Thursday, May 13, 2010

Speaking the Truth

Hi Everyone,

Today was my glorious day off.  Since getting my job I have a little spring in my step.  A little more motivation.  A little more optimism.   It is a nice feeling.  Again I was at the beach doing my workout.  Seventeen years ago I had a tendon transfer in my right foot.  I was one of the few patients to have it done at the time.  Over the course of the past decade I haven't had any problems.  I did have a bamboo frond embedded in my ankle when I was in the Peace Corps through a freak accident, but no side effects of the accident could be determined.  Then, last year I began having sharp pains shoot up my foot through my leg when I became extremely stressed or was tired.  I have always had a slight limp, but the pain made the limp very noticeable.

My cerebral palsy has never been painful before.  Even with the leg braces I wore as a child, I never felt any everlasting pain.  I would experience blisters, calluses, and pinches as I outgrew my braces, but they always healed.  Also in the past few years I have been tripping over my right foot more often than usual.  As I get older, these events make me feel very uneasy.  I don't have health insurance, but I need it.  I would love to be able to go to an orthopedic doctor and be fitted for a leg brace again.  It would give me better peace of mind to know that I am forced to walk heel-toe.  I am not sure it would help with the pain, so that is why I am trying to strengthen my ankle.  I find that walking in the loose sand is a really good exercise for my whole leg.  The resistance of pushing off the loose sand makes my calf hurt.  The mounds and valleys on the beach keep my concentration on walking heel-toe.

It is a beautiful thing the human mind.  Sometimes it drives me crazy and other times I think I am invincible, sometimes in a period of a nano second.  I don't know if walking the beach will help in the long run, but it gives me peace of mind, that I am doing something to give my body strength.  The pain and tightness I feel in my right leg is nothing like the pain or tightness I feel on my left side when I work out.  The tightness is always there.   I could actually stretch for the rest of my life and never feel as if I will ever feel loose on my right side.  I think that is why I love stretching.  In a perverse way, I know that my disability gives me life.   I have never felt like a victim in my disability, thankfully, my family would not allow it, but I also can't imagine my life without cerebral palsy.  I don't think I would want to have a life without it.  I like the person I am and if that means I have cerebral palsy, so be it.

I didn't think this entry would manifest itself into a personal insight about how I feel about cerebral palsy.    For the past 5 months, I haven't been on my feet like I was in NYC and now I am back doing the same work and I find the pain returning.  It scares me because I don't know why I have the pain.  I wonder if the palm frond in Mali did have an effect on my surgery ten years after the accident.  What does it mean for the future?  Will it worsen or will it fade?  I realize that I have a very slight case of CP, that many people don't realize.  I want to know for certain if I have to think about what might happen as I age.  Will my balance be greatly affected?  What are my options?  It is a weight I carry.  That is why I walk the beach, because when I do, the ocean air, the seagulls, the waves crashing make me appreciate what I have, while doing what I need to do.

Until tomorrow.  Take care and be safe.

All my love,

Tara

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