Good morning. Today is Saturday August 20, 2020. My heart breaks for all those affected by the multiple fires burning out of control in Northern Cali. I have two friends who evacuated their homes yesterday, due to the unpredictability of the fires path. As horrible as it must be to have to leave, I am so glad they listened to the authorities and rounded up their families and animals, and got out before it was too late. Things can always be replaced. Lives can not! When natural disasters like this occur, (they say these fires were sparked by the lightening strikes we had last weekend) it instantly puts my life and diagnosis into quick perspective. Yes, I do have a condition that sucks and sometimes causes me problems. However, I am not at risk of losing my house tonight to fire. I can't even imagine their fear and frustration with not knowing if they will have a house to go home to, when this is over.
I am so grateful for so many reasons. If I ever took anyone or anything for granted before PD, I truly regret it. I am especially grateful to certain individuals for helping me to get better. Today I would like to acknowledge my friend and Pilates teacher Cecilia. I truly believe that nothing happens by chance and that people appear in your path when you most need them. In order to understand how Cecilia came into my life at the perfect moment, I need to go back and retell some of my PD story.
In the Spring of 2015, I had my first symptom. I completely ignored it and moved on with my life. At the end of April (2015), I sprained my lower back and attended Physical Therapy for the next two months. After school ended for the year (end of June) I headed down south to LA for the summer. In early July, I noticed some weird unexplainable things going on with my body. I was also fatigued all the time, no matter how much sleep I got. Again, I ignored all the red flags. In mid August, I came home to get ready for the new school year. I hired a personal trainer because I was convinced I was just being lazy and needed that extra push to get me rolling again. First session I had with her was fabulous. The second early morning session was a disaster. I was extremely fatigued and off balance from the moment I woke up that early morning. During a step up exercise, I lost my balance and fell off of the step onto my bottom, full force. Luckily I only bruised, rather than broke my tail bone. After that epic fall, on the advice of someone I trusted, I decided to give Pilates a second try. It had been many years since I had been on a reformer. I welcomed the chance to strengthen and stretch my legs and arms in a much safer fashion. Amazingly, after only two weeks of taking Pilates, my tailbone was completely healed. I had found my niche. I attended Pilates classes three days a week, after work. Whatever weirdness I had experienced (with my body) over the summer was completely gone. Now I was kicking some serious a*s in my Pilates practice and was getting stronger and stronger. Unfortunately , at the end of November, things changed. I noticed my body was "off" yet again, for no apparent reason. One evening in Pilates class, we were asked to lift our arms up by the sides of our bodies. As I looked at my form in the mirror, I noticed that my right arm was way lower than my left arm. When I tried to lift my right arm higher, I just could not. It was like my arm was frozen. This was extremely concerning to me. By mid December, I was toast. I could barely keep my eyes open during the day, and had stopped going to Pilates. I went to see my Neurologist (mid December) and a CT Scan was performed. The results were negative as to a tumor or worse. Once again, by early January (2016) the symptoms had miraculously gone away. However, in April (2016), my life began to crash and burn, as the symptoms came back with a vengeance and took over my body. I ended up going to UCLA over my summer break to consult with a Dr. She said I showed all the signs for PD.
Fast forward to August. I took a medical leave from school, as my Neurologist wanted to do more testing before he gave me a definitive answer on what I had. It turns out, it was in fact PD. In the meantime, I once again started attending Pilates classes at a studio near my house. Since I was on a medical leave, I began taking early morning classes, rather than evening classes. One morning in October (2016), a new teacher taught my Pilates class. This was her first class at my studio. I immediately noticed how knowledgeable she was about the body (muscles groups, how the body works). It was clear to me that she knew her stuff and kept us very safe while exercising. I particularly loved the fact that she incorporated many ballet stretches into her class. I also noticed that she was not from the school of warm fuzzies! I really appreciated her no nonsense attitude. Her name is Cecilia.
At the same time, I had been looking far and wide for someone to come to my home and exercise with me. My motivation was waning. I was hoping to find someone who not only knew the body inside and out, but also had some understanding of brain conditions. I definitely needed a teacher who would call me on my stuff and push me to new limits. I knew as soon as I met Cecilia, that she was the one I needed to kick my a*s back into gear. After class, I introduced myself and told her about my diagnosis. I figured her response would be one of sorrow and panic. Much to my surprise, she did just the opposite. She shared with me that she had just moved back to the area from Puerto Rico. While living in Puerto Rico, she had worked with a gentleman for the last 6 years who also has PD. As my mum used to say "This was music to my ears"! I had found my miracle!
❤️ This is Cecilia ❤️