10. Sleeping. I had to prop up both of my arms at the shoulders, elbows and wrists with pillows, as well as my hips, knees and neck. I basically had to create a fortress of pillows around my entire body. Just as well I didn't have a boyfriend or husband, as there would have been no room for him!
11. Cook. Because you have to be able to lift heavy pots and pans and move things around quickly. And, if you are cooking in my kitchen, you have to be able to reach up high and crouch down low to get anything you need. Yeah. Right.
12. Stand for any length of time. It was awful. I hated all the people on the subway who got on before me and got seats.
13. Sit for any length of time. This was awful, too, as my hips would begin to freeze up the moment I sat down. I remember one day at work when it was particularly bad. Every time I got up, I would have to stay hunched over and limp for the first few (or fifty) steps until my hips loosened up a bit more. I looked rather like a crazy, witchy old hag from a Disney cartoon.
14. Turn my head. My neck was so frozen most of the time that I lost the ability to swivel my head from side to side or look up or down too much. For the most part, I could cut this out, but walking around a city full of crazy drivers, bikers and people, you need more than your peripheral vision. You need to be able to move your freakin' head.
15. Chew. My jaw was severely affected, so often, I wasn't able to close my jaw all the way, which meant I couldn't really bite down on anything or chew it easily. Hello, soft foods. Conversely, I also couldn't open it all that wide, which made brushing my teeth even more challenging, as well as eating big juicy burgers or opening wide for the dentist.
One year later, I have gotten back way more than I ever dreamed I might have and quite quickly, all things considered. But things are different. I can practice yoga, but it is a very different practice - no arm balances or headstands since my wrists and neck are still too vulnerable. When I can find a way to make something easier on me, I do. My neck and jaw don't always cooperate fully. I still use pliers to open bottles every now and then if I feel like my wrists or fingers are feeling tender that day. But, all in all, I try to relish the small victories as much as I can. The ability to wash my dishes and my hair are hard won, and I don't intend to take them for granted or to relinquish them again without a fight.
Bring on year two!