I grew up in New York City, the only daughter of Romanian immigrants who came here with a visa as political exiles from a place known as the Iron Curtain,a Communist regime in its most extreme and brutal form. I knew directly about Communism from my birth until it quickly fell apart on December 21st 1989 with the Romanian people, like the Polish rebelling against the regime, and the army turning against their leader. My parents would always tell me how lucky I am to be born in America.
I was quite a gift to them, and so the journey of my life began.
I was 6 years old when I watched Nadia Comaneci wow the world with an unseen ever perfect 10 occuring multiple times,and 5 gold medals earned. This was elevated and created the image of the Queen of artistic gymnastics, where millions of little girls like me believed that we as women can be famous and change the world with talent.
I was partially correct. The sacrifice, emotional, mental, and physical tests would begin soon enough in order to reach elite level gymnastics.
I accepted that sacrifice. We all did as gymnasts. All my accomplishments are amazing and a testament of an athlete born of true grit, capable of endless perseverance, dedication to the love of the sport, and sacrifice of lost childhood,friendships,normal absence of social events which I never experienced.
I did not know what a homecoming is until my own children grew up and attended these social events!
When my body started to give up on me, I pushed harder.
When you get this far you keep going, is what I used to say.
It’s like a drug addiction, there is no turning back.
A lot of people admire athletes, but inside us, our body and mind, we are not balanced, our soul suffers. I saw so many athletes turn to food, alcohol, and drugs as a way to deal with the pain inside, physically and emotionally when turning into old injured athletes, or burned out. For me, I chose a different path.
I turned to working towards my goal of becoming a doctor. The obsession to work and accomplish, was my addiction.
Back to the late 1980’s-
In 1989, I was free from gymnastics, and the country of Romania was finally free from the Communist dictator.
I was pre-med, nothing was going to stop me from gaining entry.
I took the trip to Romania in 1991, once in my entire life, and met extended family there.
That was the first and last time I went to Romania.
The summer before starting Med school.
When I quit gymnastics in college back in 1989, it was like a part of my soul was ripped away from me.
Now, in 1991, I was entering another chapter, I had to channel that energy, dedication, and perseverance, to get through Med school at any cost.
I borrowed maximum loans with the promise and goals of a bright future as a foot surgeon.
I went to Podiatric Medical school from 1991 to 1995, then did a three year residency from 1995-1998.
I met my husband in December of 1994, and married him 1997.
From 1998-2004, I worked very hard to get all my surgical cases to become board certified in August 2004 as a Board Certified Foot Surgeon, all while birthing three babies 1999, 2003, 2004.
My Podiatry career never truly launched even by the decade of 40, due to moving from New York to Florida, the environment of managed care, lack of business skills, and trying to find my niche in Florida without any built reputation, I was seen asan outsider from New York.
A car accident set me back in 2008 a bit further. It was also a major factor.
It’s as if the Universe had another plan for me.
The final blow was the threat of government control of specialists with fewer referrals from primary care physicians.
The evening in December 2011 congress passed health care reform.
It was the day I decided it was time to let go.
As one of my clients said to me: when everything changes, change everything.
By 2012, I was out of Medicine and 100 percent into the world of Yoga and Wellness.
I was in my forties and already said goodbye to Gymnastics, to my indigenous connection to New York, and now to Medicine.
How did I get here, I would ask myself for many years.
How do I get it to where I need to be in my life?
In my twenties physical exercise for me was hitting the dance club scene in the 1990’s while in med school and residency, often with my boyfriend, now husband. After Med school and residency completed, my body was yearning for some sort of balance.
I was 27 and my body and mind were burned out, yet I was a new wife and the days of becoming a busy working mother had arrived.
I had to make my way in the ranks as Physician to get all the surgical cases I could, in order to have enough cases obtained to gain the privilege of taking the oral examinations as the final path for certification.
All this while trying to be a mother to my babies.
I still could not find any balance yet.
I was dealing with physical challenges having one pregnancy after another, and three children born 1999, 2002,and 2004 very close apart.
