Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Going the Distance:! December Milestones and a Time to Celebrate Healing!
Ten years ago on December 6th I sat down at a round table at Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio and Post Polio with a physiatrist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a speech and language therapist to talk about my diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. I had 7 tubes of blood drawn and been through extensive testing because the diagnosis of post polio syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that everything else had to be ruled out before a definitive diagnosis could be made. Things looked rather grim for me. I was told to quit my award winning job as a VA social worker, go on social security disability, adapt our Cape house, be prepared to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair possibly needing a feeding tube at some point because of the sluggishness of the left side of my esophagus and to get a sleep apnea machine because of my compromised respiratory system.
In February of 2007, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance and my pen became my Divining Rod for healing as I imagined myself as healthy and whole even Running the Race. I was blessed with a physical therapist at Spaulding's Downtown Clinic who refused to treat me like a polio survivor. She supported me in my transition from work to retirement and shared in the joy of my new found passion of writing poetry.
Here I am in December of 2007:
I went on to run the 2009 Boston Marathon;
and recovered after going into outpatient physical therapy at Newton Wellesley Hospital under the guidance of Dr. El-Abd who I affectionately called my master magician of a spine specialist and ran race after race in 2010-2011 until my nephew's suicide stopped me cold.
I returned to the roads in 2013 and it was a slow, tortuous process of getting back into running. I willed myself to heal and partnered with less than optimal body workers.
I was an injury waiting to happen and in December 2014, my left knee blew out. The MRI results were not pretty. Once again I was told what was happening in my body and what I needed to do to avoid further damage with the prospect of needing a total knee replacement in a few years. Don't run but we know you will so cap the distance at 3-5 miles.
The powerful intentions I set forth in my poetry set the wheels in motion in the Universe to deliver me to Dr. Ryan Means, a chiropractor healer.
My memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility," available on Amazon chronicles the first 7 years on my healing journey working to heal the adverse effects of paralytic polio followed by 9 years of neglect and more abuse than any person should ever have to endure.
The soon to be released, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance," chronicles my transformation and the miracle of my healing from 2014 through my running of the Bermuda Half Marathon and the Hyannis 10K earlier this year. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Ryan for being there to get me back on my healing path, turning me onto the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and for reminding me to set goals not limits.
In 46 days Team McManus toes the starting line of the 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon. In 44 days Tom will begin his Bermuda Triangle Half Challenge with the Front St. Mile, the Bermuda 10K and the Half with me on Sunday. What a weekend it's going to be this year!
I have overcome so many incredible obstacles.
And now I am poised and ready to take on the 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon....4 more long runs and then taper time. Besides the beautiful course, the hospitality and warmth of the Island of Bermuda this beauty waits for me after I cross the finish line:
Ten years ago.... two years ago.... cross roads and crises that led me to this moment in my life.
This December along with my 63rd birthday on December 25th I will celebrate my milestones in healing.
To your health and wellness,