I was writing then I realized my eyes had closed
and I was dreaming about a garden I had forgotten to
clean up in a public place. My disappointment with myself
over small things is what makes me ill. Rather my inability to
forgive myself for being human. It’s not the only thing just
one small piece of the puzzle that is my mind.
My eyes opened again and I wrote this summary of my brief dream.
Sometimes I do wonder about narcolepsy and falling into
rem sleep so quickly but I have to remember what different
doctors have said to me, “You have many children,
you push yourself too hard, too long without eating,
you don’t get enough rest, you do things you should not do alone.
A man should help you with that.”
My feminist sensibilities get riled up,
but my maturity and exhaustion
has finally allowed me to think about their statements.
Its not a man that should help,
but man -some human should aid one who is in need
I learned about 18 months ago that the only thing
I can do alone is carry a child and give birth to her.
The rest requires acceptance of help
acquiescence of my non super hero status.
A bad sprain in the wrong place required,
bed rest with my little girly as she grew I
recovered, my bear brought food and helped me
up and down the stairs. A drop foot required
months of physical therapy so much so that Girly
thinks wiggling of the toes is a form of communication.
Not really, she just laughs at feet now. We wiggle our toes together
This is the second, no third, no fourth time
I have spent an extended period of time on crutches:
Foot surgery when I was twelve, I had casts
up to my knees and pins in two of my toes.
I mastered the elephantine lumbering
of being large and four legged.
I sprained both of my ankles in a tennis match.
I fell during my last pregnancy.
Girly was not injured in utero.
I dropped a playpen on the back of my leg
and caused my drop foot condition.
I do not have MS, like my brother.
My general practitioner was frantic
to get me to a neurologist.
My neurologist has a small dark cramped
office with many patient patients.
He is a kind man who addressed my flat feet,
my posture, my lack of muscle
movement in my left foot.
I had to take the time to heal while raising Girly.
I can’t remember how many sessions of physical
therapy I was approved for. The physical therapy
technicians were kind to Girly and would roll her around
while I was hooked up to the nerve and muscle stimulation machines.
I wore a temporary brace, then a custom made device
for a long while to keep me from tripping over my own foot.
I could stand on in, but couldn’t lift my toes
It was like having a tail with a mind of its own,
but it was my foot. Technically, I have healed physically.
I’m 99% recovered.
Mentally, well, I have a long term group of conditions
that I have learned to adapt to:
Keep going to therapy.
Keep up the good work.
That’s a lot of k’s. OK.
Girly’s pediatric neurologist is also a kind man.
His office is bright and the offices large.
He wanted to make sure I was ok enough to care for Girly.
I feel like I’ve been poked and prodded for so long
I’m beginning to get testy, but for Girly, I will
keep letting them poke me. No jabbing, just the gentle prod
of a watchful physician. Finally, the Orthopedic specialist who
re-evaluated my scoliosis and osteo arthritis gave me the
green light to go forth (gently) and see how it feels
without mind numbing pain killer.
I have days of pain, then
I have days of motion and muscle memory.
I remember running and playing on a tennis league.
(The next person who suggests swimming as exercise should watch me sink in water.
I am dense. I have to work hard to float. I can walk along the bottom of pools.
I’m a great diver. I am aerodynamic, like a concrete block.)
I remember being active without this pain.
I remember life without muscle spasms.