I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I live my life.

I don’t mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful towards recovery.

Christopher Reeve 

REFLECTIONS

I Didn't Want This!

I Didn’t Want This!

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS – the terrifying diagnosis

In 1983,  my Rheumatologist insisted I get a Handicapped Parking Permit for my car. She said I had to face facts. “You have a very serious disease that is chronic, debilitating and progressively degenerative.” She might as well have punched me in the heart with her fist. In fact, as I force myself to write these words, I feel a band of pain tightening around my head, and my blood pressure rising. My recollection of the rest of her speech that day and at most visits over the next 25 years went something like the following…”Ankylosing Spondylitis… that’s your disease. It’s a form of arthritis that can make joints swell to hideous sizes, while depositing calcium that eventually fuses the bones into an immobile, non-functioning joint.”  She then listed associated illnesses that can accompany AS! She said I may get: iritis, dactylitis, enthesitis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and a few other ‘itises’ (itis means inflammation). Shocked, I quit listening and began to fantasize about the sedating sugary junk I would eat when I left her office. To jolt me back to the ugly picture she was painting, she would pull out a few photographs, and lay them before me on her desk. 

Supposedly, my decline was predictable. She showed me a photo similar to the one below and said in 30 years, I would walk with a cane. Although she cautioned, a wheelchair was sometimes necessary.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

RECLAIMING MY PHYSICAL BODY

So here I am, 30 years later, daring to dream about climbing Wilcox Pass in late June, to celebrate the Summer Solstice. My joints are far from perfect, but I am not using a wheelchair or a cane and can finally walk up and down stairs like an adult, not a child learning to walk…right foot up on step, left foot up on same step…etc. The purpose  of The Other Woman Blog has been to reclaim my life; emotionally, spiritually and physically. 3/4 of the year completed and I feel ‘whole – hearted’ with a connection to God/Cosmic Consciousness/Unified Field. But I shudder with fear at the thought of reclaiming my physical life. So here is what I have done to help move me towards my dream!

1. On Thursday, March 21st, I allowed the desire to climb Wilcox Pass register in my heart, not dismissing it instantly as I would have done in the previous 30 years.

2. I then had 2 sleepless nights, as I registered the fear I felt in agreeing to participate in a hike well beyond my present physical ability.

3. At the Spring Equinox Workshop on Saturday, I created a doll symbolizing the rebirth of my physical self! She represents my deep desire to move with wild abandon, like a cougar in the woods. She is the life that resides within me already, waiting for the governing controls I have placed on her to be removed, SO SHE CAN DANCE!!

 WHY I’M NOT DISABLED

 I am not disabled because I never believed I would be. Admittedly, I came very, very close to being crippled, but at some deep level of ‘knowing’, I felt I would find my way out of illness. I just needed someone else who believed I could make a difference in my health by healing my heart and my spirit. Of course this true healer is my Herbalist, Annette Bossert. Doctors are not educated to give credence to the power of belief. They observe a symptom, for example, a swollen knee, diagnose a disease and then offer a series of drugs, hoping the symptoms will be suppressed. And after many years of drug ‘therapy’ they suggest replacing the now non – functioning knee with a metal joint. This is not healing. A knee cannot be thought of as a flat tire. Nor would a flat tire improve if the car as a whole learned to express its feelings, or found loving occupants. The human body is not analogous to a machine. Car parts do break down, and the car as a whole is improved by a discrete repair or replacement. But the body is part of a synergistic whole, where emotional and spiritual experiences affect it, positively and negatively. Symptoms are meant to get our attention, to alert us to an imbalance, whether it’s emotional, physical or spiritual. It’s only since the Industrial Revolution that parallels were drawn between humans and machines!

If you click on the white sentence that follows, you will see an incredible 5 minute clip of Viktor Frankl describing the impact of our beliefs on an individual’s behaviourViktor Frankl talks about the power of belief!

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 38 OF 52

WILCOX PASS – DARE AN ARTHRITIC DREAM?

As I connect with my physical self, accepting my deep desire to move in sport, dance and play, I imagine I will begin to experience new levels of physical joy. I imagine I will ride my bike again, kayak in the ocean again, and hike in the hills and mountains again! As I remove the mental and emotional barriers to this dream, opening my heart to any hurdles, my body will respond accordingly!

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