Doesn’t that sound better than stubbornness, obstinacy, hard-headedness, or mulishness? Basically, I’m all of those, and I doubt if I’ll ever change. Since I was a kid, if someone told me I’d never be able to do something, I’d work hard at sticking my heels in and proving them wrong. Nowadays, I’m not quite as bad, but I never learned how to just accept that some things aren’t happening, no matter how determined I can be.
My walking will probably never get better; it will only get worse. Do I hope for a cure someday? Not really. I don’t see it happening in my lifetime. I’m more disposed to an outright miracle! That said, though, does it stop me from pushing to be better? Hell, no! I acquiesced when aids – the cane, the walker, the scooter, and sometimes the wheelchair – became necessary. But I fought them tooth and nail. I bought a snazzy cane, thinking it would help me to give in to using it. Nope! I used to hide it whenever possible. The scooter wasn’t easy to accept, and I did resist, but eventually I realized that I could cover more ground. The walker is just an ugly thing. I use it mostly in the house. Even though I know it’s keeping me upright, I still find ways to reject using it. The wheelchair is the one I abhor! It screams to me that I’m disabled. So once again, I get all stubborn and try to escape from using it.
I live with the belief that if I continue to force my legs to work, that I’ll be mobile for longer. That’s when the stubbornness takes over. No, I won’t give in to the weakness. No, I won’t accept that I could easily fall. No, I won’t resign myself to the inevitable. Utter fatigue may enter and try to convince me to wave the white flag and just stop fighting. However, it goes against my nature, and pacifist though I be, I’m still the valiant warrior against my nemesis.
Of course such determination comes with a hefty price tag! This past Saturday proved that point. We were supposed to have the little guy for the weekend, but plans changed. Instead, my daughter brought the two little ones to visit while her husband, the Doc, taught a weekend course at the nearby hospital. They arrived an hour early, and I was still getting dressed. Husband was working, so the three of them just played until I made my way downstairs. It was starting to be a fun day. Then the refrigerator repairman arrived an hour early (better than late, I guess.) The part had been shipped overnight delivery and was waiting to be installed. While he worked, we played in the family room. Then the guy (who was super sweet, by the way) informed me that there was still a problem. He asked if I could empty the freezer (I guess they’re not allowed?) and my daughter said she’d do it. She filled a large cooler and put the rest in bags to sit outside (it was 29°.) As she did that, I ‘watched’ the little ones – more like watched them go crazy. The baby kept crawling toward anything that looked interesting – the breakfast room, little guy’s scissors, pencils, and his carrier. His older brother just wanted my full attention. I hobbled around trying to keep things in order – I was totally convinced I could handle the situation! Then the daughter came back, little guy wanted a peanut butter sandwich, the baby wanted to nurse, I needed to run to the powder room, and Daddy Doc calls to be picked up at the hospital. I made the p/b bagel, daughter took the baby upstairs, DD was told to wait, and the repairman explained what had gone wrong and how he fixed it. He gently helped move the toy truck away, told me he hoped my day got calmer, and left. Daughter packed up, got the little ones into car seats, and she, too, left. I watched how easily she did these things, and I realized how far I had declined. My ears were tired, my legs wobbled, my fatigue was setting in, and my nerves were shot.
No amount of stubbornness would right that capsized vessel. I spent the rest of the day in my chair in front of the TV. Did I learn a lesson? Nope, I just became more determined to do better next time!
Don't they look like little angels?