Vagabond Princess Recovery Fund

Update posted by samantha emanuel On Oct 01, 2018

Dear friends, I am sorry for the long time span between this and the last update. I've been drowning in paper work and rehab, lawyers and bills. I won't pretend its been easy the last few months, as it hasn't ... It's been hard and I would rather be honest. It's not over yet. But this too shall pass and it will get better.

Trauma recovery is a strange beast, I can go from feeling totally fine and getting all the things done to the littlest thing triggering all kinds of emotional backlash.

Went to see my doctor last week and he has prolonged my sick note to December when we will have another look at the lingering muscle/tendon damage that is limiting my capacity when I try to dance.

So I am going to ease my back into teaching very gently. Today I teach my first class since January 23rd. Im nervous. Im excited to move with other people. I wonder if I will remember how. I am starting with an easy one hour movement class, and one dance class per week. I need to build my stamina back up, ready for workshops in November/December.

Despite the lows I have got my new website built and launched (with the help of http://design.ninabosanac.com) and I am starting plans for a new on line instructional project. Baby steps. Exciting times ahead.

I thank each and every one of you for your support since the accident. Thanks to your continuing donations I am able to invest in training to further my skills and improve what I bring to my workshops. I have enrolled in multiple training programs, some on line and some 'en live'. These programs will help me to recover my confidence, my strength and my capabilities as a teacher to provide the best possible service for my students.

Please continue to share the fund, as I'm not quite out of the woods yet.

Love

Sam





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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Jul 26, 2018

My friends.

First and most importantly: THANK YOU. For your donations, messages, advice and more. You have no idea how much it all helps.

Physically: I now wake up relatively pain free for the first time in 5 months. Progress! I had an Xray this week which shows the pelvis fracture starting to grow bone, its slow going and still an impressive break but it is now considered solid and safe for me to ramp up my training.

My adductor muscles are still limited in flexibility though strength is improving. Going to be a longer game requiring more patience. Fatigue is a big factor but that’s how it goes I guess. I find it tricky keeping track of energy levels and not overdoing things.

Mentally: I am feeling stronger and ready to tackle my work future. Being temporarily immobilised by the accident and trauma, physically and psychologically... I thought about jacking it all in... I sank into victim mode and lived 'entre deux' in a limbo state. But through a lot of work (trauma release, confidence building, physio treatments ongoing... ) I feel my resilience growing.

Movement really does matter. No matter the style... no matter the age. I feel a new interest in pain free mobility for all ages, for physical and mental health. I’ve been working on a vision and mission statement for the first time EVER and in line with my vision I have some new projects/routes in the planning and I will share them here with you very soon. Meantime I recommend reading The Story of the Human Body by D. Lieberman.

Thank you again for your support, please keep sharing the fund link, it keeps the energy up, and your energy is what’s keeping me going. Gonna need it. Alongside continued recovery, house builds and family time, there is a LOT going on for us...

In other news, in Wuppertal Germany, dear friends are hosting a fundraiser in my name. Speechless. What a community we have here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/315112422355709/ab...

Love

Sam




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Update posted by samantha emanuel On May 26, 2018

Hello friends! I hope the sun is shining wherever you are. What a difference it makes.

Quick update for you, followed by some rambling.

Physio and Pilates home practice is going well. Getting slowly stronger and getting back lost muscle tone. Dancing... Still not possible. Pain levels are much better than before. Fatigue levels are OK long as I dont go nuts doing all the things. Amazing how much energy is required to mend body parts.

The thoracic Xray was good, ribs are looking so much better. There's something going on with my mid back vertebrae (T7) which I probably had for years but didn't notice pain until now as I lost muscle mass after the accident and that can trigger old injuries. But physiotherapy and osteotherapy will help the realignment and getting strength back will manage the pain that currently radiates right around the ribcage. Anatomy is a trip.

