Deep Thoughts, Teachable Moments

The Strange Metamorphosis of Me

For the past couple of years I’ve been dealing with some medical issues that, until now, have been a minor nuisance at best. As whatever this is has progressed, I find myself now in a strange, uncomfortable place. A place where my obsessive need for control of things in my life is being woefully ignored by some more powerful physical entity at play inside my brain, I guess. Or my spinal cord. I’m still not really clear on the exact mechanism at work here, which only serves to add to my frustration.

I slept for about an hour last night. I woke with spasms and cramps in my legs and arms and it was the pain that kept me awake. I couldn’t get comfortable and so I kept trying to reposition myself and it really can be physically exhausting to do that. So I lay awake and my mind started racing and so on top of the physical stuff, I had trouble quieting the thoughts enough to even try to sleep. It’s been a rough few weeks. The spasticity and weakness that once was confined, at least to a large extent,  to my lower legs seems to be on a progressive path and is now affecting my hips and trunk. I’m in physical therapy twice a week and we’ve been working those areas to try to maintain some strength. But my physical therapist had kind of a frank discussion with me on Monday and broached the subject of the possibility of needing additional assistance sometime in the future. That’s not something I’m willing to contemplate right now. I’ve fallen a couple of times over the last month so I’m sure that’s part of his reasoning. The falls haven’t been too bad. A few cuts and bruises but certainly nothing terrible. Balance has definitely become more of an issue. Still, I feel like if I just put the work in with physical therapy and focus on what I’m doing I can somehow figure this out. He says that’s not really how this works, but I’m thinking maybe this is a situation where my stubborn streak may come in handy. 🙂

At 44, I feel like I’m in the this awkward phase of life right now where my body is starting to degenerate unevenly. I’ve always been really healthy and so trying to get used to this has left me feeling exceptionally vulnerable, which I quite dislike. I worked my ass off to earn two black belts in two different forms of Martial Arts and a brown belt in another. I have always loved working out and feeling physically strong. And now I can barely make it across a room without using walls or furniture to keep my balance. I look down at my legs and I command my foot to move and it stares blankly at me, limp and utterly useless.

OK, even I’m bored with this nonsense now. The one thing I can do right now is maintain some defiance and snark. I will figure this thing out eventually, and until I do I’m going to do things my way. I now have to wear braces on both legs. They cover up my tattoos, which is annoying, so I had tattoos put on the braces themselves, because fuck you neurological disorder. You are not me. I will not lose my identity to you, you feckless thug. I’m so badass. Heh.

braces

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