Saturday, July 20, 2013

You Can Bend But Never Break Me . . .

Do you have a "theme song" for your life?  Or do you ever break out in an appropriate song for whatever situation you are in?  Words to music speak to me and tie into my memories almost as much as do scents or aromas, and visuals.

If there had to be a theme song for my life, in 2013 it would be I Am Woman by Helen Reddy. That song thrilled me in1972 when she belted it out for the first time, and that hasn't changed. Not because I am out crusading for women's rights or have even seen the need to do that in a long time. The words of the song just happen to fit right now for a different reason. And pardon me if this post has a whiny or melodramatic tone to it.

My original surgery was in January, then back in March when I had surgery #two out of three this year, it was a tough time. I knew what I wanted and hoped the end of the story would be. But there was no way to know at that moment what was possible.  My foot was in ghastly condition with a transplanted fat chunk of my arm sitting on top of the cavity that had exposed my tendons and other internal goodies we should never see.

One of the medical residents made a habit of popping into my hospital room once or twice a day to take a quick look at my foot. One day he suddenly broke into a story about his friend who had led an active outdoor life, until he was partially paralyzed in an accident. The friend missed his former activities deeply, but eventually found new ones within his abilities, and was now leading a content and happy life. I looked at the dude speechless. When he returned later I asked if he had been trying to tell me something. Yes, he had.

And yes that was frightening.  And yes every single person has to make an adjustment in their physical expectations sometime, in some way, even if it's just the aging process that pares down the body's range of action.

But that could not, would not happen to me. Not now. Not yet. Somehow I would claw my way back to my active outdoor life. Hence the words to the song . . . You can bend but never break me, cause it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal.  And I'll come back even stronger.  Not a novice any longer, cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul . . . If I have to, I can do anything! . . . If I have to, I can face anything!

Looking back I give some credit to that medical resident with motivating me to confront the options, then go after rehabilitation aggressively,  fully expecting the best outcome.  Cause I've heard it all before, when I've been down there on the floor.  And no one's ever gonna keep down again. . .

And yay, being back to normal life is the greatest blessing ever!

last week's trip to Lost Lake--that's Mt. Hood to the south

Hiking again: on the peak of Chinidere Mountain near Mt. Hood; from here we could see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, all Pac NW volcanic peaks