Sunday, May 3, 2009

the sign says "go this way"

ankylosing spondylitis. that is the verdict from my new specialist, dr. deodhar at OHSU. last monday i met with him and with a few minutes of examining me, listening to my symptoms and reading my family medical history, he said what i have is a classical presentation of ankylosing spondylitis.

so what does this mean for me? first of all, dr. deodhar said i must lose weight and begin to swim or do water exercise at least 4 days a week. i must have regular cardio exercise with zero to low-impact on my joints. yoga is also recommended, although i will begin with a focus on the water exercise for now. slow and steady wins the race...if i needed further motivation to get my butt in gear, well now i have it in the form of a prescription!

i guess it's good news on some level. it is good to have an answer and a direction of treatment to pursue. i still don't know what sparked the attack of acute, intense back pain and vertigo of march, but i do feel they are related. my diagnosis of AS is revealing, but not the full answer on some levels. i hope to gain the answer to that mystery at my next appointment. my x-rays came back without showing degenerative damage in my lower back vertebrae and pelvis, so that is also good news. i seem to have caught it early enough to (hopefully) prevent degeneration.

after all, i want the next 50 years of my life to be active, healthy and full of adventure!

since my last post, i have been bustling around in the studio with orders and busy gardening on my patio. i have a small rose garden that after years of neglect, is finally getting tended, weeded and mulched. i fought a brutal battle with aphids (3,000 ladybugs lost their lives) and have emerged victorious. today, tomato and basil plants are going into pots. a small bed of multi-color sunflowers are being seeded. i have dreams of turning this little patio into a fruitful kitchen garden.

this year, it is an experiment. yet, hopefully will be able to enjoy cut flowers and fresh veggies from right outside my back door in a couple of months.

spring is in full swing. summer is coming, even through the rain, i can see that sunshine on the other side. and i am excited to enjoy summer, my summer of new things.

on june 8, my first graduate school class begins. i am nervous and excited. the summer classes are offered as intensives, so i will have one class everyday 8-5 for a solid week, then it's done. whew! what a way to begin the program. i am taking full time credits this summer, but only actually in class for about four weeks.

so there will be plenty of time to dig into my gardening projects and other summer pleasures. i would like to go blueberry picking and make pickles. and i will be clocking in some hours each week at the ymca, of course.

what does summer hold in store for you this year?


Laura said...

So, does paddling count as low-to-no impact cardio? I'm casting about for a non-competitive dragonboat team, or even an outrigger situation. Let me know if I should keep you in mind. And the walk... yes. Soon. I am maxed on social time right about now. About the time you gear up and get busy, I'll be free and ready to distract you. We'll connect soon! Great post!

a. darland said...

just wanted to let you know i've been thinking of you lately...thought i'd pass along a couple favorite quotes that have been close to my heart lately....

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." - Lao Tzu

"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." - Rumi

PetalsYoga said...

Hmmmmm... yoga did you say???? Come to my yoga for healing class on Wednesday mornings or I'll come to you and teach you for free.

I'm happy you have a diagnosis even though I wish you didn't have one more stinking diagnosis. Know what I mean?

So excited for you and your starting school in June, though. I know you will simply blossom.



Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Hi Tay dear. Just catching up on your posts. Glad to hear that you have a name for your ailment and a plan!

PS loved that pic of you in Mexico below. You looked so lovely and happy. If anyone is deserving of that loveliness, it's you!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

and can I tell you that that Petals Yoga offer is incredibly generous. I hope you are taking her up on it! What a sweet person:-)