11 November 2011

And dreaming I'm alive

The days slide away, lost in other work, other responsibilities, a black hole called life.

I try to see the last year, to visualize what has occurred.

So much is blank, especially in the first six months of the year. Paralysis not only of the body, but of the mind.

I don't want to deal with the darkness. I want to move forward, always forward, and I have no desire to dwell on the bad. I have lived with chronic ills for so long, and I have no patience for limits or lack thereof. I figure out ways around, through if necessary, and fight to regain as much ground as I can.

A spinal injury has proved much more difficult to conquer.

When the kids were babies, we noticed that they would become extremely fussy in the days before they hit some developmental milestone, before they made some tremendous leap forward.

Recovery has been something like that: milestones, small rewards for really good behaviour. It has been a learning experience, my body the teacher, and my willful brain the student. I never want to give anything up, make any concessions. I never want to stop what I am doing.

The surgeon warned me recovery would be slow. He also expressed concern over whether I'd be willing to wait this out, whether I realized how long this road would be, whether I could find the patience. It's been ten and one-half months.

Over the summer, the pain ramped up again. The consensus seems to be that the disc tore open further. At that point, I was ready to schedule surgery.

But then, the pain backed off again. It was at that point that I saw the pattern: often the greatest pain came before the biggest leap forward. The day I couldn't even move my leg off the table to the day when I was lifting it with a three-pound weight attached. I'll not regain all the use or sensation in my leg--I still start with surprise when my hand brushes the part that is dead--but I have most of it back, and other muscles have learned to take over the burden of the muscles that have been weakened. Mostly now I walk straight and true, with only rare traces of a limp or debility. If you didn't know me, it would probably be hard to tell that there is a problem.

So, progress it is then. And closer to fine.

Go listen to some good music: "Hysteria" from the album Absolution by Muse.

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