Chronic Pain and Body Image- Body Hero Lynne Greenberg

As a work my way through Lynne Greenberg’s The Body Broken I can’t help trying to put myself in her position. She describes with great detail (and little emotion – which helps- believe me) some of the painful procedures she endured in an effort to quell her pain without result. We are talking about NUMEROUS injections in her SPINE! I can’t fathom an epidural during child birth!!! But to have a needle plunged into your spine like weekly with no anesthesia? The thought makes my teeth itch. I swear I couldn’t do it, but then I think, Lynne probably never in a million years thought that she would be able to endure all that she has, physically, emotionally and spiritually until she had to. This is why the human spirit is so amazing!

For years I have had a chronic pain in my hip (nothing I am sure that can compare to Lynne’s pain but it’s real to me). Sometimes after rehearsal and now after teaching I count my steps (literally) until I can collapse on the couch. Often people will ask me “Are you limping?” I brush it off by saying that I always limp,  and to a certain extent I do- or I have. It’s amazing to me that I have (almost without thought) learned to live the pain that is  a combination of age and injury. What gets me though (in my head) is not the pain, but the look of my limping, when I catch a glimpse of reflection in the ubiquitous glass fronts of the buildings in New York and see that my torso is pitched forward to compensate for my inability to let my right leg extend fully behind me it rattles me. I think that I look old, frail, decrepit. It’s ego.  When I see myself this way I immediately try to straighten up (increasing the pain) in an effort to look—unbroken.

When I first learned of The Body Broken I had no idea that on a level it would be telling a part of my own story, and giving me the strength and tools to travel my own journey. A huge thanks to body hero Lynne Greenberg!

A true Body Hero…