To YOU: my precious friends,
Do not worry — I promise to return as soon as I can! The time has come for me to embark on more in-depth medical explorations. It has been nearly 3 years since having undergone bilateral hip surgeries gone wrong. I have since learned that my hip sockets were extremely shallow from the start, and having a very flexible body-type, the surgery designed to repair my labrum and eliminate impingement by shaving bone, only served to make my hips more unstable.
Although I have given my all to an extensive program of strength and movement training, and conservative healing in every possible sense, I continue to experience progressive severe and constant daily pain and ongoing hip dislocation.
Unfortunately, I spend the majority of my waking hours exercising (non-weight bearing), and manipulating…trying to persuade my femur to stay its very shallow, unstable hip socket (I have no bone covering the front and side of my femoral head, and a labrum that is detached again). I spend a lot of time on the floor!
I truly hoped to avoid this next leg of my journey, as I would so much rather spend my time at the beach and here with you! Nonetheless, even as I have achieved optimum strength and fitness, obtaining glutes of steel, and legs appearing fit enough to run races, I cannot go on living with this level of pain and functional limitation on a daily basis. The simple acts of walking, and sitting in a chair elevate my pain to levels I won’t even try to describe. Thankfully I have been able to continue my biking and mat routines, squatting etc. The truth is, I love life way too much, and want to participate in ALL of it.
I am scheduled to undergo several specialized tests this week at an esteemed orthopedic hospital in NYC, and will be consulting with surgeons and specialists over the next few months in an attempt to formulate a sound plan of action for my complex case. In the meantime, I will be posting on my blog less often, but will do my best to continue visiting all of yours, and providing updates whenever I can.
Please know how much you all mean to me … your love and support has been a true lifeline over the past two years. I am not sure how I could have survived this challenge without all of you incredible souls. Deep Thanks ~ and loving wishes always.
With all my heart,
On the deserted beach
I walk with a pain shadow.
Hip searing with each step
I move forward slowly.
My joint tears away.
A sharp arrow pierces through me.
I stop to find stillness yet the
pain shadow follows.
Gazing into the ocean,
I inhale deeply
then exhale with force
trying to release the pain.
But it won’t let go.
I must abandon this pain shadow.
This constant companion.
This unwelcome thing.
That has attached itself to me.
19 years of unrelenting pain.
Countless attempts to escape
to normal days, when the beach
meant walks and waves; picnics and laughter.
I climb the wooden stairs to look down
on the wide expanse of shoreline.
In pain I stand tall above the sprawling
desolate beach that goes on forever.
I envision myself burying the pain shadow
beneath the sandy surface,
deep in a restrictive dark hole
where it can no longer define my world.
And in that moment I am free.
©Robyn Lee: March 2012
recently selected for exhibit in the gallery Escape From Pain – PainExhibit.org
I am honored to announce that the above artistic photograph and accompanying prose poem has been selected for gallery inclusion at PainExhibit.org | A California Non-Profit Art Exhibit. PainExhibit.org is an educational, visual arts exhibit by artists with chronic pain . The global not-for- profit organization is dedicated to creating awareness amongst healthcare providers and the public about chronic pain through art, and to give voice to the many who suffer in silence. I learned about this organization after reading an article in the NY Times featuring the organization and its mission. Here is a link to the article Pain as an Art Form – NYTimes.com. Immediately I felt aligned with the goals and intention of this organization, and was moved by the works shared at the exhibit.
My Pain Shadow (above) was an early post that I published about a year ago. It was the 2nd piece in my blog’s Pain Shadow Series, and the first poetic/prose piece I wrote that reflected my innermost feelings about living the past 19+ years with severe chronic pain and health challenge. As someone who has always done her best to bring as little attention as possible to her dilemma, I confess, this was a difficult piece to share publicly. At the same time, I now realize it was also a transformational experience for me; By creating art, and opening my heart to others about this isolating and life-altering plight , I quickly learned how beauty and art can be born of pain…how this art can inspire compassion, and can heal both artist and viewer.
After some encouragement by a dear friend, I submitted my work last winter to PainExhibit.org. I’d nearly forgotten about the submission, when several months later, I was notified that my entry was indeed accepted, and would be included in the collection of art displayed at the gallery entitled: Escape From Pain. Please visit PainExhibit.org to learn more about this unique exhibit, and explore a variety of amazing works in the various galleries housed there. I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this collection, and the organization’s important mission.
Pain, especially when chronic, is a very difficult subject to understand and embrace. Often pain cannot be seen, and it is nearly impossible to articulate. Quite frankly, it is an isolating and frightening place to be. Art, whether it be through written word, painting, sculpture, photography, music or other, offers a powerful vehicle for universal expression and transformation. Pain channeled through the creative process allows both the artist and the observer a meaningful and deep connection, one that speaks directly to the heart of the human experience.
With my whole heart, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who follow and support me, and my blog work. Over the last year, this sacred space has become such an important part of my life, and of my healing path. Always know how much your friendship, love and support of my artistic endeavors means to me. Each of you have touched me, and enriched my world through your presence and appreciation, and for this I am so grateful.
Much Love ~
Through The Healing Lens
of this special couple
I am delighted to introduce you to a most remarkable couple, Rachel and Bill, featured in the stunning image above. I was mesmerized by this photo when I first viewed it, and asked Rachel if I might display it in a post, and share her heartwarming story with my readers and friends here. She was honored.
