Crohn's Disease, Fibromyalgia & Athletic Injury Trifecta No More

Submitted by: Deb Preachuk

Tammy H.'s Success Story

When I started working with Deb nearly a year ago, I was very frustrated. My body was struggling with a nasty little trifecta:

1 - joint pain due to Crohn's Disease
2 - muscle and connective tissue pain due to fibromyalgia
3 - the residual nagging injuries and alignment problems resulting from years of competitive gymnastics

In most part due to daily fibromyalgia pain, I hadn't exercised in seven years. I had no muscle tone left. My clothes didn't fit. I was tired, sore, and unhappy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror. It was demoralizing remembering what by body USED to be capable of, and realizing just how deteriorated that body had become.

I reached a point in time where my fibromyalgia pain decreased a bit. I realized this was a window of opportunity to take control, to start to find a solution. My childhood ballet instructor raved about what Pilates did for her body after a knee injury. I researched local Pilates instructors, visited a few studios, and ultimately chose Deb at Pilates Integration. I knew I needed personalized instruction. I knew I needed someone with rehab experience and extensive anatomical knowledge who was willing to adapt exercises to my needs and progress. I knew her experience with competitive athletes and their unique motivational and body issues would be beneficial to me, especially at the beginning when progress would be slow. Deb and I spent most of my first session talking - about my health history, athletic experiences and my expectations - and then set reasonable yet challenging short-term goals in context with my body's reality.

In the ten months Deb and I have been working together, amazing things have happened. I require less daily prescription pain medication to manage my fibromyalgia. My energy level is higher, and much more predictable. We are slowly correcting alignment problems caused by decades of pounding and hyper-flexibility, especially in my arches, ankles and knees. I'm toning up. And though weight loss was not my primary goal, I have lost 15 pounds and am wearing (kinda)-skinny jeans. ;-)

I'm not a competitive athlete anymore, and never will be. I'm on the backside of 40, and pain remains with me every day. But I have found a form of exercise that I am already somewhat competent at, but will continue to challenge me. And a trainer who knows just how hard to push me. It is so satisfying to know I have improved my body's condition, control and performance through my own hard work.

As someone who has lived much of the last decade limited by my body's deficiencies, I can't express how great that feels. And I don't take it for granted.

Tammy H