Lessons and Vulnerability

“Knowledge is understanding based on what has been studied and learned

Wisdom is based on what has been felt and experienced”

Reading this again, and again…I have to nod my head in agreement.

Life is however a rather cruel teacher sometimes (almost always in fact) leaving the pupil worse for wear. I tried hard to understand, rationalize what was going to happen with my health a few years ago when I was first diagnosed. I purchased several books by doctors that had contracted MS. Some -especially one that started off with a tribute to their mother (an MS sufferer that took their own life rather than deal with the pain)  remains unread.

The others all offered suggestions, diet , exercise, philosophy- faced with the daunting outlook of “No Cure” . I read them all, applying the most relevant insights. I thought I was “Knowledgeable”

Now I guess I am becoming wise.

I have had my fair share of lessons…in fact I am wondering when exactly I can move on to “Qualified” but I guess patience is(was) not one of my stronger virtues.

Writing some of my memories down over the past weeks allowed me to “relive” my first confrontation with the scourge of MS…Copenhagen Airport when I literally had to rely on my colleagues to make it through the airport and onto the severely delayed flight.

Embarrassing, humiliating , a sombering glimpse into the future perhaps ?

I also will always remember this message from a friend just after the “Positive” diagnosis in 2015,

I reminisced during that exchange on the my passion for the squash courts followed by the painful sloughing around supermarkets clutching onto a trolley, “It doesn’t waste any time does it”

Four years on and yes, It certainly hasn’t wasted any time.

My lesson however was not yet “learnt”

It was the day SA took on New Zealand, first game of RWC2019 (Saturday September 21st )…I had just come off a 4 day fast . I should have known better.

When I eat these days I need to be extremely careful, my body goes into something like a stasis for an hour or so after I eat…I’m at best dormant until I can feel some degree of response return to my feet, legs ..arms. It’s an MS thing.

It was also a scorcher (30 degrees outside)

I was extremely frustrated by the lack of video coverage on the game so with audio streaming I was quite mobile getting things done while listening to the coverage.

Having eaten around midday I stupidly didn’t listen to my own advice ( take it easy for an hour or two) instead watering and clearing out the tomato crop outside. The sun was glorious , the fur babies reveling in the warmth. I couldn’t feel it, distracted by the Springboks being beaten by the All Blacks.

I guess the combination of the heat, the effort, dehydration, the MS all played a role but, I was suddenly feeling decidedly uneasy, unhinged.

Taking refuge on the bench outside I could feel my energy sapping away, I just couldn’t do anything about it.

By now it was hot…too hot

I knew I needed to get to shade. Too late, I slid , poured would be more accurate off the bench and onto the terrace.

I couldn’t get up, “tuck and roll” the only option.

Stubbornness dictated that I keep trying and so an hour , maybe even two, later, feet and elbows scuffed, covered in dust and dog hair, back scraped , I was still outside.

My ever-concerned companion  Jake, standing with his ball wondering why I wasn’t playing with him didn’t exactly add to the moment. I was close to defeat. Frustrated, Exhausted, Anxious

I had managed to crawl out of the direct sunlight but at great expense to my body (the skin grows back, the lesson lingers).

I can quite easily empathize with a tortoise trapped on its back in the hot sun.

“112”, (That’s our 911) to the rescue.

I was rescued by two very concerned paramedics, they helped get me indoors, rehydrated me and the fur babies ! Even tossed the ball for a very excited Jake. (They even called me back later in the evening to check that I was doing ok, Heroes )

I was left in solitude back in my sanctuary indoors, cursing my stupidity, thankful for the fact that I had my phone with me. It could have been a lot worse.

The lesson is learnt, I am wiser now.

Published by Daniel Taylor

MS Warrior with an affinity for 80's New Wave music and deep philosophical ramblings...and coffee , definitely coffee

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