Updated: Mar 5
My feet are completely unrecognizable. I stare at them with the realization that they are no longer the feet that I've known them to be.
it’s just one more invasion - just one more loss of the person I once was, the person I have a difficult time letting go of, although I realize that letting go is an important thing to be able to do. It’s just too much sometimes, and it’s going so fast that I don’t have time to contemplate the loss. And it’s the demise of major things like walking and talking and swallowing and regulating my own blood pressure, but then there’s things like singing, too, which was always such a release for me. I can barely cook, (another release for me) but I manage it. Cooking does take a lot out of me, though.
I can no longer take my dog for a walk or garden or go on hikes in the woods or climb a mountain or dance. These things are all decidedly superfluous. I still have a good sense of humor, and can laugh about stupid shit, and still have a taste for good food – maybe too much so - and I can still write using dictation, so there’s that. I have to be grateful for these things because I don’t know how long they will last – so I cling to them as if these parts of myself are all I have left - and in fact, they sort of are.
Part of the frustration is the fact that I have always been an outgoing, verbal person, loving to be among people, talking, talking, talking - let's face it, blabbering, if you want to know the truth. This disease presents itself in exactly the opposite way – rendering it difficult to socialize in a group because I can’t be understood very well. It goes against my blabbermouth nature.
There is a very real danger of becoming so entrenched in who I was, and who I am now, and wallowing in that, and in my own self-pity. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be one of those people who only talk about their health or lack of it. I would much rather talk about things like writing or politics or ideas because that’s what keeps me interested and alive as a whole person rather than a half, which is how I feel most the time. So, to talk about things of a higher nature allows me the opportunity to rise above this disease, to rise above myself. To step out of myself and think of other things for a while, to focus on the exceptional.
This is where my optimism serves me well. This is where my ability to look on the bright side is helping me get through. For although the future is bleak and daily life is somewhat difficult, I am managing to evade depression by laughing my way through and acknowledging the joyful moments, of which there are many. And realizing that all I have, all any of us have, is right now.
And as I look at my swollen, unrecognizable feet, I realize that my body is, after all, temporary, as is everything. And right now, in the middle of this quarantine and these strange times, that is especially important to remember – that nothing here is permanent. Our very nature is to rail against change, yet things will change whether we fight them or not. It’s simply our choice whether to struggle away from it or to yield compassionately.