There are times when everything swims along as normal and there are times when life turns upside down. Last week was the latter for Jeff and me. We started Monday morning with a regular conference call, and when Jeff got up from the chair he noticed the pins and needles. Within an hour he couldn’t feel his legs; he said it was like they belonged to someone else. He had no strength and certainly couldn’t walk.
Now it’s the end of a long week in which Jeff was carried off to hospital in an ambulance, had a full MRI scan and keyhole surgery on his spine to remove some cartilage pressing on his spinal cord, and is slowly reconnecting the thousands of nerve synapses that are part of standing and walking. I have to confess these seemingly simple acts are generally unnoticed by us – until they are no longer there of course.
Besides our gratitude for the miracles of modern medicine and the human body, the strongest metaphor for us in all this is being constricted. We can be blind to how we limit ourselves in so many ways but life will nudge us out of denial. Then the question is how we respond to the roller coaster; passively or secretly? fearfully or impatiently? calling on the doctors or calling on the angels? facing our deepest nightmares and forging new pathways? Experiencing this last intense week has involved all of the above and, oh yes, valuing the power of friendship and the neural network of community in a more fundamental REAL way.
Love, Sue and Jeff