• Farah Madadha

Yogatta know this about "Hyper Elasticity"

YOGA! I’ve been wanting to start doing it for AGES now… I just did! No video. Nothing… I just went with the flow and it felt great! A long awaited good stretch, is exactly what I needed! I think if I just “stretch” every day for 10 – 15 minutes around 3 times a day (too optimistic) it would be REALLY good for my body. I’ve seen those yogi bodies on Instagram and I so want to be them! Gym has proven so difficult on so many levels! Even when I stick to the “plan” and go there for at least an hour in the early morning, every day, it becomes almost impossible to do so after exactly the 4th day because my knees just can’t candle the/any workout!

15th November, 2017

I looked up “hyperelasticity joints”, which I was diagnosed with probably 17 years ago, for the very first time ever today…

I know that they tell you never look up your symptoms on the internet/Google, but it is not a symptom, it is a syndrome, a “disease” as some articles refer to...

My God am I shocked. Google search results came up with:

"The joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for that particular joint. Symptoms of the joint-hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows." Sep 29, 2017

That's me! My whole body hurts but I've learnt to live with it; with barely any painkillers...

But what I remember from my childhood about having to live with this hyper-elasticity is how my parents went above & beyond trying to figure out what "this was"- I mean we tried the sheik & the labs & consultations... Nothing ever gave a satisfactory EXPLANATION.

Orthopaedics in Amman wanted to perform a surgery where they tie my knee patellas from/with tissues taken from my thighs...

Orthopaedics in Tel Aviv explained why the above solution is "stupid" after running their long & painful tests on me... You CAN'T tie elastic joints with elastic tissues to minimise elasticity!

Mum REFUSED me to go under the knife, even when I was ready to. Thank you Mummy. My Dad kept on financing whatever solution path we were going to explore; I love you Daddy.

Dislocation of the knee patella.

I'd hate to think it were more than six episodes per knee but I can't remember...

Because I learnt to "just forget about it"...

Especially, since these dislocation episodes faded as I grew into a "less active" child; In fear on facing the horror of dislocating my knee again!

My memory of the first time my knee was displaced is when I was around 11-12 years old sliding down the marble slippery floor with a group of friends/students, at Victoria College School- Amman, Jordan.

I would love for someone to correct my reference, but I believe that was back in 1999 or 2000 (that's almost EIGHTEEN years ago!).

- Up to 2 bent foot injuries every couple of months

I am starting to get uncomfortable to talk about this

I was going to labs where up to 5 needles where pierced into each of my legs (not at the same time, thankfully) and each needle was sent a minor electric shock via the tiny red cables that connected each needle to the joints and/or tissues. IT.IS.REAL. These scientific experiments... I don't mind having been part of them, if that had helped, any body.

I’m shocked because although the diagnosis was made by probably some of the most prominent orthopaedics in the region, I have been made to believe (live a lifestyle) that it is yet another thing to “get over” and simply "forget about it".

I live with it.

Make the occasional reference to my joint pains... (only when it gets too severe) But I never really dug deep inside this DISEASE to learn about it. I rarely ever use Panadol Joint but found myself asking my Mum for a pack or two when she was coming to visit from Amman.

No Panadol in Egypt. Is there an even better alternative? Anything I can take on daily basis without compromising my health/liver Liver, (which I already do enough harm to).

All this time… The time I swallow the piercing joints' pain because I can’t “be complaining all the time”...

And I would never want anyone in my life to think that I am “making excuses”...

I am stronger than that…

All this time... (for almost two decades!!!) I could have made the pain lesser, but I bore it; because I wasn’t sick and I didn’t need medication for it; I am not sick… but I (still am) suffering…

All that gym PAIN is REAL and different than your average severe MUSCLE soars (which I actually enjoy), but real stinging pain…

By August (2017) I was determined to swallow in the pain and went to the gym for 3 or 4 consecutive days and ended up LITERARY crawling at some point… but at least I was crawling by a beach that day, lol... [to save a friend] (always looking at the bright side!). And I didn’t stop. I crawled.

I still went to the gym… Because I didn’t want to live by a doctor’s 17 year old recommendation of “no workout except for swimming”.

I stopped going to the gym regularly, almost two months after I started

and by the beginning of October I fell in a major drawback…

Eating unhealthy & starting to feel worse about myself,

but never for myself.

Seeing all the inspiring physically active people online worked as a constant reminder that the body really IS a strong tool if you trained it

and fed it well.

Heck my brother posted a video of him doing pull ups with his two middle fingers and he captioned it “Never underestimate the middle finger!”.

For me, what I had been trying to do for the past couple of months was a REAL try of me making this gym thing work;

I had time and allocated the hours

(06:00 – 09:00) I had the motivation, willingness and most importantly the convenience.

Everything I need to MAKE IT WORK-OUT.

But it didn’t!

My joints’ pain is REAL and is NOT an excuse and now I am not afraid to speak out about it.

I’ve been saying that I want to do Yoga for at least the past year now,

I got all the videos and links I needed,

Follow so many yogi accounts on Instagram,

but I never really started.

Until two days ago.

No videos, no tutorials, just me my body and the yoga mat…

I stretched, and stretched, and stretched and it felt GREAT and I was BREATHING again… The next day I did it again, twice, and I cannot wait for my mat time today…

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