Thursday, February 24, 2011

Standing, Sitting, Hovering

Some of my piano students have become advanced and study music which is appropriately challenging.  This leads to songs and Sonatas which are several pages long.

During lessons, I sit to the left of the piano student.  When necessary I will turn the page for the performer during lessons so as to help avoid that ingrained pause which accompanies the solo practice at home (when you don't have a personal page turner at the ready).

There have been times when this was actually a challenging task.  For quite some time, my knees were loud, creaky joints which did all sorts of popping, crackling, and moaning.  After the steroid injection in October for the Spurs which were A Janglin' and the inflammation which made stairs impossible, my knees have been happy.

It was just about three years ago that I could hardly rise from a seated position.  I had to push off of chair arms and seat cushions while also pulling on the coffee table or piano box.  My legs were becoming annoyingly unresponsive to the "stand now!  rise up!" mental instructions.

MS was to blame for the breakdown in nerve-muscle communication.  However, it was thrilling on my 5th day of Solumedrol when I could get up out of a chair without having to shift most of my weight over my feet and walk my hands up my legs.  This was first time I had rejoined the MS party (meaning I was finally breaking down the denial that I was in a relapse) since I had started blogging.  I also had new cervical lesions to go with the wimpy legs.

So why is this trip down memory lane happening right now?

I realized on Monday that I stood up from my teaching chair rather quickly and strongly to turn a page of music.  I didn't pull on the piano.  I didn't replant my feet and think about pushing into the ground.  I didn't push the seat of the chair with one hand.  I didn't even push off of the piano bench nearby.

I simply stood! 

Now how cool is that?!  It was one of those moments where you appreciate something which may have been there for a little while but you just hadn't noticed.

I tested it out again just now, standing up from the sofa (which is a bit lower and squishier than my teaching chairs in the studio).  I stood again without much trouble at all.  The only noticeable annoyance is the crackling noise I get when I sit back down.  The mild osteoarthritis in my knees doesn't want to stay quiet.  However, those knees are quiet on the way up which is still very cool.

Now, it's not like I haven't stood for three years.  It has just been an ever-present weakness.  However, with this newly-noticed ability, I have no excuse to not exercise those thighs and butt by slowing standing and sitting.  I can do the "public bathroom hover" which we women learned from our mothers so many years ago.

I think I gotta check it out again.  Yep, those legs are working.  Now I can't get too crazy cause once I'm up I'm still a bit wavering with the balance.  Still no standing with the eyes closed for me.  No sirree, I'm not feeling that ambitious.  :)


  1. That's great, Lisa. Can you attribute the improvement to anything you've done? Whatever it is, keep it up!

  2. Awesome!!! Enjoy and it is good to be able to do the bathroom hover yes sir-ree.

    Eyes wide open that is my motto LOL

  3. So nice to hear of progress! The crackling noise is called "crepitus". It is an icky sounding word and a creepy feeling. Have a great week!

  4. Dear Lisa, I'd love to connect with you by phone. I'm in Bloomington,used to play the piano , love music, and have had M.S. for about as long and with some hopeful breakthroughs in progress. My phone #:337-1611 Cynthia

  5. Wow This is great! I want to do it too. Right now I still in the "get ready then stand mode" that you described. I can stand but not without preparation steps (you know) Your post gives me hope. Is there anything you would like to share about how you got to this point?

  6. This is great, Lisa. Creaking aside, the ease of movement must feel nice. I'm sure your weight loss has something to do with this progress that has crept up on you. Congratulations!

  7. Thanks ladies!! It's great when improvement creeps up on you. :)

    I'm sure the weight loss has helped. Really, I haven't done anything special. However if I think of it, I haven't been tripping on the stairs either. There must be some minor repair going on in my neck.

    The crepitus (that name is humorous) is better than it was previously. That probably has something to do with the weight as well (I'm guessing).