Sunday, October 19, 2014

Angry Enough to Stand: That Ugly Cry

     This day I awoke impatient and agitated.  My muscles atrophied quickly as my bones took their time healing.  Although my mind is becoming more clear as I decrease my narcotic use,  I still could not guess the date or even month we are in.  I assume it should be late April, I am hoping.  Each day I receive more clarity, is a day that my active personality slowly returns.  I find my time sitting in a wheelchair has become mundane.  Winter refuses to lessen it's grip and I have rolled around every room in the house trying to find adventure. 

     Rolling myself down the hall, for who knows how many times that day, I stop to rest near the top of our stairs.  I am exhausted from the attitude I am carrying around.  My attention is constantly compelled by thoughts of walking.   My life is in limbo and that is what I am most frustrated about.   I want to know if I will be able to stand again or should I just accept that I will "roll" forever?  Sitting deep in thought, I work myself into a frenzy.   I am angry.  I am angry because I cannot stand.  I am angry because I cannot retrieve my own plate or cup from the cupboard.  I am angry because I cannot do any activity without pain.  I am angry because I cannot visit my basement!   Basement.  Oh, yes.   I still sit at the top of the stairs, while at the bottom, leaning against the wall, are a pair of silver crutches, smiling.  Winking.  Beckoning.

     I was done with fragile lady words today.  " Oh, *%#! this!", I yell at my empty house as I slam my palms on the arm rests of my wheelchair.  I am done with this sitting on my hind end, relying on everyone to help me.  Rolling to the steps, I stare and lament.   Locating my children's step stool, I place it on the floor in front of the stairs.  Unable to lower myself directly to the floor, I must proceed to the stool, then to the floor, now to the top step.  I weigh nothing, have no strength and movement is painful.  What the hell, I've already been broken and survived, it couldn't be worse.  I've used up four minutes moving just from the chair to the steps, which is about two feet, it could take all afternoon to master the stairs.   My attitude plunges me forward into the task.   Each and every step, I start by placing my left foot, then my right onto the next stair down.  Gingerly I would lower my bottom down.  Reaching the bottom, I leaned forward, grabbed the crutches and hurled them as far as I could up the treads.  Looking back up the steps, it is like the hallway in a movie that grows longer the more you stare at it.  I retreated back up the stairs just as I had come down them and safely returned to my metal chariot.  Covered in sweat and sucking some wind, I glance at the clock, Holy!   The clock says it took me nearly thirty minutes to achieve this.  I thought I should of at least been able to get it done in fifteen.

     I will stand today.  I just have to figure out how.  Rolling to the doorway, I park facing the wall.   Assuming this was the tactic that was most safe, I locked the brakes of my chair.   If I were to fall, I would either hit the wall or fall back into the chair, maybe.  Lifting the footrests, I place my braced feet to the floor.   I was still wearing my original black braces that were not manufactured for standing.  Rocking back and forth in the chair, my fourth attempt landed me cheek against the wall, gripping the door frame, scrambling to find a crutch before I crashed.  Thinking this may be the most stupid decision I've ever made certainly crossed my mind.   I did not have permission to do this, had never attempted this with supervision and here I am doing it alone in my house.  What a half-wit I am, which is most literally true in this case.  

     Well, I am already up, I shouldn't waste the opportunity.  For whatever reason I don't feel the carpet is stable, the kitchen hardwood is just a step away.  Placing my weight on the crutches I hear my braces slide against the oak wood as I drag them forward.  I look across my kitchen and I am dumbfounded by the view and feelings that overwhelm me.   My Lord!   I am so tall!   I have not viewed anything from this level in months.  I am enormous, feeling as if I loom over the counter tops.  Deliriously happy, I break into uncontrollable laughter, it comes from so deep that my belly aches.  I did it, I stood!   

    My open mouth laughter promptly turns into sobbing.   Drooping on my crutches, my shoulders are racked with deep, anguished sobs.  My cries come in pulses, matching each sob.  I suck in a deep gulp of air as each episode ends and another begins.  The emotion engulfs me to the point that no sounds are forthcoming anymore.  My eyelids have seized shut. I sob so hard my mouth will not close, my face is contorted with the pain I have survived these past months as I still hang on these metal contraptions. 

   Many minutes later as I finally release the last of my pent up grief.  I open my eyes and my shirt is wet from the river of tears I set free.  My first real cry.  I was not sad.   This was a healing cry.  I just needed release.  Staring down at the floor, I found an actual puddle of drool.  How ridiculous that must have looked hanging from my gaping mouth as I cried like an infant.  That is what you would call an ugly cry.  Ugly, but much needed.  

     After wiping the floor of my grotesque amount of saliva, because all I would need now is to slip in it, I had to share this with my husband.   Even though it was the middle of the day and he was at work, I had to share this with my confidante.  I confessed my drama of the afternoon and he remained quiet as my voice became thick with feeling.  He may have held is head in his hands and thought, "Woman, you are surely going to give me a heart attack", but he had nothing but compassionate words for his wife.

     I would say to anyone who made a decision like this, the same as I said to myself, " That was a foolish and hazardous decision, what the (bleep) were you thinking?"   It wasn't based on intellect for sure, it was a decision based on emotion.  I am stubborn and I don't regret it and it wasn't the last time frustration won over common sense.  

     What it did give me was hope.   
  Strength can only give you power, but hope can give you success.

 



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