Focusing on the Ability
Technically, I am probably disabled, handicapped or whatever you want to call me at this point. My body is jacked up and I have a lot of health junk going on. I threw my temper tantrums, had my emotional meltdowns, felt sorry for myself and now, I am in the move. So, mirror, mirror on the wall, walk, run or crawl, I always get up after a fall.
I am surrounded by love, support and people with really good intentions. They only want the best for me. They have the best hearts and nothing they have said has been meant to be hurtful, and I have never taken it that way. I am also a very stubborn person. I tend to do things my own way.
I am a custodian. I love my job. It’s very hard and incredibly challenging. This “fall” has been really freaking rough to come back from and I have been encouraged time and time again to seek disability and to consider that I may not be able to return to work. For a bit, I was I let it defeat me, then I gathered my strength and began to fight. Being a stubborn mule, I am still saying I am going back to work. In fact, I am saying I am going back to work with clearance September 4! I have a lot of work to do, and I am no where near where I near to be, because as I write this, I am disappointed to say my right side is weaker than normal. I still have a lot of immediate challenges and will continue to face them in the future.
Why not just give up? I could, but what does that do for me? I don’t want to love that kind of life. I want to be a productive member of society as long as I can. I want to keep my mind and muscles going as long as they can. If in the future I need to downgrade, I will, but I don’t want to just give up. I need to set the bar as high as I can and strive for it, and if I can’t get there then I can’t get there. At least I tried my best. My physical therapist Jedd is a rock star. He kicks my ass and I think with him on my team, he can get me to where I need to be. I think he can keep me going long term as a partner in my health. Don’t get me wrong. Days like today, I want to punch him. In fact, with every impossible assisted lunge, I envisioned punching him. I’ll thank him later, but for now, I will use the thought of punching him in the face to motivate me through the assisted lunge.
I refuse to be considered weak. I refuse to give up. I refuse to be lazy. I will not go down without a fight, and most certainly will do whatever I can to within the best of my abilities whatever they may be even if I have to work ten times harder than everyone else. I’ve got my cheering squad rooting me on every step of the way, and sometimes giving me some tough love. It’s good for me though. On bad days, they are my motivation to keep going. I pray, I cry, I stumble, I fall and I complain a lot. I get cranky and frustrated that I can’t will things to happen overnight. Sometimes, I take naps. Good things are happening. My body is doing hard things.
Side note: I’ve had Fibromyalgia and lupus for 20 years. I know the exhaustion and extreme pain. However, I also know that a bad diet and not moving makes it worse. I also know that over medicating lowers your pain tolerance. I’ve been there. It burns my britches when people with whatever illness you may have, Fibromyalgia or whatever, instantly want to give up and seek disability. There are lots of ways that you can manage pain, to make it tolerable. (Also, Please do not self diagnose.) Life isn’t easy. I’m not trying to sound insensitive, I’m not. I just don’t get it. Sometimes, you have to work really hard to get your willpower bigger than your exhaustion. Make it bigger than your pain. Bigger than your challenges. It’s not easy. I know it’s not. I promise, I’m not some outsider saying this, but someone with experience saying this out of love. Don’t let life pass you by. Don’t let your diagnosis define you. A friend gave me that advice a long time ago, and I realized that’s what I was doing. It gave me the ability to turn things around. Between my health junk making me tired and my medications, there are some days, I have to make it a stay in bed day, other days I do the very best I can. There is a time and a place for disability, I don’t deny that. I pray that if you are struggling with health challenges that you don’t forget that life is beautiful, and that you are more than your diagnosis. You are braver and stronger than you think. You can do so much more than you think you can. Set your goals, research and knock them out of the park.
I’m working my tail off and really focusing on recovery. I’ve been careful with my diet, doing my physical therapy, occupational therapy, taking my medications, and getting plenty of rest. Needless to say I’m on the right path. We will see what the outcome is!
– Rambling Ceejay