The Cognitive Dissonance of Finding my Legs

To aid my nearly-complete pepperonicovery here is a list of 2 things that, when I realized were different, blew my mind a little:

shocked_owl1. Unlike New York last week, the weather had not called for layering tights or long underwear under pants. Stepping off the plane in South Carolina was a bit warmer but still with a strong, crisp breeze. Tired get-out-of-the-airport mode was in effect for both Cat and I, and we trudged to then with our luggage to the parking deck. Steps from our car, I stopped. Were there pins and needles happening in my legs? There were pins and needles, damnnit, for the first time in now weeks… holy crap, that meant I had no pins and needles the entire time I was walking city blocks in Manhattan. Something about the shape of these pins and needles was denser and less regular. Usually pins and needles feel like a constant moving pattern of minute silver lines. Synasthetic response here aside:

In that flash of a moment I realized I was feeling the cold air, and I was feeling the actual fabric of my pants flapping, striking my calves.

bear-negotiationsIt has been years since I could feel anything on or with my legs, which ensured a sudden cameo by cognitive dissonance. It was difficult to understand and I had to stop to process this otherwise normal sensation. I am almost afraid to accept this as a new normal because what a PITA it is to jump between different constructs of reality.

But this sensation keeps returning, and I can’t argue the fact that the only pins and needles my legs have felt in weeks are the small reminders of numbness lingering in the toes of my right foot.

giphy2. After arriving home tired after a long night of errands: It had been normal for Cat to pull the car into the driveway, turn off the engine, and for my heart to sink at the prospect of having to then to get out of the vehicle. I had become used to the forced hoist of a body I couldn’t entirely control. Getting up from the car seat was a body trial. Once upright I’d need to fall backwards just enough to catch my calves on the door frame to reaffirm for my feet which direction I was facing and to give my legs the order to walk.

I got out of the car last night, not thinking, by swinging my legs out the door and popping right up, turning to the left, and walking to the front porch like any ole regular person. Here another realization literally stropped me. I stopped to wonder at this seemingly tiny change, and to be grateful. So grateful. A small change in routine is not only wonderful but affirms that I still live in a body that owns ability.

Add the two above moments of clarity together, add a dose of 500 caneless subway stairs, and holy moly. I hope sorely that this improvement continues because a year ago I used a cane and every step I took hurt. I am 100% ready to never again have a neurologist to perform wheelchair charades as a premonition for my future.

I want to keep feeling grateful.

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  1. That is so fantastic! 🙂 I’m so incredibly happy for you! 😀

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