My pelvic fracture however is still quite large on the X-ray which I was disappointed to see, as it means more patience... I didn't see a great difference between this X-ray and the last one back in March. The bone is growing around the break but it's not in a great hurry. I am feeling some strength in the adductor... It's sooooo slowwwww. Getting flexibility back feels like an impossible task right now as its still too painful to stretch, but I will get there. I have a lot of support, advice and a great physio. I am very lucky.

It was Cluny Danse Festival last weekend and I must admit I've been down and feeling sorry for myself because I could not join in the fun. I missed the workshops and couldn't see the shows as sitting and standing for long periods gets uncomfortable. It's silly I know. It’s just a blip, there's always next year... No big deal. But all the things I was looking forward to that I cannot do: The shows, the travels, workshops, helping build our house... Sometimes it all mounts up in my head and I feel disappointed and frustrated and that it's FOREVER... But it's not forever, it's only been 4 months.

So... As negative thinking does not help bones to heal, I’ve been thinking about good things that have resulted from the injuries....I’m sharing them here because maybe you are injured too and this might help you see things aint so bad.

Good things about having fractured pelvis:

1. I can only sit in chairs for a very limited time. This is good because chairs are bad for humans!!! See "Sitting is the new smoking" articles: HERE and HERE

Meaning if I do need to sit at the computer, like right now, I’m more comfortable in a seated squat. Or on the floor gently stretching. Or standing up while rolling my feet on a tennis ball. The laptop perched on the window sill and a stack of books, means I can enjoy the view, thereby relaxing my ciliary muscles reducing the risk of myopia! Read Movement Matters by Katy Bowman to geek out more, or listen to the podcast

2. Rediscovering how to walk and learning to take my time. My tendency was to run headfirst at everything which more often than not meant forgetting things, making bad decisions, not thinking things through, high stress levels and anxiety. Walking toddler speed gives me a chance to feel my feet, notice my surroundings, my hips, sternum, shoulders and neck.

Not being able to move meant, for me, way too much time dwelling in thoughts (and not very helpful thoughts at that) Now I am beginning to move more, I can feel the difference movement makes to my thoughts. I need to move. We all do.

Thank you so much for reading, following, sending messages, supporting, sharing and your donations. Being out of work so long and not entitled to benefits means your donations help more than you know. I'm looking into training options and will keep you all posted here.

Love

Sam

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Update posted by samantha emanuel On May 07, 2018

Dearest all,

Been a while since updating, as I was waiting for something like news to share! Rehab has been my main focus. While it feels like forever since I danced/moved freely, it's only been three months since the incident. The 3 month anniversary being on my birthday...

Thank you all for your messages by the way, I had a lovely day, with my daughter singing me happy birthday for the first time. TOO CUTE.

I'm making great progress considering the injuries sustained, thanks to movement being my ‘metier’. I can use my Pilates knowledge for home practice and I’m so thankful I have that. I can feel when I have done too much, when I have to rest and when I can push further, thanks to my years working in dance. The arrival of Spring corresponds to my ability to do more and more everyday things, like carry my daughter, walk her to nursery, change and wash her. Clean the house, drive the car and sit long enough to enjoy meals with friends. Normal things that I used to take for granted.

This weekend feels like a milestone worth celebrating, as I went on my first proper bike ride since the accident. Only 10k as I didn't want to overdo it on the first try. Fresh, clean air and sunshine with family is the best medicine.

I would like to use these updates as more of a blog, sharing more about what I'm up to during recovery, to keep you all in the loop as a way for you to know how much I appreciate your support. I tend to think of updating when I’m feeling upbeat, but that’s not an honest picture… There were dark times too: wondering why this happened, feeling defeated, fatigued and lacking in any kind of confidence and drive. Missing my work, my friends, students, colleagues. But I am in less physical pain now, and slowly easing back into the things I love to do (plus the trauma release work) has shifted something inside and I’m feeling more ready to look forward, to what comes after rehab.

My adductor and rib injuries mean I cannot dance yet. Getting back to where I was and building up stamina will take more time and patience. The limp is no longer so pronounced but my walk is still not in good alignment as my hips are in anterior tilt rather than neutral, either due to the adductor or the trauma, or both, and that means low back pain if I do too much. Learning a lot about the body and coping mechanisms after trauma, how every body is so different and how mental states can help or hinder recovery. Training wise, I am waiting until I am more physically OK to train and travel. I’m itching to branch out into other forms of movement to further my skill set but for now… Patience.

