When you have a chronic life-threatening illness, are prone to calamities, but determined to keep your eyes wide open, life can be quite the rigorous teacher. Throughout my journey, life has required it all. My tendency toward complacency gets challenged on a minute-to-minute basis. Perhaps it is my hardheadedness; perhaps it is my nature to blast through my self-imposed limits; perhaps it is the selected curriculum. Whatever it is, I seem to be in it for the long haul.

I left the nursing facility with my wings spread wide. It wasn’t five hours until my ankle got caught in the bottom of my power chair and was mangled. With the fractures, bones that are in fragments, the metaphoric deck of cards has been scattered and I am left to make sense out of it. It took me three days to work through the trauma, but this morning it became clear that I needed to spend another month stabilizing my ankle. Traveling for thirty hours with this broken ankle does not feel like a respectful thing to do to myself. The orthopedist informed me that I am at risk of throwing a blood clot. It is clear that as much as I don’t like it, I need to CARE for my ankle. Logistics will be  a nightmare. I still have to move out of my apartment for the new tenant to move in.

So life presents a new curriculum. I get to sit with this new circumstance and contemplate its relevance in my process. In 2007,  when moving to Colorado with David, I had an accident in my wheelchair and broke my femur. In both situations,  I was relying on a caregiver.  I’m sure in time I will understand the reasoning. That is usually what I hear in my meditations at times like this–“you will understand in retrospect.” Sometimes I really find that aggravating.

The internal “hit” that I get has to do with the word CARE. Caregiver, care-giving, self care… It seems like the lessons always come back to SELF LOVE.

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