Rachel and Bill met September 9, 2010 on a Facebook online support forum consisting of a group of patients coping with hip dysfunction, pain and surgical decisions. Slowly, and in spite of their respective pain and struggle, they discovered a magical connection across 800 miles. There were four months of letters before they met; And then, through the stressful rigors of surgery and a lengthy difficult rehabilitation, they became each other’s support, encouragement, motivation and hope. Their story is a beautiful testament to the fact that, every now and then, love shows up where we least expect it… and can, literally, change worlds. “He is my angel” were Rachel’s words to me this morning, after thanking me for seeing the magic, not only in this image, but in their love story.
I will never forget when I met Rachel on this same support forum, and we first chatted about our ongoing mission to overcome the hip problems and pain…we compared rehab strategies and surgical experiences. It was then that she told me of her new blossoming romance with Bill, one that was born of both physical pain and emotional challenge. I was deeply moved and uplifted, and now, I am doubly delighted to include each of you in the celebration, and beautiful spirit of their history.
With great joy, I dedicate this post to the beautiful union of Rachel and Bill.
They were blissfully married on September 8, 2012 .
Their story of love, healing and inspiration
has touched many lives.
Blessings and Love to them
Clouds conjure a spell
Swept away in breath of wind
Suspended…in a kiss
© Robyn Lee
“I stay in the realm of realism,
but always carry with me the fantasy,
the romance, the wish fulfillment–
the poetry of hope.”
The Body Broken
During the last 2 decades I’ve read most everything I could find to help me make sense of my unexpected plight with chronic pain, and the complex medical maze that I was suddenly thrust into as a young mother at age 30. During a particularly difficult time several years ago, I read a book entitled, The Body Broken, by Lynne Greenberg. This book had a profound impact on my outlook, and my approach to life.
Lynne’s book is a lyrical memoir, written by a talented writer, sensitive soul and professor of literature who faced, quite similarly to me, a world that suddenly ‘changed on a dime’. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a literary treasure, and poetic masterpiece that speaks honestly and directly to the plight of facing adversity, and discovering courage to reinvent a joyful life in the face of challenge, and physical pain that is not easily remedied. Lynne taught me a great deal by her noble example, and for this I am grateful and honored to share her work.
I invite you to take a few moments here to view this video clip of a brief interview with Lynne (aired on ABC with Diane Sawyer). It will provide you a flavor for her wonderful book, and also introduce you to the brave, beautiful and creative spirit that she is.
click here: Living With Chronic Pain | Video – ABC News
Much Love Always
Take me beyond
Show me your
Take me beyond
Ever notice that sometimes friends show up at just the right moment…
offering encouragement and inspiration,
not by doing anything specific,
but rather, by simply
Last Thursday while I was venturing out to run an errand, following a rather difficult and isolating week,
my cell- phone rang and it was Meryl… a dear long-time friend who resides in my community.
Meryl also happens to be a member of our cherished blogsphere.
We have been friends here since my mid 20s, sharing in so many important
transitional periods of each other’s lives.
We decided to meet, and hang out for a bit on a comfy bench facing our favorite Lily Pond.
It was such a delight to relish in some old-fashioned “girl-power” that day–a few giggles and tears,
reflections and hugs…And as we gazed at the emerging Lilies, I shot this photo of our adjoined shadows.
Later that evening, Meryl composed a heartwarming poem and created a
special post honoring our bond of friendship. I am so thrilled to share
this with each of you today.
from the east
There’s nothing like bonding with
a girlfriend. Here’s me and Robyn Lee
hanging out on a bench with some lily pads.
Yep, we go way back… when our girls were
romping (sometimes butt naked ) on the beach.
We met at a day care center… new moms and
newcomers in this breathtaking yet lonely
place…both looking for a friend.
Then life and illness got in the way.
We had rarely spoken or seen one another
for years and years until Robyn came over for tea to
celebrate my birthday this past March. That day she shared
how she had discovered photography via her new blog—
Through The Healing Lens—how it was helping her
reconnect with the world after being isolated due
to her medical challenges and chronic pain.
Ironic, since I’m a photographer yet it…
View original post 70 more words
That we face
Roots of passion
To all of my wonderful blog friends,
I dedicate this post to all of you who have been my ‘uplifters’ over these past several months. I have been deeply moved by your collective love and support with regard to both, my ongoing medical challenges, and my creative journey through blogging. The friends I’ve made here are some of the kindest and most generous and genuine people I’ve known. You have all touched my soul, and taught me so much.
Currently, I am facing more difficult times physically, and will need to reduce my blogging schedule temporarily. I want to let everyone know that I will be reading and posting whenever I can, and also want to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you angels who have uplifted me in more ways than I can describe!
You are truly a phenomenal group, and I’m blessed to know each and every one of you.
Much Love, Gratitude and Wellness Always~
blankets of fear
©Meryl Spiegel 2012
Special thanks to fellow-blogger and friend, Meryl, who wrote this emotional poem for her own post last week entitled, Help. I was touched by her heartfelt words, and thought they would make an excellent companion for my feature image today. We are excited to share this collaboration, and hope you enjoy. Please visit Meryl’s site at Recovery Thru My Lens to view her photo, and read her own personal narrative, Help « Recovery Thru My Lens reflective of her post…sentiments many of us can empathize with.
Much Love ~ Robyn Lee
“Confidence is the bond of friendship.”
So very touched that my dear friend Frances has honored me this way.
After meeting through our chronic pain challenges, and supporting one another through surgeries, we have a very special bond.
Beautiful Frances ultimately went on to replace both hips at age 40. Here is the ABC news clip featuring her story . Frances is a wonderful mom of three, and was a beloved news anchor for ABC in Raleigh, NC. She suffered a silent agony, with a most complicated case for over a decade before making her brave decision.
Much Love, Blessings and Vibrant Health to you Always Frannie!
Please click here to read a very detailed post that Frances has created detailing her entire journey: