Letter of Courage #3 – RSD, and Now What?

As I went out on my daily journey, walking becoming my measurement rather than exercise now, I began to think about mobility, my own.

To understand me is to know that since I could afford a car, I have always had one. For me, the car symbolized freedom, and the luxury to travel, to see the world, or at least that world close enough to drive.

My car had also been a refuge, a vessel that delivered me to the ocean on sunny and even on stormy days. I’d drive the coast and feel sure I was on the edge of the earth, knowing I lived on this dramatic land called California. Driving, I saw the Pacific rush by, with crashing waves sometimes reaching up high enough to remind just how close to the edge we really live. I could be on the edge at the edge of the world, that world in which I could drive.

Here I was, taking baby steps, shocked when my legs did not move as I had always known them to move my whole life.

How was it that I ended up so very limited in my mobility?

As I look at this RSD diagnosis and experience, seeing it as yet another journey in this life, I ask, why? Why did I need to be brought to the point where I was immobile?

To distract myself from my legs, I turn to look at everything along my path. Its been a warm winter, just a few weeks ago it felt like summer. I see the honey bees are out early, swarming in search of honey. I see the apple blossom tree blooming and wonder, what will happen with a cold spell? Would they be confused with a freezing, foggy San Francisco winter day? Only, this is February, and we still have yet to have a real winter day this year. I wonder, what is happening that winters are warm in San Francisco? I bet we’ll have a real foggy summer.

So here is my lesson today. Remember to stop and look at what is right in front of me. Present. Today.

I guess, now, I stop to smell the roses, and pay attention only to where I am today. Rejoice if I have a good day, and can practice walking without a cane. Care for myself on days when the pain in my body presents a view of nothing else.

As a dear friend has always said, ‘onward and upward!’ Aho.

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