This month I have an Xray to check on progress and I will post the news here.

For now, thank you for continuing to share, donate and support. I feel so fortunate to have such a strong community of dancers, friends and family there for me.

Love

Sam

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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Apr 17, 2018

Spring has finally hit Burgundy and what a difference that makes!

I hadn't quite realised how much the damp, dark weather had been affecting my head state and injuries. Seems I am now a human barometer, feeling the rain in me bonezzzz. Now that the sun has come out I feel I have more energy and less pain. End of March was pretty tough but things are feeling better with the Spring in full bloom. The cherry tree blossom is stunning this year.

I stopped using crutches to get around town over a week ago, which is great but as I'm walking with a limp, the supporting muscles fatigue easily. I feel it's not a real human walk yet, more of a robotic gait but as long as I'm patient, and mindful as I move, it'll come. We have started very slowly stretching the damaged adductor muscles, it's going to be a long road, as is getting the muscles strong again. My ribcage is still painful, especially mornings. I'm trying to work on releasing and relaxing the diaphragm through breathe work... Slowly. Luckily I'm in good hands with my physiotherapist.

Unfortunately I have had to cancel the remaining workshops I had hoped to be able to teach this Spring and Summer and also bow out of a big collaborative performance project (with three incredible classical musicians) that had shows booked this Summer and Autumn. I am heartbroken this particular door has had to close for now, but I hope to be able to pass the project onto another dancer so all won't be lost. New doors will open, new projects will come but for now I have to be patient in order to fully recover. If I run back to work too soon I will only risk setting myself back.

I want to thank each of you again for your donations, for sharing the fund and for your messages of support. You keep me moving on. I also want to thank all of the students who have been so understanding about the postponing of workshops. I miss you all so much and I look forward to seeing you when I'm fighting fit again, in whatever form that may be.

Love

Sam

x

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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Apr 02, 2018

111 Backers and €5050 !!!! Absolutely amazing. Thank you all so much. Your donations will help me get back on my dancing feet, baby step at a time.

Good news from the specialist visit in Lyon. No surgery needed, just patience!

It was great to have a second opinion to set my mind at ease. Now that I know I dont need surgery, I can focus on rehab without worrying I risk damaging the pelvic structure. He said the tissue surrounding the fractures will protect the bones as they heal. He said to expect 6 months before I can get back into dance. That was hard to hear as in my mind I was thinking 6 weeks max, but I have to accept the fact that if I rush back too soon I could set my recovery back.

It was good to look at the scans from the night of the accident as I had not been able to see them in detail at the hospital. He showed me the extent of the fractures, including the sacrum sectioned from above. I had not realised quite how displaced that break was. We noticed my lower right rib in the back was fractured too which explains a few things in the pain department. All in all good news. I just have to be patient. Not my strong point, but I'm getting better at letting go and going slow...I think. (Not sure my husband would agree!!)

Physio is going well and this week I will stop using crutches. I'll be celebrating when the wheelchair and crutches go back to where they came from. Mobility wise I feel more comfortable being on the floor for Pilates and being on my feet to cook etc. Long as I dont push things I can feel improvements daily.

Thank you so much for following these updates. Knowing you are out there supporting really means the world to me.

Love

Sam




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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Mar 25, 2018

Dearest all,

Apologies for the time in-between updates, been off line a lot lately, focusing on rehab and lawyers, family life and reading/researching. I'm not able to work on our house build project until my hips have stabilised but thanks to my hard working husband things are still moving ahead, slowly but surely.

I have an appointment booked in to see a hip specialist in Lyon this week to get a second opinion on the pubic bone fractures. Just to be sure I am doing the right things and to be reassured an operation is not in order.

