On one of my first PT sessions at The Place, I met A (PT6) and T(7, his equally hardcore intern). I think Mom took this picture on that day. I was in the parallel bars and T said, Okay, now walk backwards. I was like, “For real?” That was my way of saying, “I’m scared.” But A and T were quite serious about walking backwards and I was allowed to hold on to the bars without restriction – it was just that I had never done such a thing, so I was nervous. I mean, I could barely walk forward in the bars, and now T was casually mentioning walking backwards like it was the most normal thing in the world.
I am much more comfortable walking backwards now. I never thought about it, but I take a few backwards steps all the time, e.g. When taking something out of the fridge and moving to put it down on the counter behind me, or to get in position to talk to someone. I am still very uncomfortable when I hear of other people moving backwards, though.
When I got discharged from The Place, A told me to come back if things got easier or harder. When he told me this, I informed him that “regression is not an option” and I fully intended to return under circumstances that were favorable to my recovery.
That’s not how things panned out. Things got both better (I could walk faster) and worse (my left leg’s condition went downhill). I couldn’t go back to Therapy since it was all I could manage to limp to all my appointments as I called in the cavalry to examine my leg. I got the whole enchilada – poked, scanned, shocked, etc. but the consensus was that my left leg was perfectly sound. I accepted this pronouncement as code for “get used to it.”
I was incredibly frustrated, though, because I was being confronted with yet another path I had not chosen to take. There’s a saying that “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” – but this was not true in my case. I’ve got plenty of will(fullness), and a lot of faith – I fully expected overnight healing and used to put my hand out every morning to check if the tremor was still there when we first came home. But it does not appear to be God’s will to heal me like I know He can. And that’s true for a lot of people.
I’ve come to terms (sort of – I actually choose to be okay with it several times a day) with my own condition, but am truly grieved when I learn of others who are impaired and especially if their condition worsens. My own experience with “worsening” was relatively mild – and I am privileged to refer to it in the past tense. But it made me more conscious of just how hard it can be to do everyday things sometimes (e.g. I drank as little as possible for a while since I was afraid of walking to the bathroom), and acknowledge the fact that while I thought I had already lost a lot, it was possible to lose more.
My sadness found an outlet in the 2nd part of my “Memoirs.” To clarify: Volume 1 is comprised of 2 parts: 1)LH to Walk, and 2) LH to Wait. I would love to write Volume 2, but I have to get better and wait for more stuff to happen. If you have any suggestions on the title of the next installments, I’d love to hear them: e.g. “Learning How…to [fill in the blank].” Meanwhile, here’s a relevant excerpt:
The last part of Learning How to Wait:
…This whole thing was a game-changer for me. I understand that life goes on, and people keep on living and working while I’m relegated to the sideline, but getting sick meant everything to me, and there have been moments when I’ve really wondered whether or not I was going to make it. I really didn’t want to write this installment as “Learning How to Wait.” I was hoping to write “Learning How to Run” or “Learning How to Wear Very High Heels.” I have been advised, though, that it would probably be good to learn how to walk better first, so I guess I’ll prioritize working on that. This story isn’t over yet, though, so stay tuned.
FYI, I think if the Lord has given you a really tough situation, it’s up to Him to give you the grace to handle it, and also up to Him to work out all of the attendant logistics. At least that’s the understanding I’m working on. Also, let me just say again that waiting is something the scriptures never apologize for. Yes, it makes me uncomfortable, but I don’t see the whole picture, and I’m not the one in charge anyway. All I need to know is that I (and everyone else who is waiting on Him while going through some tough circumstances) will not be disappointed.
Psalm 34.5 “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.”