Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another nice prescription

A good acupuncturing, today. And some interesting dharma-talk-cum-medical advice moments.

I talked with him about my current crappy relationship with walking. Short distances, no problem. Just-a-little-more-than-short distances, doable. Long distances, NF way. But that's the way it has been for a while... But today, just getting out of my truck today at his office, I found that simply standing up and getting out of the truck was almost non-doable.

First idea that hit me as I wondered whether I was going to be able to keep standing: Really, how long do I have, for "walking?" I have come to dislike walking more than tiny distances so much, that I long for the "simplicity" of a big-wheel push-it-yourself wheelchair. Or a powered chair. But I won't choose to go down that road—not yet. As I told my doctor, "Much as I want to not be burdened with the discomfort of walking... I'm not getting that kind of chair until I have to—because I'm afraid that once I get into it, I'm not getting out of it.."

He nods. "You're right. Use it, or lose it." He concurs; this is definitely a case where making things "easier" is going to make things worse. I don't think he'd have any issues with a powered chair for long distances, like the one I used to use at the high school where I used to work, but abandoning the walker? Not yet. Definitely not yet.

I told him, "I'm not moving to the big-wheel wheelchair until I try to get out of the truck but can't stand on my own.... I hit the ground, and have to call someone to help me up because I can't do it myself. Until I'm that far gone, I'm not going to give up the walker." He didn't particularly approve of the "falling on the ground" part of that adventure, but he definitely agreed that staying walking as long as possible was the Right Thing To Do.

And another prescription: Get into the sun, during "high sun" hours, 12 to 2. Not for long, and goodness knows not for long enough to burn or damage my skin or anything nasty like that, but get some sun. When he had optic neuritis a long time ago, he started craving sun, and he'd look at the sun with closed eyes. "The sun has much more to give us than just Vitamin D," he said.

The sun nourishes the Heart, in the five-element system. And Lord knows, that kind of support, I can really, really use.

He also said that Gershwin had the right idea about the gifts of summer, in his song Summertime. In our 24-hour always-on, always-accessible culture, nobody takes enough time to just enjoy the summer. To meet the season on its terms. And enjoy it.

A nice prescription, no? Meet the energy of the season, of the summer, on its own terms. Be prudent, skin-wise; don't overheat, be sure to cool yourself off after you've been outside in the heat: but enjoy the sun.

One hell of a nice prescription, no?


Rob Harris said...

I feel exactly the same way. Right now I never go anywhere without my cane (except around my apartment, where I can use walls and furniture). Not ready for the wheelchair yet, because once I am in, I am sure that is it. Although the wheelchair at the airport is a great thing. Thank you for your blog. It resonates.

Muffie said...

I certainly know where you're coming from here! I wrote a post a little while ago about whether I should be comfortable and just use a w/c now, or if I should keep pushing by using the walker. The vast majority said to keep fighting, and walk for as long as I'm able. So, I stay vertical.
I love the feel of the sun, but right now, even a minute there will boil my blood. Oh for my pre-MS physicality when I could bask forever.