Physio is going well, I go 3 times per week. Each session is an hour and a half and mixes gym equipment exercise, Osteopathy, various gadgets and gismos to stimulate bone growth and acupuncture to finish. I feel pretty fatigued most of the time now as I am moving more, getting things done around the house, taking care of my daughter. I have to remind myself continually to move slow, I cannot rush around as before. It's a great exercise in mindfulness.

I consider myself very lucky to have my Pilates training as I can continue my physio at home alone. Last week I managed to sit on the floor cross legged for the first time since the accident. Not for very long but felt like a big deal to me! I was also able to complete some side lying Pilates exercises, it all went OK until I tried to lift my leg in adduction and nothing happened. My left adductor (inner thigh muscle) isn't working, which isn't a surprise as it was injured in the accident, and has limited a lot of movement but to try to lift my leg and have nothing happen was so strange. There is a way to go yet. Getting flexibility back around the adductors is going to take time. Better get that visualisation going! Full box splits thank you very much!

I am mixing up a storm on the green smoothie front. Drinking all kinds of herbs and potions to stimulate bone growth. Taking homeopathic remedies, minerals and nettles and more. Slathering on comfrey balm externally and dreaming about heading to a hot spring...!

Head state wise I am doing some trauma release work with a specialist as I started having nightmares and anxiety attacks related to the incident. I feel like emotions are releasing as we are working through things and I am feeling stronger.

I will let you all know how the visit to the specialist goes. For now, thank you for following these posts, for sharing the fund and for your donations.

Love

Sam


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It sounds like you are doing all of the right things! I think of you often and send lots of healing love XO

Jenny Balkham

Update posted by Apr 01

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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Mar 16, 2018

88 beautiful backers! Thank you so much. I haven't been able to update as often as I would like, but know that I am thinking of each of you and I'm so grateful for your support.

I had my six week Xray on Tuesday and have to admit I was disappointed. I imagined the bones would be further along than they are. Mentally that hit me harder than it probably should have. I know it takes time, but I couldn't help hoping to see better results after six weeks. I was told by the surgeon to be careful for another six weeks. He doesn't seem worried but I am going seek out a second opinion for peace of mind. There are some hip specialists in Lyon I am going to try to see.

I am continuing my physiotherapy sessions, three per week, but not pushing things to the next level yet. I am also going to see a therapist to help with talking through the incident and the subsequent trauma, to try to clear my head (and body) of things I have not yet dealt with. I am drinking lots of green concoctions to try and help things along. Thank you all for your suggestions on social media!

You can follow frequent updates on my instagram.

To be real, some days are hard mentally and physically. But I know deep down I really am very lucky. The accident was not fatal. The breaks could have been worse. I am surrounded by very good people. I have my beautiful family and a roof over my head. We will get through all this. I will get back to dance. I will find a way to thank you all for your support!!!

Love

Sam


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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Mar 09, 2018

I'm seeing donations and shares from all corners of the globe. I'm not sure how to convey how blown away I am by your generosity and support. Speechless. For today's update just this: Gracias. Merci. Grazie. ありがとう. Danke. Spasiba. Obrigado. Xièxie. Shukran. Dhanyavaad.고맙습니다. Tesekkür ederim. Terima kasih. Dziekuje. Дякую. Mulțumesc. Хвала. Keep sharing. Thank you. Love x

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Update posted by samantha emanuel On Mar 07, 2018

Thank you all so much for your donations and for sharing the fund far and wide. I want to thank each of you individually but I am not sure I can just yet. Sitting is still very uncomfortable! So time at the computer is limited. But I want you to know I am blown away and so grateful by the response so far. I am feeling very lucky indeed.

I plan to book myself into more specialised rehab and onto courses and certifications that will both help me get back to dance and teach me how to help others. I will keep you updated here, both on how my rehab is progressing and what trainings I am going to explore. As without YOU it would not be possible.

Love

Sam

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I hope you’re back in your dancing element soon, doing what you love and spreading the joy you bring.

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Sending you strength and energy for your road to recovery. xx

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samantha emanuel

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Dancer. Pilates teacher. Mother. Self builder.

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