When I started to stabilize with my first baclofen pump, I started to wander out into the world. For the first time in years, I was getting around as an ambulatory person. At first, it was with minimal assistive equipment, then with none.
As I ventured out, I did it much like a child does. Everything I did was exciting because I never expected to be doing it again at all. Walking up steps, walking on the beach, taking my dogs to the dog beach, riding a bike, kayaking in the gulf, camping and camping with my dogs were some of the things I did within the first two years of having the Codman pump.
I had a blast and no fear of trying new things or meeting new people. I loved it all, and was open to any and all opportunities that arose.
I had gotten used to being appreciative of the simple things in life during my wheelchair days. I appreciate and find my inspiration in those simpler things still, even when I am caught up in my own head about the drastic differences in my life from one three or four-year period to the next, over the last 11 years.
Now I relate to toddlers and younger children a bit differently. The cutest baby in all the land is struggling with some of the same developmental tasks that I am. We both have trouble with the pop up books, going up and down stairs (although she is getting better at it), manipulating small objects, walking too quickly, etc.
When she was first standing up and pushing her little walker thing, I was too. It was cute, and she even helped me push mine in the mall parking lot from the car to the sidewalk.
I love to watch how excited she gets when she sees something new and exciting. It usually isn’t something that would hold an adult’s interest, but it is certainly something that is new and fun for her.
I don’t know at what point as a child I lost this enthusiasm, but it was sadly quite young. There was no particular event or anything I can recall, I just know it wasn’t there anymore.
Instead of the enthusiasm, there was fear and caution, which came with sadness. Then later there was responsibility, fear, darkness and caution. I am not sure how, but being stripped of everything when I became ill seemed to eventually lead me back to enthusiasm, despite the fears, responsibilities, darkness and caution.
The past few years of pump drama and social security appeals have sapped some of my enthusiasm. Adjusting to life without a pump, still dealing with social security and other health issues certainly is taking a toll too.
Today, I realized I felt a bit empowered after spending two weeks in the eye of the illness. I made it through it and still found my inspiration in my lilies, my dogs, and in the clouds in the sky.
It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy, but does that really matter? What matters is that I faced it all head on, dealt with it, lived through it, and continue moving forward, right?