If you live in the DC area you’re doubtless familiar with WTOP’s “traffic and weather on the 8’s.” This is a staple of the commuter’s car radio “preset” station selection, and one of the regular voices we hear during rush hour is Bob Marbourg. He informs drivers of traffic incidents around the beltway and also dispenses driving advice, e.g. if the traffic lights are out bc of a power outage he’ll tell us to be careful, and he’ll also be like, HELLO?!?! Can we please get some police presence/direction at this intersection? Except he says it pithily in his authoritative traffic reporter voice – and it’s SO funny. One of my favorite rush hour phrases from Bob Marbourg is Pick a lane and STICK WITH IT. He can see the traffic patterns on his screens and thinks the congestion would flow better if people would stop trying to weave in and out between lanes and just drive.
I mentioned yesterday that I’m beginning to discover the long-term effects of having a compromised left side. Recap: I have left-side hemiparesis, aka weakness. It’s less severe than hemiplegia, and way less severe than paralysis. I have been feeling some pain on my right side (the “good” side) for about 6 months. I have been in denial about it, though, like the time I thought, There’s no way God would make me sit in a wheelchair AND get bigger…
…Yeah. There was a way.
But the fact that it has worsened lately (seeing Trainer D aggravates it, although in the grand tradition of PTs who have come before him, he provides stretching relief, too), and that applying heat to it brings immediate and obvious pain alleviation makes me willing to acknowledge that it’s there. Hydrotherapy also helps – but finding a hot whirlpool isn’t always an option, so I generally use my new heating pad (love it! it’s plush and machine washable), and I’m pondering a new microwaveable heat pack purchase (I have 2 already, but I’m getting choosier).
I’m not a huge fan of constantly adjusting for new symptoms in RecoveryLand’s landscape. I wish my deficits would pick a lane and stick with it!! I mean, if my left side is obviously compromised, and my right side is starting to show signs of wear and tear…that’s 2 out of 2. But I don’t think the answer is to sit down entirely. I’m taking the “strengthening” route and trying to build muscle and stamina for living so I don’t have to sit down in the kitchen every five minutes. The last time I went to the ortho doctor he said my x-ray indicated that I’m physically sound (all the other docs’ tests did too) and he gave me the green light to go ahead and exercise as much as I could.
If I start feeling like I need to go get checked out again I’ll do so, but in the meantime I am busy being grateful that I have the opportunity to get better. Yes, my condition is in flux, but for me this means that things can get both better (and sometimes worse). Some friends of mine have not been blessed in this way – by God’s grace, they learn to live with it, though.
Maybe my legs are feeling worse because we’ve been travelling lately, and I spent the majority of the last week in a car or in a wheelchair. We drove to TN for the Rise Up conference. I was SO glad to be able to attend. Plus, I got to have a table for my books! Thanks to all who made this possible xoxo. It was a grueling (on many levels) experience, but a great one.
I have a better understanding of what I’m supposed to be doing now. Plus, I got to practice my elevator pitch. Yes, it can be hard sometimes to realize that the experience that cost me (almost) everything is now reduced to a 6×9 paperback on a table in a conference center hallway, but that was my choice. I didn’t have to write that book, but I did – because God’s grace has been so vast and surprising to me that I think it’s worth talking about. And many people I met (via Divine arrangement, I’m sure) expressed to me that they were glad to hear about it, too.
I did not choose to have an AVM rupture and a huge stroke, but I do get to choose how to live This Disabled Life. There’s no turning back now. I chose a lane and I’m sticking with it.