Cold RainPosted: April 20, 2015
Less than a week into having the horses here, and I feel a sharp burning below my right armpit. I first noticed it when I was lunging Foxie, thought that maybe I was using my arm in way that my muscles had long forgotten or my bra strap was a little too tight. The next two nights I felt around the area with my fingers, noticing a tenderness that had never been there before. A blocked gland or lymph node? Maybe.
Around the same time, I noticed a slight looseness in my gait. I had been walking over 10,000 steps every day for the past six weeks, and feeling great. The last time I had been aware of how my legs and feet were moving was back in December, after having the flu and a mini relapse of my Lyme symptoms. Suddenly, during the Christmas season, I had no stamina and my left foot felt wobbly as I walked. I would collapse on the couch after a quarter mile hike to the mailbox.
Today, it was my right side (the same side as the burning sensation under my armpit) that felt a little unstable. I walked to the end of the road, as I usually do, with my husband, but felt less and less control of my right leg as I went. I was able to complete the walk, but felt my right foot lightly slapping the ground near the end.
Am I scared?
Yes. But it’s not the all-consuming fear I experienced back in January of 2014 when my left leg and arm, had gone numb, along with my spine and backside, and I could barely drag my body from one side of the room to the other. It took an act of enormous will to get myself up the one flight of stairs to my bedroom. And once I made it there, the mind-numbing fatigue kept me resting for a few hours before I could attempt the return trip down. Routine chores and errands suddenly became overwhelming. Life narrowed to a thin line of two or three small accomplishments each day: making breakfast, doing laundry and planning dinner. My feet felt like blocks of ice, my fingers like sausages. I stopped sending emails because I could no longer strike the correct keys.
Back then, I couldn’t help imagining the possibility of life in a wheelchair. Not that it would be the end of the world, but certainly a sea change for someone like me, who loved the outdoors, who refreshed myself on quiet walks with the dog, who drank in the beauty of the country, the mountains and the ocean as I walked for miles each and every day. I vowed then and there that I would appreciate every step I took if I were given the ability to walk again.
Just a few short days ago, I couldn’t wait until morning so my daughter and I could walk down to the barn. After feeding the horses and cleaning stalls, I looked forward to lunging Smokie, giving Sydney a riding lesson and then hopping on Foxie for a little training session. It was all so easy, so natural, so wonderful. The days were too short for all our plans.
My fear is tempered this time around with hope. There is something going on on my right side, and perhaps that is causing the weakness in my right leg. When I had the flu, it drained my body, leaving me vulnerable to old symptoms. Perhaps the same things is happening…maybe it’s an infection, a clogged duct, a red flag – maybe, a concern – yes, something to tend to, a reminder to go slowly and treat my body with gentleness and care.
I have been moving fast this past month, in preparation for horses. Now they are here. As I told my husband, I’m so thankful this didn’t happen before now. How would I have had the energy to clean out the barn, go through the process of trying out Foxie, spend an afternoon trailering two horses home, etc., etc.?
Cold rain has moved into our area for the past two days. Despite our desire for sunshine and spring temperatures, this weather has allowed me to slow down and rest my body. I will continue the alternative treatments that have provided healing over the past sixteen months. I don’t know how I will feel tomorrow, but I trust that my strength will return, that my right leg will feel normal again, that the sun will shine again and that I will have many wonderful days ahead with Sydney and our horses.