There’s a Barbara Streisand song with lyrics that go something like this:
If we had the chance to do it all over again, tell me would we . . .
Could we . . .
The way we were.
It’s not that I would like to go back to my former self or anything like that. I have had chronic pain for most of my life and lived with pain inside my heart for longer than that. Many of my own mistakes were downright damaging. Still other experiences damaged me and it would take until very recently to be free of their dark spiritual underpinnings. The freedom I experience in today from the drama of yesterday’s trauma was worth the good and bad spent getting here. But there is one part I am not sure what to do with . . .
I was never really physically fit and virtually always held a critical eye toward my physique even when at my ideal body weight. All that did not seem to matter to the stream of the male persuasion that came my way, ever since I was twenty years old. (Not sure what they were waiting for before that!) I always rode my bike as a kid EVERYWHERE. I did not think of it as exercise at the time, just a means to get me to the home of a friend. Several times in college I tried running around the sidewalks of the sprawling campus. “Library Hill” was a killer! Maybe I should say that I ran on most paths except the 27 or so degree incline of Library Hill! Carrying a full load of books up and downhill to class or to study late into the evening at the library should have earned me an extra degree in something or another!
What I miss most is the innocence of moving without thinking about it. Every day lately brings stark reminders of the convulsions that have returned. Every day brings a new version of shaking that hurts my neck the most and leaves some version of a headache behind. Every day the hope of exercising for the enjoyment of it alludes me only because I cannot; I actually had grown to like high intensity workouts before I got sick 3 1/2 years ago. Even with chronic pain I worked out with weights, unloaded my truck bed filled with sod/dirt/mulch, and kayaked for a couple of hours each week. I loved being strong.
Today I miss being strong. The trauma of seizures and convulsions have taken their toll. The sickness after an episode usually lingers for hours, days. I never really know for sure when the next episode is coming although the bedtime and waking-up patterns have been fairly consistent throughout this ordeal. Somehow despite my weakness, I HAVE NOT GIVEN UP for more than a day. Yesterday Steve and I went for a walk with our pup, Elle though most of the time the walking is through the halls of our home or a medical facility . . . or this past Saturday’s date night to the grocery store. It’s something, eh?
O.K. so I am bummed out. I have missed writing and did not blog so as not to bum you out, Gentle Reader, in reporting that the surgery did not stop the episodes as I had hoped. There are tiny improvements and for these I am grateful. I think I’ll need a little longer to recover and clear the anesthesia completely out of my system. In desperation I went on a water fast for 24-hours last week. It was awful! Amazingly I did not have seizures until the 24th hour! I believe the Lord gave me the wisdom through it all to start a ketogenic diet so new research and a new direction began the next day.
A ketogenic diet is a high fat diet where the fat becomes fuel for the body instead of carbohydrates. The version for seizure control (generally used for children) is unlike the keto diet for weight loss in that fats are consumed more than protein “macros.” Grams of carbs are the tiniest portion of the three. The increase in ketones are measured in either the urine or blood and thought to be the mechanism that brings some level of seizure control in 25-50 percent of children. In children the diet begins after a 24-48 hour fast in a hospital. Hmmm. My great Physician led me here after my own fasting experience too. So with the MyFitnessPal nutrition app in-hand, I am moving towards the ideal ratios of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Good news: that means lots of bacon! And at least I am off the pureed diet now!
The way we were. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line? If we had the chance to do it all over again, tell me, would we? Could we?
Perhaps the real longing requires me to not look back at all. Then what is it Lord? Fill this emptiness, please. Ease this hurting. Thank you for new tracks to run on, so to speak. I still need you desperately to guide me. I realize that I may not be alone in this desire you know. Please comfort the Gentle Readers out there who need you too. JJ