My first child was born when I turned 30. I had post-partum depression, and I was working 12 hours a day working for a Podiatrist while not sleeping due to breast feeding. I ended up in the ER from dehydration. No balance to be found yet. I did leave the practice and purchased a parting practice in 2000.
However, it took a physical, mental, and spiritual journey from 1987-2004, to finally discover the body, mind, and soul connection I received from yoga.
I taught aerobics in the late 80’s early 90’s. I practiced Tae Bo in 1999 while pregnant with my first child.
I practiced Pilates after the birth of my third child in 2003.
I discovered yoga in 2004. No form of exercise stuck with me until then.
I had just finished becoming board certified as a Foot Surgeon, and Yoga was an outlet for stress relief.
The children were growing and thriving, and I thought everything will remain the same.
The plan was altered and it was quite a plot twist.
In May of 2008, I was rear ended in front of Florida hospital Altamonte Springs location after completing a surgical consult.
At that time, it was my neck hurting.
One month later I was performing a trans metatarsal amputation on a diabetic patient.
What transpired the next day was unreal.
I had severe back and hip pain with sciatica left side.
The severe pain sent me to the ER.
A few week later the Podiatric Physician I was working with let me go.
I could not find employment as a Podiatrist unless I started from scratch on my own.
Prior to this when I was in New York, my spouse and I bought a part time practice with some build in patients. Eight years later and three children later at 38, I was pigeon holed into starting yet again from scratch in a place where I did not have any professional reputation which goes a long way in the medical field.
What I had to do was monumental.
I met my now long time friend Dr. Melissa Verde, and off we started with me renting one of her rooms so I can see some patients.
Despite grandiose efforts and working 7 days a week, I let it go when I realized I was juggling both the yoga studio and the Podiatry practice while maintaining a family. It was brutal on my body and mind numbing most days.
I started in 2010 with the Podiatry and yoga practice all in one location.
It was an insane level of imbalance typically ranging from dealing with teachers calling out sick and having to sub, to getting calls on Saturday night to see a septic foot which usually ended as an emergency case of incision and drainage of an abscess, or a full on amputation the same night, or next day Sunday.
I was teaching 11 yoga classes, running a studio, and seeing Podiatry patients while trying to balance a family life.
This was a far cry and a long journey from the balance I sought in teacher training for yoga.
This occurred from 2008-2012.
All the years of gymnastics, medical school, residency, child birth, 12-14 hour days for so many years, and many weekends spent working, I was ready for change.
I stopped practicing medicine.
I decided to take weekends off.
We bought a beach cottage in 2013.
I started following my passion and started teaching at the college level in 2012.
All I wanted was to feel the same feeling and inspiration I had during yoga teacher training back in 2008 where tears rolled down my cheek feeling my body so relaxed and hearing the song “Imagine” from the Beatles.
It was a “seminal” moment in my life realizing that I have found some semblance of balance.
The Universe had more planned for me.
I met Ann Bondi a licensed nurse who at the time was working at South Seminole Hospital.
She introduced me to energy medicine healing through Reiki in 2011.
She had patients that benefited from this hands on healing technique.
I became interested in learning Reiki.
I embarked on another path that would soon complement my yoga practice and bring complete healing on all levels body, mind, soul, and spirit.
From 2011 until 2018, my spiritual, mental, and physical growth improved.
Yet my imbalanced view of work was still there.
My body by 2013 was visibly suffering, as I was able to facilitate healing for others through group yoga, private medical yoga, and energy healing, but my own physical body was deteriorating fast at 45.
I sought an orthopedic consult back in 2014. I was told it’s a Labral tear that can be treated with stretching, NSAIDS and Dexamethosone steroid injections.
The pain worsened, it was unbearable alternating between back pain,and hip pain.
My chiropractor would patch me up, but I would go back to my studio teach Yoga, Ballet Barre, see medical yoga clients, reiki clients, and go off to anatomy lab to stand for three hours.
Yoga has helped others at my studio, but as studio owner for me, it had become a difficulty due to chronic pain. I began to have difficulty just standing or sitting. To walk was to expose myself to three days of nagging pain as my back and hips would flare up.
