Last week my doc told me that I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. It wasn’t a big surprise because I’ve had symptoms for a long time; numbness, tingling, and pain in my hands when I get cold along with fingers that are always so naturally chilly I can dip them quickly into boiling water and nab a hot noodle to check it for doneness. I have to strap on two lovely wrist splints every night now (very sexy) and I’ll visit my massage therapist and see if she can open up the carpal tunnel and relieve some of the nerve compression. I’ve been doing more writing and photography in the past few months, and even though I try to use good posture and support my wrists, I think that the added time at the computer has made things worse.
And here’s where the moanin’ part comes in. My body has disappointed me plenty over the years and I’m more than a little annoyed that it’s up to its old tricks again. I’ve dealt with chronic illness on and off since I was in my twenties and I’ve had to rearrange my dreams and goals many times to accommodate and care for the whims of this rather needy little body that I was born into. Living with chronic health problems has forced me to lead a more balanced life (which is a good thing), it has taken me on a journey that has taught me the value of self-acceptance, hope, and resilience (also good), but enough is enough already! So take note body, this is war, I absolutely positively refuse to give up any more territory to illness!
Oh, and that photo up yonder was taken just this morning, the sun actually came out today! The wind chill is 10 below zero but that’s okay, we are sooo sun starved here in Michigan this winter we’ll take it any way we can get it:)
My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass. ~Leslie Grimutter
The first thing I do when I get my O Magazine is turn to the last page to read Oprah’s letter. This month she talked about how repeating the mantra this too shall pass helped her get through the recent scandal at her school in South Africa. Those four words have brought solace to many people over the years, myself included. I put the quote on a couple of T-shirts and it was written on the blackboard in my kitchen for many months. I wasn’t familiar with it until I got very sick one night last year. I had a nasty reaction to a new medication that not only made me physically ill, but at one point made me feel like I was losing my mind. Not a good feeling. So I was curled up on the couch (after getting home from the doctor who said I would just have to wait until the drug got out of my system), feeling like I was about to become unstrung as they say, when suddenly I got those four words: this too shall pass.
The strange thing was, they weren’t part of the confused illness spawned soup that was swirling around in my head. They were written on four sheets of pure white paper that floated up and out of the craziness that was engulfing me. I almost felt like I could reach out and pick them up. Which was weird enough in itself, but the really cool thing was that I immediately felt such a sense of peace wash over me that I was able to relax enough to go to bed where I slept off the remainder of the medication side effect. The next day I googled the quote to try and find it’s source. It seems its origin is up for some debate. It’s often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, poet Lanta Wilson Smith, and to a proverb about King Solomon. In the end I decided it didn’t really matter where it came from, it helped save me from what could have been a long, frightening night of illness. I still slip on those T-shirts now and then when I need to remember those four simple words. Gam zeh ya’avor…this too shall pass.