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  • Writer's pictureBeth Kitchin PhD RDN

Yesterday, I Did Something Miraculous!


Yesterday I did something miraculous, something I have not been able to do since 2022. Most people will not think what I did was miraculous or otherwise noteworthy. Most people can do what I did without a first or second thought. But for me, it was miraculous. Or at least, pretty darn good.


Here's what I did: I got down on the floor and back up without holding on to the seat of a chair or some other nearby piece of furniture or holding Mark's hand in a death grip. Getting up and down off the floor has been one of my biggest challenges. Without something to cling to, I lose balance and flop over on the floor, Why was this so hard? The combination of muscle weakness, disequilibrium, and myofascial stiffness - the result of leukemia treatment - all colluded against me to make this simple act impossible. Even after I gained some strength back and began walking and going to the gym, this one simple thing eluded me.


Over the past year, I have had many mini miracles that were landmark achievements in my recovery. The day I was able to reach down and tie my shoes was a banner day. I texted my mom and sister, "guess what I just did!'. Being able to dress myself was freeing. Walking without my rollator was liberating. Not a day goes by when simply walking into the next room with ease thrills me. But not being able to get up and down from the floor was a constant reminder that I was still debilitated. I had begun to think that I would never be able to out-train the damage that had been done no matter how hard I worked. Maybe I would just have to accept that I would have certain limitations for the rest of my life.


Then a few weeks ago, I turned 60. Turning 60 was sad enough but being 60 and not being able to get up and down off the floor was just too humiliating. I felt old. What was next? A coastal grandma wardrobe and getting another cat? I decided I had to do something more, something different. That something was the split squat. With one leg out in front, and the other pointing back. I lunged with my front leg while kneeling down with my back knee. Up and down ten times and then switching legs and up and down ten more. I have to hold onto the handle bar of my stationary bike when I do these. But I could feel it working the muscles I would need for this elusive floor feat.


This is the split squat. You're supposed to do it without holding on to something and also holding a weight. But I'm not there - yet.




So yesterday afternoon, I decided I was ready to try it. Here's a recreation of my hallelujah moment.


First, contemplation. Hands out in front, eyes on the floor.:



Next, the reach towards the floor, knees bending, focusing without losing my balance:




Then, the forward lunge and hand to floor contact. This is where I usually fall over to one side and get a rug burn on my elbow.



Then with full weight on my hands, I kneeled on the floor to victory!



I'm not going to show you how I got up off the floor. It was definitely clumsier. I looked like a newborn giraffe getting up on her legs for the first time. Only not as cute. But I did it. I yelled for Mark to come in . "Look what I can do!'. And I did it again. He said, "I'm proud of you babe! You did it!" Last night when he kissed my goodnight he said "That was really huge, what you did today".


Little things like this make me hopeful. I'm hoping there will be more to come. I still have trouble picking things up off the floor.. I still can't drive because of occasional vertigo. And I still can't do tai chi or yoga. But yesterday's gold medal move renewed my hope. Sometimes the little things are pretty big.


Beth









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6 comentários


Ginny Crooks
Ginny Crooks
27 de fev.

Dear Beth, I can't imagine what you've been through, nor how tough it's been -- but I celebrate your victory! I think of you with great fondness, and still have the cat card you sent me on my fridge!



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Beth Kitchin
Beth Kitchin
07 de mar.
Respondendo a

I miss yiou Ginny! Thanks so much for your kind comment. So happy to hear you still have the cat card!

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chad.vice
21 de fev.

Dr. Kitchin, I have so enjoyed following your journey. Your determination through tremendous suffering and pain are an inspiration. Wishing you all the best from Florida. A former pupil, Chad Vice

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Beth Kitchin
Beth Kitchin
21 de fev.
Respondendo a

Oh Chad! I can't tell you how much your message means to me! I love hearing from students. and please call me "Beth". You're not my student anymore! I hope you are doing well.


Beth

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Gary Brown
Gary Brown
21 de fev.

Yay! Way to go! I havent been through .1% what you’ve been through and struggle getting off the floor as well. Congrats and keep on!

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Beth Kitchin
Beth Kitchin
21 de fev.
Respondendo a

Gary - thank you so much for kind comment and for reading my blog!


Beth

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