I carry this pain knowing that I became a better yoga practitioner, and can facilitate healing for clients very much like me with chronic back, knee, and hip pain.
I have received energy healing from both Reiki practitioners and Pranic Healing Practitioners, all with powerful pain relieving results.
Underlying condition was still not discovered however.
In my continued abuse and use of my body it was just one side of the story that remained unresolved.
My story and journey with the root chakra (center of stability in earthly realm) is the background music just like my pain.
It is a never ending feeling of not being secure or grounded. It stems from my family background as immigrants who started from scratch, and the model of working no matter what, sometimes blindly at the detriment of ones health, and well being.
If I had stopped for one day, maybe as a gymnast, or as a med student, or as a resident, or as a mother, or as a doctor in my thirties…..my physical conditions would have worsened at a much slower pace.
My body pain situation and physical challenges along with meeting medical yoga clients like me, has been a blessing in disguise.
The car accident was also a blessing in disguise.
The obstacles I met in my Podiatry career, was a blessing in disguise.
All these events have brought me down a more balanced path of restorative yoga, medical yoga, and reiki. I am forced to be abiding by my body cues, and keeping a healthy balance.
I finally trained myself to avoid pushing like a bull through pain because that’s what gymnast’s do.
This mode of thinking and pattern has finally been released.
That is now in the past thankfully.
Hi, I am Dr. Dacia Felix Milescu.
I have been diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia at 48.
It is now too late for me.
Even if I would have been diagnosed early, surgeons do not look at joint resurfacing and re-alignment as valid surgical options.
They usually wait until the patient gets “old enough” for a hip replacement.
When I did have hip pain, I was told to take Motrin, stretch and get steroid shots when the pain was unbearable.
That does not stop the progression of traumatic arthritis and eventually hip replacements.
The life you lead in between, the doctor does not care.
It is up to the individual that needs to slow down certain activity, in order to slow down the process of arthritis.
To all the little girls out there pursuing gymnastics. Please honor your body. We are not robots. We have abilities and physical challenges that are individually unique, and so we need to address them, and not over stress, over use, and over stretch if such underlying conditions exist.
I participated in competitive elite level gymnastics, competitive figure skating, in adulthood Ballet Barre, and Vinyasa/Power Yoga for years which only aggravated my underlying condition.
I did not know that I was physically challenged.
I did not limp.
Why is it that society only pays attention to someone when they limp?
It is too late to fix or slow down what damage has been done once a visible limp is seen.
Only three percent of infants are properly diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia. Most women go un detected due to “flexibility”.
I was born with a shallow hip socket (acetabulum), and a very large ball joint (femoral head)that does not fit well in the hip socket.
Nothing could have stopped this from happening.
Not even me. I had no pain as a gymnast.
I was told that “everything was normal”.
If I don’t limp, I don’t get an X-ray, so I continued to stretch or over stretch oblivious to my congenitally mis-shaped hip joint.
The pain in my hip I attributed to over stretching.
I am a Doctor, a Yoga Teacher, and a Professor.
I have a physical disability.
I remember in the 1990’s while dating my now spouse. My own family, and my spouse’s ex-girlfriend judged him because he had a visible limp.
The greatest irony!
The whole time, I was in the same situation, just not as obvious without a limp.
I have not just one hip, but both hips shaped in this way that leads to degenerative changes, whether I would have been an athlete, or not.
My athletic ability helped give me strength and flexibility to adapt to my mid-shaped hips.
My healing begins now In 2018, as I journey back to health,and leave the darkness of chronic pain that has plagued me since 2012.
I will be getting hip replacements for both hips.
First surgery this year.
The healer needs healing.
The medical yoga I do with others will finally be done for me.
The energy healing that moves through me as Holy Fire Reiki will be used in my own healing.
I am in Gratitude to Source (God).
I am forgiving all that has happened as a gift of learning and growth that will take me to a higher Consciousness, and make me compassionate to every soul that comes to me for medical yoga and energy healing.