I’m posting this in response to a Facebook comment, where a friend wished she had a reset button for overcoming the damage done by medical misguidance. As my mom used to say, “You never know when you’ll turn a corner” – with the implication that your entire reality can change in a nanosecond. I first published this article in April 2008, on my Dancing with Pain blog – which will soon be available exclusively to my patrons.
Unbelievable: I fell asleep just after 11:30 p.m. Unfortunately, I woke up at 4 a.m., my brain full of anxiety about physical limitations and financial uncertainty: Will I ever fully heal? What if my condition deteriorates? Will I have enough money to take care of my mom?
My anxiety was partly triggered by the fact that yesterday, I sold some furniture, to clear out space in the room I’m turning into a dance studio. Dillon, the guy who came to pick up the furniture, needed help schlepping it to his truck. I was barely able to scoot the futon over a few inches on the frame, much less help pick up the whole damn thing and carry it outside.
Fortunately, Doug — who rents the unit below me — is a total sweetie and offered to assist in the hauling process.
I watched with longing and jealousy, as Dillon jumped on top of the truck and maneuvered furniture around, to stabilize everything. I had forgotten that people can move like that — that once upon a time, not so long ago, I could move like that.
I’ve been so excited about the fact that I’m mobile again, and that my pain levels have been low for activities like walking and sitting, that the world of movement beyond that has escaped me.
It’s been an intentional act of focusing on what I can do, rather than on what I can’t.
In the early days of my pain, when I kept my normal-level physical standards in mind, I was constantly depressed and frustrated. Since accepting my limitations and living at their edge, however, I’ve been quite happy and content — looking at my line of progress and celebrating each of my accomplishments.
And I do think that’s the way to go. Still, however, I miss being that crazy strong chick who in effect regularly challenged everyone’s gender expectations. (“What, are you a guy?” men used to laugh, as I schlepped heavy things with ease.)
Anyhow, at 5:30 a.m., still tossing and turning, I consider popping a sleeping pill, but decided to see my wakefulness as an opportunity to enforce my early-to-bed, early-to-rise objective.
I ended up eating breakfast on the front porch, while watching the sun rise and the birds fly across the horizon — chirping their joyful songs. And I noticed something: In the blink of an eye, darkness can turn to light.
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Photo and article © by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be copied without author’s permission.