Day 12 of 31 Days in August
The Chronic Illness Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project 2016
The morning breaks
I am ready to face this day
With it’s sun rising
Streaks of pink in the sky
Honks from geese
Honking at me and my dog
They ascertain quickly we have no food
We move on and I unlatch her
Setting her free to roam back and forth
My body hurts less today
The burning, the aching is a very low level
I want to push
Just a little
Just enough to feel my body
But not be debilitated by the pain
I can reach that tree ahead
Come on body!
We’ve got this!
We can do it!
I take my heart rate after this push
It’s quite high
I take it again in another minute
My body recovers quickly
I breathe a sigh of relief
Then I push on again
The hill comes and I charge up
Walking at the top out of breath
I go back down and watch the geese
They glide so softly through the water
These Canadian geese
Mixed with big white geese and a single black goose
I see the head of a snapping turtle duck beneath the water
As we go by
My dog and I
We return to home and it’s series of routines
Later as I drive I’m aware of the ache beginning
I slide out of the car and it hits me
The ache has arrived along with me
I welcome it instead of being annoyed
It means I have pushed
But I have not been derailed
Not yet, not yet
I will continue to push
M.S. You never get to win
You will not hold me back
This unstoppable woman
With the super hero emblem tattoo
Boldly emblazoned across her
August 12, 2016
Morning comes and I am ready finally to leave the house early with my dog in tow. She’s finally getting used to the drive and her anxiety is less as we drive the short distance. The sun has begun to rise and it’s beautiful as we get out of the car to walk and for a short distance possibly jog. The geese are a wonderful mix of what I call ‘farmhouse geese’ which are pure white or white and grey plus the Canadian geese. There is even one random black goose and I consider for a moment it might be a black swan.
The sun’s reflection lights everything up with a sparkle which is not there any other time of day I’ve been here. As we get around the bend I unhook my dog’s tether so she can run back and forth at will. She is very bonded to me so will never run off like some dogs will. We walk and wander in and out of the trees, the tall grass. I give her simple commands and she’s happy to be with me here today.
I push my body which has been pushed too far this week already. But my heel is not hurting, the burning is not there so I will push for some moments. Surely I can jog all the way to that tree ahead, right? Come on body, we can do this. It’s not like we’ve not done it before and quite easily. My body still feels very sluggish and heavy as my feet hit the ground. I breathe heavily as I finally reach the tree and slow down. Immediately I hit the heart rate monitor to see what the heart rate is. 188 beats per minute. Well okay..slow it down..take it again to see if it’s slowing down.
I wait and walk a bit to catch my breath. Was I holding my breath again? No I wasn’t. Okay take it again and see this time. The second time around my heart has recovered and is 88 beats per minute. Time to go again and see if I can get to the bend and up the hill. I can do this. It’s just me, my body at the moment. Nothing else to distract me. It’s actually kind of wonderful. The quiet of the morning only broken by random honking of the geese or the man going by on his bike with his German Pointer running off his excess energy.
My monitor beeps at me to let me know we’ve reached the point we need to head back to leave for home. I stop and stare up at the beautiful sky now all golden streaked by the rising sun. I think back to the past year of how this moment was unthinkable. Then the year before that one and I know I have come a very long way this past year.
I have become unstoppable in the face of this thing called Multiple Sclerosis trying to slow me down. I will continue to move until I no longer can and even then? I will fight even harder to continue being the unstoppable woman with the super hero emblem on her chest.