Friday, September 10, 2010

Physical therapy starts/"A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes."

Physical therapy starts
Today was my first physical therapy session. Last week was just an evaluation, this week I was on the machines. We spent most of the hour working on my legs and then we finished off with some balance exercises. My legs feel like they’ve been flayed and rubbed with kosher salt, but in a good way.
Once I got home I had time for lunch before a friend came by to help me set up my new shared office space with Adrienne. Yesterday another friend had come by and did all the electrical things I could not do, such as setting up my stereo and speakers in the office. He also made a computer table that fits on the arms of my chair. Today we brought my clothes in and organized my stuff. The room’s not done, but it’s good to finally have a place for my stuff.
The following is something I’ve been working on for a week and decided to post as is:

"A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes." *
I told my new physical therapist that sometimes I forget that I am sick. When Olivia, the better mouser of my two cats, chased one under the couch, I wanted to stand up and lift the couch so she could get at it. It was a slap in the face when to be reminded I couldn't do it. Being reminded of my disability made me feel sick to my stomach.
After I told my therapist about what a jolt it was when I came back to reality, she offered the typical panaceas that I hear whenever I suggest that my life isn't perfect. She began to tell me how important my high expectations were, that therapists appreciate having clients that work so hard to have their normal lives, etc. I stopped her and said, “You don’t need to put a positive spin on everything I say. Sometimes things just stink.”
The fact that my life does not consist of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns is not necessarily a bad thing. One of the things that Ala-non teaches is acceptance first, happiness comes later. Someone once told me that bad thoughts (or feelings) are important; how else could we evaluate the good ones?
I am proud and grateful of the gains I have made. I've had the privilege of witnessing miracles. I know that I'm a fortunate man; many people with CIDP have much harder struggles’: physically, emotionally, financially, the list could go on.

Telling my therapist it’s a bummer to be reminded that I can’t walk wasn’t my way of being discouraged, it was my way of being brave. Bravery is another component of happiness. When I lack that bravery, as I often do, my Higher Power draws me close and reminds me that I am not alone. As long as I trust Him, I will be all right.

* Source: on the web, this is attributed to an Indian proverb, but I am not sure there are lions in India and I'm too tired to double check.


  1. I have CIDP and find great support from your blog. Your response to your therapist: "sometimes things just stink" brought a rousing cheer from me. I have said 'this stinks' (re CIDP) to myself, to others and to God and it always is a starting point for new growth. Thank you for your efforts in keeping up the blog;always look forward to your posts - and your honesty!