Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I call the stairs Moriarty, villainous beast

From Thursday, May 9

One likes to think of being valiant, at least capable. Circumstances do not always allow for that. When we moved to our comfortable apartment home in this building with these stairs, I could manage them, carrying groceries, taking out trash, doing laundry. Then I managed them less well, possibly due to side effects of an otherwise did-just-what-it-was-supposed-to statin medication, side effects to which I didn't make the drug connection as they were of slow onset.  I thought it was just me, becoming more, as I experienced it, enfeebled.  Getting along the walkway, down the stairs, across the courtyard, down more stairs, to the car, and then back home to do it all going the other direction was, to say the least, daunting.  I discontinued the medication and began a plan of quieting my jittery mind, strengthening my weakened muscles and seeing what could be done.  I had a target date, today, for an appointment and knew, halfway along the balcony walk, that I still had work to do.  I don't know if the photo tells you clearly how perilous the stairs are and how one needs to be in their best form for either direction, especially up. 
I have visualized myself, strong and sure-footed, I have visualized myself with all lifting muscles cooperating successfully, I have visualized myself steady and graceful and I am not there yet.  I am just not quite there yet and the good news is I knew it, all suited up, willing, as mindful of the moment as I could be, and it became clear that I would be very unsafe - today - making this journey and I want not to feel as though I have failed.  I know I haven't.  I know, believe me, that everything is a process and takes as long as it takes.  I know that one of my greatest lessons is about patience, tied with learning how to be gentle and forgiving with myself.

After calling to cancel today's appointment, which was last-minute and not at all how I like to conduct myself, I went back outside to practice and identify the areas of greatest need.  At first I felt grateful that some inner wisdom told me what my choice needed to be.  Now, a few hours later, the stronger feeling is of not measuring up, not being able to do it as well as I wanted.

This is such a tricky, complex business, being human.  My unwritten manifesto holds many of my beliefs:  that no one other than me is responsible for my happiness, that the high road is never a wrong choice, that things DO work out and I'm still here, that magic is real and is always, always calling to us, reminding, reclaiming, recruiting.  While that goes on, will you picture my feet and knees reaching new heights, my endurance increasing, my strength restored?  That is magic enough for now.

20 comments:

RachelVB said...

In my mind you are dancing up and down those stairs. Be well today, Dear Marylinn. xoxo

Angella said...

I will picture those lifting muscles rising high and without pain, as i picture that for myself also, because those stairs would present issues for me too. so i not only sympathize but i also empathize deeply. today you did what you had to do, what felt right, and let it be, no guilt. just forward motion. you have inspired me to call the physical therapist and resume appointments. thank you.

Mariel said...

Don't give up and do NOT blame your body. It took me months to overcome statin induced muscle failure . . . I know exactly where you're coming from. You'll get there. At least you know the cause . . . think of all the unfortunate folk who have no clue why they've become so 'feeble'. Statins are the 'beast'.

Kass said...

Those stairs do look daunting. Wishing you growing strength each day.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - Thank you. In my dreams I am always unimpaired and have a deeply wished-for slow dance that I hope to experience. Hold the good thoughts, please. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Thank you and whatever urged me to post this after it sat in "draft" since last Thursday. Oh yes, do resume your physical therapy. I hope my health plan will let someone come here to help me. Wishing you well with our mutual situation and grateful for your visualizations. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Mariel - Thank you though I wish our connection wasn't having been kicked about by the medication. I know there have to be better answers for some of these health issues, or so I believe. Be well. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you, I will carry your wishes. And the stairs have daunted the able-bodied. I swear I can hear them, snarling and laughing. xo

Radish King said...

This made me cry because you gave me a ti y bit of. Hope.
Xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rebecca - And hope does exist as do the things hoped for. Setback, maybe or maybe not. We are crying in tandem today, crying not always an unwelcome thing, and we will be better, so much better. Thank you, Dear Radish. xo If Google allowed for it, I'd have typed this in red for its radishy goodness. xo

T. Clear said...

Ah, Marylinn. You remind me of the many things we (I) take for granted, once again.

I will visualize all these things for you, every day.

xo

susan t. landry said...

dear marylinn, those stairs could easily take on a horror movie persona, couldnt they?
your ability to sit with this process, to hold it up to the light of reality--and yet still invoke magic--is as always extraordinary. we will all be in your shoes, your legs, your knees, your not quite strong enough muscles soon, if we are not there already. i gladly donate my visualizations to you! (or, perhaps we could trade images? i am supposed to be visualizing a bubble of goodness around myself to protect me from the evil ex-wife whom we have to encounter in a few weeks; i'll work on your strength, you send me some marylinn magic to keep that mentally ill person out of my bubble?)

james said...

i am convinced statins are the work of the devil, except perhaps pravastatin, which, so far, does not require some pact with my soul.

Antares Cryptos said...

The human body is a miracle (of evolution). It told you that the side effects can be worse than what it is supposed to treat.

Good healing wishes and physical strength.

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - Thank you, I continue to say visualizations are most welcome. So many things are not what we had in mind, on both sides of the ledger. I've come to believe that all living is adaptive, some of it just more obvious than others. Still counting all the blessings. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. With your AWS - Advanced Walking Skills, I will happily trade visualization, here comes that bubble and a blissful calm. Can't get under MY skin with a crowbar, only room in here for one. I'm on the job, regardless. If you can boost the strength here, so much the better. Evil exes are on notice. Life is much too short to be crazy as a hobby. Alas, that word hasn't really gotten out. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

James - The devil, indeed. I'm glad you've found a substitute that leaves less destruction in its wake. I shall hold the good thought. Our souls are already over-committed, pact-wise. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - I do believe it is a miracle, a genius knowing its own skills. What got me turned around was a process of some enfeebling (arthritis) which I thought the side effects were merely an extension of for too, too long a time. So know the body gets to be very, very miraculous and we shall work together. Good thoughts, thank you. xo

Lisa H said...

I'm honored to say that I've walked those stairs and they are steep. I loved seeing this picture because it reminds me that you;re there in Pasadena in your wise and wonderful glory. I LOVED sitting in the courtyard balcony with you and Lucas relaxing, drinking cold coffee-milkshake hybrids and just being together. As for the statins?...is it a coincidence that they read like "Satin"?.....yikes.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - I may have been too quick to blame the statin entirely for this predicament. We have our top investigators on the case at last. And yes, you know how steep - the photo doesn't mislead - the stairs are, especially going up. And in spite of that they do make a grand stage set for a West Side Story-esque rendezvous or open-armed welcome to a friend from far away, last seen too long ago. The jacaranda is in bloom right now, purple petals under foot. You are so very, very, very. xo