Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! On Courage, Patience and Persistence

I am coming up on the 10 year anniversary of when I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western medicine standards. I could have accepted the diagnosis and planned to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair believing what the doctors thought to be true; that we have a limited number of nerve cells in our body that die off with age. Because a polio survivor's nervous system is compromised to begin with, there is an accelerated aging process.

Something deep inside of me knew this wasn't and couldn't be true. At first I accepted the diagnosis and took much of their advice to heart and then a couple of months later I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. It came in the form of my first poem, "Running the Race:"
Running the Race February 2007

Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
everyone around me filled with nervous fear.
Despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
the polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.

Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and no one said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.

Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
but with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
it tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.

I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
with no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn’t pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.

Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp, everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping no one else would know.

Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
suffered in silence, alone and afraid tried to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.

Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
for the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.

Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do
resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body-creaks, groans and need for a brace
while in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.

I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
so much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.

It foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run. I wrote many many poems visualizing healing and transformation and conjuring up the healer I needed to partner with me and I ran many races since then. Until I found my way to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy I could not for the life of me get traction on my healing journey. As life happened and happened big with the suicide of my nephew in March of 2011, I collapsed under the weight of the external stress. I sought out healing modality after healing modality and none could give me the positive momentum in my journey.

This past year has been a year from hell with the stress of our daughter's psychiatric condition. In the past, it would have completely undone me and done me in but because I am partnering with Jeffrey each week, I am able to not only maintain the goals in my health and wellness journey but I continue to gain positive momentum.

We had no idea how we were going to extricate ourselves from being responsible for our daughter. I prayed and thanked God before any outcome was known to us. I was courageous, patient and persistent in not letting these external circumstances derail me although at times I wondered how I was going to make it through. But each week I returned to Jeffrey's table for healing through the power of positive touch and compassionate presence and each week I was able to move forward in healing, health and wellness.

This past week circumstances came together. We are able to let go and allow others to provide care and resources for our daughter. After yesterday's treatment I announced to Jeffrey that I felt 10 pounds lighter. "Good for you," he said. "The neat thing about this work," he went on to say, "is how you have been able to maintain positive momentum in the face of unimaginable emotional stress." We both looked at each other and experienced this sense of excitement. We are both excited to see what will happen now that the stress of my daughter's behavior and condition is no longer present in my life. Jeffrey had acknowledged that I need time to grieve and let go but at the same time, I know in every fiber of my being that without that stress I am going to experience even greater healing and transformation. First up is healing these tremors which got reactivated under the stress of these past 7 months as we tried to support our daughter by having her live with us, and then working on a 12 minute/mile pace as we continue to create a factory new left leg and well a factory new everything free from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

Here's to courage to setting greater and greater goals, patience for positive outcomes and persistence reclaiming my life and reclaiming my advantage going the distance!

To your health and wellness,

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