5 (Breathe in.)
6 (Breathe the arms.)
7 (Arms to first.)
8 (Left hand on the bar)
So it begins. Slowly at first. Rolling through to demi-pointe. Warming up our feet. Some tendus. Pliés. Up to relevé and bring that foot to passé.
Shit. I can’t hold it. I just did that last week. I know I can balance but something isn’t right. I can’t feel my muscles contracting through the pain.
This is going to be a long class.
Cambrés. Ok, both feet on the floor. We can do this one. Lift up and over the spine. That’s a weird….oh.
I didn’t turn the spinal cord stimulator off. The flare is bad enough I didn’t even feel it on and thought I had managed to kill the battery off. Let’s just say that stimulated limbs don’t have the same strength as they usually do.
It might have been the hardest ballet class I have taken yet. (I know, it’s been a whole 3 months…and about 20 classes…so there will be plenty more difficult classes). But I did it. It wasn’t the most beautiful ballet, but it was my ballet. It was cyborg ballet.
My doctor agreed to another 5-day epidural because the pain is flaring (as it does every time the weather changes) and because last time, I was set free. He forbade me from taking “full-on Riverdance” (despite it being on my bucket list) and in suggesting ballet as an alternative gave me a part of my life that I never thought I was going to have back. I can move again. I can be physically strong again.
It doesn’t matter if I have a bad class. Just going was a victory. Each step was another win even if it wasn’t quite right. It just means I have goals I can work toward.
Because I am going to pirouette, darn it.