For many years I worked as a mechanic or as a Service Manager in a repair shop and being 6' 4" and 270 lbs (think defensive lineman in football) I was big, strong and athletic most of my life. I've also have had psoriasis since 1980. That got progressively worse until I was 85% covered by 1991.
Things really changed for me in October of 2006 when I took part in a drug trial for a new drug to treat psoriasis. During this time I remodeled my house myself and had just finished before I ended up in the emergency room with my blood pressure at 265 / 180 with no energy or strength. After many tests they couldn't find what was wrong, yet I was a lump in a wheelchair with every nerve screaming. I can't begin to describe the pain. (This continued for months. I wanted to die to make quit.)
A week later, I had an MRI of my head and a neurologist at the University of Utah Hospital found that I had demyelination of the of the nerve sheath (something akin to stripping insulation off of wiring) causing many problems similar to MS. I spent the next 3 months in bed and struggled greatly with daily tasks. There are a whole host of other problems that I won't go into. I was told that the condition would be temporary. That was over 12 years ago and I'm still dealing with problems related to it. This was partly responsible for a divorce in 2011 after 20 years.
I ended up having to go on disability 7 years ago because of all of this. By the way there is no recourse against the drug company. I began to have problems with my back around then. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with sciatica, stenosis and scoliosis which effects my L1 through L5. X-rays showed that I had a 21° tilt. I became worse and unable to walk more than 50 to 60 yards with a great amount of pain and the inability to stand in place for any length of time. At that point I could barely carry a bag of groceries in each hand.
Two and a half years ago I found myself in an electric wheelchair to get around. In the middle of this time I was hospitalized with erythrodermic psoriasis. Which is one of the few skin conditions that can die from.(I looks similar to 3rd degree burns) The pain was so bad that I signed a DNR order when I was admitted. I ended up having to move in with my younger brother and his wife in Nov, 2016 and spent the majority of my time in a recliner. I had become furniture.
In April 2018 I was diagnosed with kidney stone but before I could get to my urologist my kidney went septic. I'm told there were 2 or 3 days that were pretty sketchy. After a week in the ICU in an induced coma, they moved me to a rehab hospital for 3 weeks. My health was really bad and I'd never bounced back from any setbacks. I was in a really dark place. When I went into the hospital I weighed about 350 lbs. When I got to the rehab facility I weighed 380 lbs and 2 weeks later was down to 328 lbs. Yep 50 lbs in 2 weeks, they got a second scale to confirm it. They had me work with a physical therapist and by the end of my 3 weeks there I could walk with a walker further than I had for several years.
There was a faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel. It was faint but I now had a direction. I got 4 visits from a physical therapist at home but they didn't really do much. When I asked what I could do to improve my back and core they shied away from the topic.
Then I remembered seeing a video of a disabled veteran doing DDPYoga a few years ago. I didn't know if I could do it because I could barely stand and had terrible balance. I had to use a chair for balance when I stepped on to a scale (I'm on a program through my Insurance Co. that provides a bluetooth scale, BP cuff and pulse/oxygen sensor so they can monitor me.)
When I saw there is now a program that would start you off in bed I skipped the 7 day trial and signed up for 3 months. The next morning I started. The first time it called for a bridge I could barely get my butt off of the floor. My first thought was Oh boy, I've got work to do. After 3 weeks my sciatica(I lived with it for 8 yrs) was gone. This program is just the thing I've been looking for. Doing everything on my own didn't work but now thanks to DDPYoga I have a plan.
From the time I first started my goal has been to be able to walk again and not need a powerchair to get around. My heaviest was 407lbs about March 2017, I'm currently down to 274 lbs. I had lost weight before starting DDPY but I had no strength or endurance. I've had to reestablish the mind muscle connection. I made a lot of progress but there's more work to do, balance is still an issue but I'm getting there. I can now walk 1 1/2 miles without any assistance. I no longer take medications for blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes and my pain levels are now minimal.
DDPY is giving me my life back.
- Tags: 50+, limited mobility
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