I have really been reminiscing lately, trying to remember a time when my body worked right. I mean it is has always had quirks, but for the most part I felt good. Since I have had my mri, I keep opening the pictures and staring at them. I do not even see what the docs see. I do not see the cysts on my spine. But what I do see is this enormous bulge on my back, and slumped shoulders. For me this is a gruesome and terrifying discovery. Silly? Well probably, but I am questioning when the dancer with beautiful posture left my body. When the aches and pains became so unbearable I have to take pain killers, and lay around most of the day.
I started ballet and tap at 2. I loved gymnastics, and could not wait to start pointe. I walked with books on my head to straighten my posture. I sat watching tv with shoulders back and head up. I was the girl in dance class who could perfectly lift her leg over her head without bending it. I could do spreads and splits. I could hold my front foot in a split and completely roll over. I impressed people by doing splits up walls. Sure I heard and felt my hips pop in and out, but I did not figure it mattered. I heard my ankles creak and crack when I was up on pointe, and heard my teacher rave about my beautiful arched foot. Little did I know my body was slowly attacking itself. I just kept fighting back against it.
As I have gotten older I have had signs that things are a little off. Like when I hold a purse, my arm goes completely numb. Or if I get on the floor, my knee will pop and I will have to move it around to make it quit hurting. Sometimes my wrist does this weird clicking noise, and I have to smile even when I want to scream "ouch!" And lately whenever I look up or down for an extended period, I feel a rushing in my head and the feeling of passing out. But I just figured...."This is who I am." And went on. But with Brooke's diagnosis I hear many stories. I have learned this is not normal. I do not need to keep enduring. So I have looked for help. I feel like I am at the beginning of a very long road, and quite frankly do not know if I feel like finishing. I am tired, and just want answers. I stare at the MRI hoping that the answers will just pop out. Sadly all that pops out is the hump on my back! I feel like Colin's father in the Secret Garden. I feel like hiding in my room, and pulling the curtains.
I know I am not perfect and never claim to be. I mean we all find flaws in ourselves. I have always disliked my double chin, and white skin that never tans. But all in all I am happy with who I am. I am thankful for the life I have been given. It is funny how a picture or a hurtful word from someone can rob us of feeling serene in our lives. I started this blog for Brooke. I wanted to share her story and raise awareness for Chiari. What I have found while doing this....it has helped me grow. I feel like this is a place for me to be honest, to confess my failings, to share experiences, to educate, to learn myself, and to connect. If you would have told me I would some day have an online journal, I would have laughed. I wrote a journal faithfully as a young girl. Many of my journals were discarded by me. I did not want anyone reading them later and finding out I had flaws. Here I am now openly telling you flaw after flaw. One of the things that bugs me the worst is most of these things are not things I can fix. I can try to make the situation better, but the past will never be my future again.
I am thankful to know their are people who daily lift us up in prayer. I am thankful that my kids love puzzles, books, and watching movies with mama. I am thankful that my husband loves me for me, and takes care of me when I hurt. I am thankful that I can throw open my curtains to let the sun in. In the book The Secret Garden, Mary, Colin, and his father realized to live in the moment is key. To relish in the sheer beauty of life, and not focus on the little burdens that change us on the outside. I am trying to remember this daily, and put one foot in front of the other.