I may be “Bound for France” but it sure hasn’t been in a straight line. I’m not sure why I write that in surprise since Greg and I were not sure even when we purchased the airline tickets if we would definitely be sitting on that Air Canada airplane preparing for lift off to Paris. My constant health problems has made our decision to go on this trip really difficult. Besides dealing with constant fatigue due to Fibromyalgia, I have been coughing for 9 months that has been diagnosed as asthma. This cough has greatly improved but hopefully, when I see the lung specialist at the end of October, he will suggest something that will get it under complete control.
Why then am I a little discouraged since I haven’t been walking those miles every day to become physically stronger? Part of the problem is that I have a rather naive optimism that no matter how often I have setbacks they surprise me. For example, for the past 15 years, my body temperature is always warmer than other people’s and when I am exposed to great heat my body just “melts” and I turn into a lifeless rag doll whose legs aren’t strong enough to walk on her own. And yet, as Greg and I sat in a stifling room that had only ceiling fans to circulate the hot air, I still hoped that I would be able to withstand the heat and stay at least long enough to hear the wedding speeches after the dinner. Surprise!!! Greg had to drive me home early. Two days later, my body is still in the recovery stage.
To continue my rant, since a car accident in 1978, I have had constant neck pain that can flare so that my mobility becomes more limited and my headaches become a vice where I think if I could just poke a hole in my head, some of the pressure would ooze out. Since the new year, I have aggressively been trying to stabilize the pain by getting massages, acupuncture, laser and presently, intra-muscualr stimulation.
And no, I haven’t finishing lamenting as I think about the torture I receive every night since I seldom get into a deep rem sleep. A good night’s sleep is around 5 hours.
And yet, I also know that I have much to be grateful for. There have been years of health symptoms where we couldn’t even consider this kind of holiday. We did go on a lovely trip to Greece with our daughter but there was still too much emphasis on, “Okay Gayle, you can do this. Put one foot forward and now the next.” My heart’s desire is to be fully present on a holiday or for that matter anywhere!! And that is where I am very hopeful for this trip since one of my doctors has really helped me come out of what we Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Sufferers call a “brain fog.”
I do not succumb to self-pity very often since I have never found it particularly helpful to me and it certainly isn’t enjoyable for others to witness. I think it has occurred today since we are 27 days away from heading to France and that destructive emotion called fear has surfaced. And yet, I know I should rebuke this fear and recall how far I have come since the day that Greg and I began spending thousands of dollars looking for answers for all of my health symptoms. Some of those dollars we have lost, other dollars at least gave us hope when we needed it, and still others actually strengthened my body. For that I am grateful.
Interestingly, fear slithers away when I put my attention on my progress. I am particularly thankful that last week after yet another CT scan, my oncologist tells me that I am doing well. She wants me to continue seeing her every four months especially since I have had two bouts of cancer in one year and the probability of its return is then higher. I am not as afraid of its return as I am afraid that I will not have experienced fully all the abundance and goodness that this world offers to each one of us. And as I close my eyes recalling how ill I was last summer and fall due to the radiotherapy, and then how the new year began with an extremely debilitating and exhausting cough, I know that this setback shall also pass. I may not be that eagle soaring in a straight line to its destination but even zigzagging gets me eventually to where I want to be and presently that is to France!