What do quilts and pain science have in common? My ankle, but it's a bit of a story, so hang with me. (Pun unintended, but I'm still smiling over it.)
I love, love, love my quilts that we hung in the studio this weekend. So much color makes me want to dance. If you haven't been to the studio in a while, you must come by and see how beautiful they are!
The wall my students face, the place I teach from, was the first we decorated when I moved into the new studio last October. I wanted to bring color and light and the illusion of windows into the practically windowless warehouse space. I love that wall and its message, but I sit in front of it. I face the back wall when I teach, a wall of gray concrete block.
One of my teachers (Elise) has a student who is an artist. Cyndy suggested we try putting quilts on the wall. Well, it's taken a while to get it all sorted out, but this weekend it finally happened and It's gorgeous. Did I say i love my quilt wall?
Many, many thanks to Cyndy for the idea, to my husband Cliff who's been collecting quilts for about 15 years and let me take all the best ones to the studio, to Susan Sellers who sewed the pockets in all the quilts so I could put them on rods, And one more special thanks to Susan for loaning me the beauty she made that hangs behind my teaching spot, and to Jeanetta's husband, Will and his friend who did the work of hanging.
So, on to the pain science. As I was watching the progress of hanging, I stepped backward right onto one of the metal hanging rods and with an instant pain reaction, jerked my foot sideways off the offending piece of metal. It wasn't until we were finished, about an hour later that I realized my ankle was hurting.
It was still hurting the next morning, enough that I decided to take myself to the Acute Care (high praise for that Acute Care at the intersection of Veterans and Moon/Williams Road) where they did an X-ray. Bone intact, but there was an old fragment floating around in there from an old injury.
My pain science training quickly kicked in. Research from London, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, and Iowa (as Dr. Adriaan Louw of the International Spine and Pain Institute enjoys saying) shows that the nervous system can sometimes behave like an over-zealous policeman. There's an injury, so the nervous system sends a danger message to the brain. The brain then sends the pain signal back to the tissues. (Read more about your alarm system here and here.) Then the nervous system starts patrolling the area, looking for any other signs of trouble it may need to send that same danger message, especially spots that have been injured before. It's actually pretty cool the way it works, BUT ONLY if you know that's how it works.
Knowledge of what's happening plays a big role in keeping the nervous system (the alarm system) at its normal level. So I came home and propped up the ankle. Saw my awesome massage therapist, Amy Lewark at Advanced Performance Massage (She's THE best ever) who worked on my legs. Then saw Stephanie Payby at Day Spa Rejoice who does foot reflexology and keeps my toes looking good, and she actually worked on my ankle. Came home for ice, elevation, and some gentle range of motion, knowing that it would be fine by the next day. And it was.
So lots of gratitude going out from my heart today. Thank you all for your help and support and love. And come see my quilts!