and now some other stuff:
In 1982, I woke up paralyzed. no accident, no twisting the wrong way, no apparent reason. just could move my arms, then my legs, and soon my lungs began to move slower. I'm grateful my lungs woke up before I needed assisted breathing. and, despite stumbling if i didn't concentrate really really hard, my legs began to come back. my arms, though were useless. i couldn't feed myself, or type or take care of hygiene issues or even get out of a bathtub by myself. i had to move back home with my mother. i was at the prime of my Years of Great Coolness, and i became an invalid of sorts…tho i despise the name "invalid," because spell it out, man. i was not invalid. just a little broken up. it's a long long story of sweat and intense pain and very hard work and being told "you'll never _____" fill-in-the-blank, and had i been able to - i would have thumbed my nose at them. i would not be a child in my mother's house forever. i would do all those things and more. and i did. three years later, i began a body building training. yes - arms and all. slow and easy at first, using primarily legs, but soon those bird wing arms grew stronger, and my scapula began to build muscle to hold them down and i began to get stronger. i am now 99.85% better physically. i am grateful for every misdiagnosis, every over-prescribed muscle relaxer & pain pill and every time my PT worker yelled in my face that i would NEVER walk again or lift my children when they should be born … she was awesome…she knew just the right buttons to push…she knew when to lay off and let me cry a while…she knew when it was time to get busy and help myself. she fired me from her practice so many times, which made me show up and sit in her waiting room till she decided i meant it - that i would work. she knew, but didn't tell me, that i was fighting for my life. that if i didn't move forward, i would literally die. that the nerves that had been destroyed need to grow back QUICK and we had lost many precious months with the wrong medications being given to me. she knew because, out of the hundreds of PT's in my area, I had somehow been cosmically been referred to her. and she had 3 other people in her care with the same condition - one that most physicians never ever see in a lifetime of practice. and now she alone had 3 people. a 4th died before getting to her. Gilliam Barre Syndrome, if you're wondering. people were getting the new Swine Flu shot, and dropping like flies. i never got the shot, just the effects somehow. But i share all this to say that you would think after something like this, a person, me for instance, would go brash and bold through life knowing that they can accomplish anything at all. that, after cheating death and disability, nothing worse can happen. but it hasn't been that way. i did become more mindful of the people around me, and how everyone has a battle going on in their lives … be softer and slower with people…let someone ahead of you in line if they are tapping their foot…give someone the closer parking space…whatever you can do to lessen someone else's load, do just that. and more. but not too much - don't make them feel unable. but back to my point, somehow. i know of my determination and strength. i know i Can If I Have to. mostly. but i've also seen a lot of tragic endings and listened while weakness won out over mind-boggling circumstance. i say weakness, not in a less-than sense of the word. weakness as in limpness…where you Just Can't See The End of the bad time…and you let yourself go limp and death comes to snatch you up. i've listened to that in my former job, was a magnet for it somehow. and oftentimes, when i thought there was a crack in the door for a person to peek out through, often i'd remind them that they indeed had nothing left, and it was a Good thing, not a bad one…that they could start fresh, a clean slate, no job/spouse/house/whatever to hold them back from whatever they wanted to do and become. and the weird thing is that it worked almost every time. the realization that, it was like a Janis Joplin song: Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. The worst had happened, and now the choice was theirs to rebuild or not. it was my job to keep them on the phone til help arrived in person. and so now, my words come back to test my heart and my determination. i've lost nothing, let's be clear before you panic. however, there are choices before me that are dazzling and scary and wonderful and sparkling. and they all require a restart. a reboot. a factory reinstall. a walking away towards something new. and the new stuff is a little hazy right now. but it shimmers. and i say 100% that i am grateful for every single bump in the road and for every easy ride through the woods. this post rambles and weaves all around with no real point, i realize, but here is my offering and i hope you smile big today.