply Jen Panetta February 21, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Better to be impatient than complacent. And what the heck is a corkscrew anyway? I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it!! The fact that you are getting back into it is awesome. Sometimes taking it back to square one helps us come back even stronger, actually. Sending you positive vibes!

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Agreed and feeling happy that I tried, even if I can only do the modified moves right now.

  • Reply Dancing Branflake February 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Um, that is definitely a very good bright side.

  • Reply lena February 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    It’s so easy when you’re in it to feel like it’s taking forever to dig out. John will get so down on how slow moving it is, only to have me remind him that it’s been only days or weeks, and that we’re all just doing our best. Keep on keeping on, you beautiful creature!

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Thanks, Lena and please tell John the same from me, a virtual stranger yet compadre on the road to healing.

  • Reply Courtney February 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Eventually it will all come back – although I can’t even imagine how painstaking and frustrating the process might get at times. But I think you’re a pretty indomitable gal (hell, if nothing else, I think this awesome photo proves that)….

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:43 am

      Thanks, Courtney. Frank is the best part of that picture!

  • Reply Lori February 19, 2015 at 11:45 am

    You always tend to bring a smile. I know you want to push yourself and go go go and get back to normal ~ give yourself some credit and reward yourself for even thinking about going to Pilates! Baby steps my friend ~ hugs xoxo

    • Reply This Free Bird March 6, 2015 at 2:42 am

      Thanks, Lori. I think I’m just going to stick to my mat videos for now. Takes a little pressure off and still more than gets the job done 🙂

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