November, 1997, I was running a five mile loop from my house - a run I took two or three times a week - and my right leg collapsed. I had been feeling an unpleasant kind of pull recently, but I figured runner’s endorphins would take care of that. I was wrong.
I continued to go out for runs, but my right leg would not permit me to do more than walk without giving way. It has been fourteen years since then.
I have been to acupuncturists, Reiki practitioners, men of God, women of Budha. I have seen rheumatologists, geneticists, orthopedic surgeons, neuro-surgeons, osteopaths, physiatrists, musculo-skeletal radiologists and nutritionists. I have worked with physical therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. Each one of them left a small part of them with me, latin words and diagnoses galore. Some gave me gifts of immeasurable value, others knocked me down, leaving me feeling more bruised and hurting than when I walked through their doors. I have travelled to Amherst, Boston, New York and Chicago. Answers are as obscure near to home as they are far away. I meditate, I eat a healthy diet and I exercise. I do everything I can to care for myself, but still, I am not living the active and expansive life I imagine myself leading. This is about where I bring in my deck of card analogy that comforts me on sleepless nights.
We are all dealt a deck of cards. No one has a say what is in those cards. Now listen closely, because here is the one thing about which all the shamans and doctors and practitioners and I seem to agree. The only control we have about the cards we have been dealt is in the attitude with which we play them. I practice that principle pretty much everyday. When I was a child, my family called me a Polyanna. As it turns out, my dogged determination to look for the goodness in most situations has come to serve me well.