Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things
This was the title of last week’s Game of Thrones, a new HBO series that I HIGHLY recommend…it is visually breathtaking with complicated multi-dimensional characters and a deeply weaving storyline…a feast for anyone who loves a rich multilayered story.
I loved the title so much that I stole it, albeit a bit melodramatic. I’m not quite a cripple, and there are no bastards here to speak of…but I am a Broken Thing, so I’ll use it!
Progress is a splendid thing when it happens. Last week I was walking some “short” distances (apparently not short enough,) had taken back some of my household chores, and was surviving each day with gritted teeth only in small moments. Then came Saturday. All progress was lost as I lay writhing in my bed, with a sciatic nerve that threatened to send me to the hospital. Luckily, a well-placed heating pad, no movement, and some very good, strong new medicines calmed things down once more. I am now comfortable, back on my feet thanks to the meds, back to Physical Therapy, and heading to an MRI tomorrow evening to get to the bottom of what is going on. I will choose to believe my PT when he says, “You did too much too quickly…just a bump in the road.”
I will tell you that my optimism was beginning to fray at the edges until Friday. Friday was a fascinating day, and I can’t help but think it was a gift given to me to get me through this next “bump in the road.” Let me share it with you, although I will warn you that I might ramble a bit.
Friday I explored acupuncture. I went to a highly recommended Acupuncture Studio that I know also specializes in therapeutic massage. I have read that massage is very good for fibromyalgia and since I was still having difficulty with my sciatic nerve and overall neck and lower back stiffness, I thought I would explore that avenue. The expert I had the initial consult with believed that I should give acupuncture a try first. I am a complete skeptic, afraid of needles, and WAY out of my comfort zone in this community setting, but I decided to go ahead anyway. I had recently read an article that challenged the reader to say “yes.” Yes to new experiences, yes to thinking and acting outside the box, so I said yes. He wanted to know the one thing bothering me the most that day. It just so happened that it was a very stiff neck and achy shoulders, especially on the right side. He said, “Let’s work on just that one thing today for your first session.” So he took me into a very peaceful room where others were reclining with their needles. I resisted the urge to run out of the room and out to my car, and settled into my recliner instead. He very efficiently placed about ten needles into my left hand and said, “How does your neck feel now?” I thought he was joking. “Move your head around and tell me how your neck feels.” I swear to you I was absolutely flabbergasted when I moved my head and the neck crick was completely gone. I’m sure my shock showed in my eyes because he said, “Freaky, isn’t it?!” He continued to place needles in other places throughout my body including my other arm, my feet, my ears, and the top of my head, and there I sat “cooking” for an hour. I will tell you that my neck pain left and hasn’t come back. Of course, I have been on massive pain meds since Saturday, so I wouldn’t say this is a valid test! However, I was still a bit creeped out albeit in a good way! So that was my first glimpse of invisible forces that day.
While I was there I met a gentleman who blew in from outside like a tornado. He came straight to me, and exhuberantly introduced himself. I must have looked the newbie I was. He proceeded to hand me a copy of a newspaper article and said, “This is me!!!! Read it! Whatever you are going through, this will help.” I do believe in Angels…perhaps Messengers is a better choice of term, for I believe this man crossed my path at just the right moment to reinforce a message. Please click on the links below to read his story. Needless to say, I felt ashamed of my frayed hope for healing after reading his powerful story. My problem is so much smaller…we all need a little perspective bashed into us at times, and I believe Paul Gibaldi was placed right in front of me at exactly the right moment.
I left the studio feeling great, highly optimistic and grateful, and arrived home to my Good Housekeeping magazine in my mailbox. On the cover was Michael J. Fox…I read his interview and was amazed that on that very day the same message was reinforced. His trials are astounding, and yet his outlook is so inspiring. I came away with a new motto: “Don’t live the result.” He says that actors work by the motto, “Don’t act the result.” Actors know their characters ending, where they are going, where they will wind up, and must be ever mindful not to act the character like it knows where it’s going. We don’t know the end, or where we are going, so we mustn’t “Live the Result.” I found that to be a powerful message. I admit I was wallowing a bit in the “whatifs”…whatif I don’t get better? being the biggest whatif of them all. However, on my enlightening Friday I determined that I will not “Live the Result.”
I had a very big setback on Saturday, but it is just that, a setback. I must start all over again with the process of healing. However, I have strategies and a much better outlook than I did three months ago when this all started again. I will heal, I just don’t know how soon.
So, I apologize for the rambling nature of this post…but I hope some positive message can be leeched from within the ramblings.
Live the today, don’t live the result.
(Hope you are all well…I have been neglecting my reading lately.)