Remission doesn’t stop the pain from the prior damage from my autoimmune disease from occasionally threatening my Independence. Saturday, I could barely move. Swelling in the vertebrae in the top of my spine near the end of my neck made it difficult to move, threatening my planned birthday trip with my “stepson.” Every movement sent an electrical shock through my spine and across my shoulders. My limbs tingled and my head was throbbed. But, I refused to let my condition stop me. I swallowed pain meds every four hours, iced, took a nap and I rose for our drive to Pennsylvania nearly three hours off schedule. But, I was present.
I couldn’t do any of the rides at Kalahari the first day. However, I could float in an inner tube beside my family. Then, I watched from a chair as they climbed stairs to go on ride after ride. I was embarrassed and depressed that I was sidelined. So, just before we decided to head to our room for the night I dragged my badly battered body up five flights of stairs to a raft ride. The whole way I wished there was an elevator or some other way for a disabled person like me to get to the top of the stairs but I made it. We laughed, we screamed and we made a new memory; that was worth the pain that kept me up until nearly five in the morning.
It will take me days to recover from just walking, climbing, swimming and doing basic things with my loved ones. I am frail. But, I am also fierce and unflinching. I determined not to fail myself or my family. And, my faith tells me I won’t. So, tomorrow I rest and today I live.
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