You know what helps me through the really rough moments? Dog rescue videos. I absolutely love it when a vet says “They don’t know they have an injury”. They certainly wouldn’t know if something was permanent. Dogs will pull themselves around however they can to be part of the world. They squirm around and wiggle through just to be part of the action. That’s how my Mom says I was as a baby. I woke up every hour on the hour just to be a part of the world; alive.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot- growing up in Minnesota, living on both coasts before once again returning home. I never thought I was ever an expert on anything, but I thought if I tried hard, I could do just about everything. I even worked with people with disabilities. I thought of myself as someone who ‘got it’ until I learned about Thing 1 and Thing 2.
That’s what I called the cerebral cavernous angiomas (CCMs) in my head. I figured if they could wreak havoc on my brain, they deserved the title. I had one removed at UCLA when I lived in California. No repercussions, aside from some bruising and the fear of letting someone cut my skull open. It wasn’t until the other one ‘did something’ that the Dr. Meyer at the Mayo Clinic could finally remove it, too. That one was buried in my brain stem.
Now I have a host of things to contend with. Nothing has been untouched except my hearing. Vision, speech, ambulating, the list goes on. The doctors have said ‘there’s nothing wrong with your arm, leg etc., it’s all in your brain’. So I go on trying to be like the dogs in the video. Squirming and wiggling, I’m happy to be alive.