Tuesday, September 4, 2018

When life turns upside down

When life turns upside down, I have learned to start working upside down.

Yes, my current condition is called venous insufficiency / venous reflux which means that blood from the veins is not getting circulated back to the heart due to the malfunctioning of venous valves in the legs. So they flow back to the feet and slowly start damaging the tissues in the feet giving rise to painful ulcers.

The solution is to wear compression bandages till the ulcer heals and then compression stockings to ensure proper circulation and prevent ulcers. Compression bandages have to be changed twice a week at the hospital where trained nurses would dress me  with the bandages. Stockings are better in the sense they are self managed.
Exercise such as walking and flexing of feet,  keeping feet elevated (above the heart level) are other ways to manage this condition.
I am told that people whose jobs require long hours of standing or sitting are likely to suffer from this condition.

Life has certainly changed with this as I am more often lying on my back with legs elevated. The yoga posture.. viparita karani is very helpful. This is the posture where the legs are at 90 degrees to the body and the wall serves as support to the legs.

So my life turns upside down literally. Having been upright (pun intended) most of my life I now lie almost upside down. While initially it was inconvenient as I wondered how to get my work done...work such as marking papers or reading or art, I have now learned to do all this in this new posture.
I even meditate in this new posture.
Meditation has helped me a lot. I live moment to moment sinking into the pain and discomfort, observing it with equanimity.
As awareness increases there is less and less tendency to complain.
Ofcourse I am not saintly all the time. My family has seen me lose my cool a number of times as I snap at them or scream at them.

But on the whole its been a journey towards greater wisdom, developing gratitude for whatever good I have been given.

Time to give the legs the rest they deserve. When life turns upside down, I learn to work upside down.