Monday, March 4, 2013

Balls Make Me Cry

Today as I sat on a bright orange ball my lips quivered and my gaze fell to the floor. My Pilates teacher stooped to clasp my arm, a frown of concern flickering across her face.

Dawn the last thing I wanted to do was make you cry

Sitting on the exercise ball pressed the play button on a tucked away film. The pause button now disabled, the clip plays on: 

Daily exercises are being performed with the community physiotherapist during a home visit. The scene is in early 2009 set by the side of my relocated bed in the downstairs back room.  The large exercise ball is in focus but no games are being played. 

Try lifting your arms up above your head The physiotherapy aid suggests

Game for anything I give it a go but like a Weeble my body tips to the left... in slow motion  I pass the point of no return and begin to slide off the jelly my leg muscles refuse to support me and I roll onto the floor. The piano breaks my fall. I lie gazing up at the dust which has collected underneath.  

...My pilates teacher says Do you want to get off? 

No this ball is orange the last one was grey. But these exercises are the progress...

I wipe my eyes; as I shift my bum on the orange ball the film clip restarts:

Getting up from under the piano requires a a five step stand strategy;  I move backwards onto one cushion, then two, then a low stool, a low chair and finally up onto a normal chair; hands pushing up from the arms of the chair, knees quivering, I stand.

I shake myself, nowadays the stand strategy has reduced to three; turn over onto my knees, crawl to something I can safely grab onto then pull and heave myself onto my feet. Progress. 

I recently started these one to one Pilates classes with the aim of improving my standing and balance. Standing on one spot for more than a few minutes sets my seat radar into motion: Seat, seat, where is the nearest seat. My trip and tumble statistics have increased too of late.

With my pilates teacher we discover that when standing an unconscious and unnatural gripping of my bum and right leg muscles takes place...muscle fatigue shouts at me to sit. There is little warning for the tripping and falling.

So I hope that by stripping my disabilities down in Pilates layer by layer like peeling an apple to its core, I can begin to understand once again the work I have to do.