Some days there is no getting around it. I feel old. The cane makes it worse. While the crutches were more cumbersome and the wheelchair definitely was a pain and in the way at least they made you look like you had an injury versus simply being incapacitated. Sunday we finally were able to go visit my dad who has used a cane for probably 15 years at least. After lunch, Butch insisted on a picture with the two of us using our canes. Not so bad…Then even I remarked as we walked down the stairs... there we were each of us holding a hand rail, using our canes and taking one step at a time.
Today I saw a friend’s post about hiking. I love to hike. I am going to seriously hurt when I see posts about kayaking because I love that even more! I have taken up water aerobics. It is one of the few exercises I can do that is not weight bearing and so does not cause pain. I am the absolute youngest in the group. Each time if I am with a new instructor they ask, “Can you swim?” Well of course I can! I normally swim 40 laps. Opps, I forgot. No I can’t right now. “Ok, here is something to help you float better.” In all of this, there is just no denying that my legs are still not functioning properly. All indications are that in a few months they will, but not in time for summer fun. So how am I handling it?
I choose joy. The studio for Threads by Nomad is located in a building where there are various medical and social services. I see handicapped people EVERY SINGLE DAY! I have become frustrated as people rush around me and scare me as it seems they are going to knock me down. People who park in handicapped spaces but do not have a handicapped sticker should know they just made things more difficult for someone. Yet how many have waited for me to get on the elevator? How many have stepped aside to let me through taking my time? The wonderful sweet night guard at the office always has a smile and encouraging words, always offers to open doors for me, and more than once has wanted to carry things to my car for me. I choose joy because of these folks. I choose joy because I remember that I was likely one of the people rushing around ignoring those who might slow me down. I choose joy because I have medical care and options…something many people in the world do not have.
I choose determination. This is not going to get better if I just sit back and say, “Oh well, I guess I will just always walk with a limp and be off balanced.” I have for most of my adult life been attentive to exercise. Now it is ramped up! I do not just exercise. I do those things that are uncomfortable because if I don’t there will be not progress. Progress is never easy in any aspect of life.
I choose patience. Not that there is much choice! Patience is not one of my virtues as any family member or friend will testify. But as this evolves into week after week and now months, I am reminded every single day that God is asking me to be patient. Not to be idle, but patient. Patient in the healing to be sure, but also patient in what he is teaching me in this process. Patient in the opportunities he is giving me while I wait, such as more time to focus on Threads by Nomad, on our network and our partners, and on those books I have been needing to read.
I choose to be the best I can be today, physically and spiritually. I do not know what the end of this journey will look like, but I know I will not be the same. For that I am profoundly grateful.