When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what I was going to do for this blog post, today. I wondered what there was to celebrate in the wake of recent realisations in my life. Sometimes, it is hard for us to see past our pain to the blessings in our lives.
As some of you will already know, I had an epidural that went wrong. For seven years now, my movement has slowly been declining and the last three years have been a battle to stop it declining further. Sadly, it seems we are failing.
When you look at the spine, you have bone known as the vertebral body. In between this sits the inter-vertebral disk. This disk is what essentially stops the bones of the vertebral body from rubbing together. My inter-vertebral disk is damaged, meaning that when I stand or walk for too long, it begins to rub together, creating a lot of pain. The more the inter-vertebral disk wears away, the less I can stand or walk and the more pain I get.
Recently, I started to get a new pain, higher up my back, that spread to my right shoulder and down my right arm. I didn't know what was wrong and couldn't understand why I had this new pain. Well, yesterday, I found out why. I have a trapped nerve, which most likely indicates that my inter-vertebral disk has been damaged even further; although tests will need to be run for us to be sure.
I made the terrible mistake of allowing myself to believe that we were doing enough to prevent further damage to my spine and so I was devastated to discover that all our efforts seem to have been for nought. As a result, I didn't feel as if there was much to celebrate. All I could think about was that the next step for me might be, one day soon, suddenly finding I could never walk or stand again.
I was feeling very self-pitying and that is never a good thing.
So, this morning I was up at 2am. I couldn't sleep for the pain. I tried to get hold of a friend, who lives in America and I knew would still be up; not just any friend, but my best friend, but I had no luck. I browsed the internet for a bit and read a book, all the time, trying to think what I could celebrate today.
I was really building myself up for a massive pity party. I've done this a few times, since my problems first arose, back when I gave birth to my beautiful boy. I've allowed myself to sit there and wonder, why me? The reality is, why shouldn't it be me? What makes me less deserving of this than anyone else? No one ever wants to be in pain. No one ever wants to lose their ability to walk or stand and none of us stop to really consider those who are in that situation, until we find ourselves there.
So, I am celebrating the fact that, though I cannot change my situation, I can accept it and adapt to it. I've already done that before, so what makes this new complication any different?
We don't even know for sure yet if the trapped nerve is due to the damage getting worse or if it is simply bad luck, but negative pity parties are not going to make it any better.
We have to smile, we have to carry on, or what is the point? Tears and anger only make things worse; not just for you, but those around you. We have to look for the positives.
So I am celebrating that, too. (Looking for the positives)
This morning, after taking my son to the bus, I found a positive. I was heading down to the shop on my scooter, when a little squirrel shot towards me. Frightened, he dropped the nut he was carrying and dived back the way he had come. He sat at a distance, watching me, and I sat, watching him. His nut was right by the tire of my scooter. He wanted that nut bad. You could see him eyeing up the nut; looking at me, looking back to the nut.
Right in front of my wheel was a drain. I could see that if I moved there was a good chance it was going to go down the drain and the squirrel would lose it. So, I sat and I made little clicking noises at the squirrel, trying to reassure it that it was safe and I wouldn't hurt it.
Now, the squirrel, for all I know, may have just thought I was insane; however, clearly a non-threat, as he slowly started to move forward, while I sat very still. Soon he was just a few inches from the wheel, standing on his back legs, looking at me; probably wondering, "are you the kind of crazy that's gonna eat me or the kind of crazy that thinks you can talk squirrel?" I guess it must have decided on the later, because he swooped in, grabbed his nut, and scurried around the scooter and across the road; pausing, on the other side, to look back at me briefly, before running up the bank and into the bushes.
A few years ago, I wouldn't have seen that squirrel. In fact, I wouldn't have left the house; because, before I came to terms with the fact that I had a serious problem, I rarely left the house at all, and even when I did, it was only to walk to the car.
That squirrel reminded me that sometimes we have to be brave, even when we don't feel like it.
So, I also want to celebrate the little squirrel that was brave enough to retrieve his nut, even though it was right next to the crazy lady, who thought she could speak squirrel, lol.
So, those are my celebrations. What are you celebrating today?
Love and hugs,
Joss xx (the woman who probably can't speak squirrel)
For those of you who don't know, Celebrate the Small Stuff is an awesome blog hop, hosted by The Vikilit's writing blog. It enables the blogger community to come together, every Friday, and check out what everyone is celebrating this week. If you want to Join in or find out what others are celebrating, just click the link, in blue above, and sign up to the linky link on the Viklit's blog :)