Friday, December 5, 2008


I was crabby at the doctor for not sending me to physical therapy. I was hoping that going would help a feel better. So I kind of forced the doctor into prescribing it. As it turns out, the doctor was right.

Physical therapists seem to be positive thinkers (nature or nurture? ). My PT was no exception. My first visit was wonderfully encouraging. We talked about regaining use of my left leg. Failing that, we wondered if I might be able to transfer using my right leg. Failing that, we talked about the possibility of a brace helping to stabilize one of my legs to make it possible to transfer. We spent the next month exploring those possibilities.

While the PT kept his hopeful attitude to the end, suggesting I could take the brace home to try to make it work even though we had no luck at the therapy office. But, as we crossed each possibility off the list, his positivity seemed a bit more forced. He apologized before I left, and I reassured him that even he could not accomplish the impossible. Sometimes, if a body won't, it won't.

Life has changed. The speed of change has been a bit shocking. The “good old days” were the beginning of October.

I am less upset than I might have expected. If I had given up immediately, if the physical therapist had given up immediately, I think I would be more distressed. Having experimented with different options and having lived in this changed body for a few more weeks have helped the adjustment. I was noticing yesterday that Ralph and I are learning what we have to do to get me and my body washed and dressed in the morning. We understand more about what works and doesn't work and vary our techniques to fit the spasticity level of the day.

So I am living through another cycle: the frustration and panic of Overwhelm, the falsely courageous veneer I wear during Incubation, and now the beginnings of Reconciliation. That word is so perfect for me. It combines the idea of being reconciled to the change that is taking place as well as reconciling with my changed body. That is the work I have in front of me right now.

There have been—and will be—many tears, but a measure of peace is returning.

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