Facing the Chimera and Winning...for Now... Post

Note:  Edited on 1/29/12 due to blathering.

Good grief I can write long posts! Of course that doesn't deter me from continuing on in the same lengthy fashion apparently...just a little warning...this is another long one.

After reading my last post, I still wasn't happy with what I wrote. Still too much ranting and fighting at  things I can't change. So I found myself reading my own post (Lol!) on miracles and letting go. When I wrote the "Special End Post", I still hadn't stopped trying to push away the fear.

I think there are two kinds of "fighting" in life, the kind where you rant, rave and shake your fist at the sky. Then there's the kind where you sit down, relax and realize that within a certain period of time all of what you are facing will be resolved. The later does not imply "giving in", being a martyr or a doormat, it simply means you see a problem in your path and realize that by not wasting energy fighting against a ghost, you allow simply allow it to sit there, looking at you and you, at it. You know in the end that you will overcome it.

Rather than ranting at thin air, you simply acknowledge it's existence and thus diffuse it of all power over you. That's the point at which you've won. No, you haven't won the battle you may face, but you now have the power to proceed not as the victim, rather as one who is aware of a chimera and looks through the fear it attempts to cast on you and control you with. Thus you sap it's power, you defeat it. This is not to say the path will be easy, but you will be the one taking each step forward, not running in hopes of hiding from it.
Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy,
for it means pushing back a boundary line
and adding to one's liberty.
Henri Frederic Amiel
I suppose I should fill you in on what I'm talking about in metaphors.

Okay, here goes...for a while my left knee has periodically caused me pain. In the last 8 months it has gotten worse and affected my day-to-day life. Finally, the doctor at the low cost clinic, ordered an MRI. The first Saturday in Jan. I saw the rheumatologist again, this time for the test results. He was quite frank and said three things:  "you shouldn't be able to walk", "you should be in a wheel chair" and "you need a complete knee replacement".

Let's just take a look at that special "bedside manner" shall we? (Author's note:  read that last statement with dripping sarcasm.) I'll let you fill in the rest.

My options are limited. (This is the section that was edited for too much babbling.)   :)

I joked to a friend (remember, I try to find humor) that if and when I go to the hospital, I'll have to write "this knee" and "not this knee" on my legs just to be safe. She said they actually do make you do that!!!!! That's just plain scary!

Okay, the chimera of fear I spoke of was in control as I contemplated my choices. Meanwhile, attempts to go out for the simplest things like food became an ordeal, often leaving me in a sad pile, once I got back into the car. Yes, pity party galore.

So that's it in a rather large nutshell. Now you know why I couldn't write. I would have just blathered and quacked on for days and it wouldn't have been pretty (I think this was bad enough!).

Looking back, I guess what I did on my little sabbatical was to re-screw my head on. In past posts I wrote about the ten-plus years of losses. Here was the latest "thing" to plop into my lap. Basically kind of a metaphorical boulder and it required some re-tuning of the psyche. (I really thought the losses had finally come to an end, but I was wrong, I know I have a quote somewhere that encapsulates that perfectly.)

Anyhow...while away, I once again just surrendered it all. No amount of worry will help in any way. I know the facts and fretting can't change them. A soft peace enveloped me, kind of like a well-worn quilt. No, I'm not thrilled about this and nothing is solved. I simply decided to go step by limping step (you can laugh here). First, I'll be getting a second opinion and possibly third opinion, using doctors in my health plan. I'm also going to sign up to be seen at County, I heard the wait list is very long (six to eight months).

Since that's all that can be done at the moment, I'm going to go about my daily business and not worry.

So there you have it. I won't "go gentle into that good night" but I'm not going to rage at phantoms of fear and the unknown. I started a limited bit of exercise. Doing leg lifts as instructed years ago by an ortho doctor, and several things to strengthen the arms and back. Nothing strenuous, just a small commitment to myself. There are a few other things I noted that would improve my general happiness so I've added them to the list.

Among them, will be to continue to write this blog. Including what challenges I face as I progress through this chapter of life. Who knows, maybe someone will learn something (I know I sure will) that will help them in a similar circumstance which would be great. Even if that doesn't happen, I will not just crawl back into bed and carry on with my own little pity party (well, there may be a small detour there, now and then but I think my current mind-set will help limit that).
I can be changed by what happens to me.
But I refuse to be reduced by it.
Maya Angelou
In closing, I want to thank you if you got this far! You are indeed a brave soul! I think what "rage against the dying of the light" means to me is to live out loud and this blog is my way of doing that. It was, after all, my way of getting through life and all its sorrows and joys when I began it. Over the last few years I've changed as have my posts but I still write primarily for me. If anyone finds something worth reading, that's the icing on the cake as I've said in the past. The people and friends I meet along the way are the cherries and candles that dot the top and help me celebrate the whole crazy thing and I thank and treasure them for it!!!
Every person passing through this life
will unknowingly leave something and
take something away.
Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or
numbered or scientifically detected or counted.
It’s what we leave in the minds of other people
and what they leave in ours.
The census doesn’t count it.
Nothing counts without it.
Robert Fulghum

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Blogger Joanne said...

I love the two approaches to fighting that you describe and there's always that chimera in all of us, no matter whether we like or want it or not. I'm so sorry to hear about your knee! Surgery is always scary, but if it will alleviate your pain and prevent more trouble in the future, then it might be worth it. If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is wrong with your knee? I may not be a real doctor yet, but I've gone through half of med school and know a lot about leg injuries and if I can help, I'd be more than happy to give you my unbiased and un-financially involved opinion!

2/3/12, 4:56 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hi Joanne, Thanks for stopping by! The rheumatologist said the MRI showed "severe loss" of cartilage" among other things. He said 3 things: "you shouldn't be walking", "you should be in a wheel chair" and "you need a complete knee replacement". So special. The second opinion said basically the same after reading the MRI.
Still a bit "ditzy" from the news; went to get my car looked at this a.m. and forgot my purse! Lol! Glad I'm taking the long view, especially since the repair guy pointed out a screw in my tire. Some days all you can do is laugh or you'd crack up! :)

2/3/12, 1:44 PM  

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