There is an old city street near my house. Ancient tree roots have cracked the pavement, leaving light and air for grass to grow out of the openings. Potholes are everywhere,some as large as manhole covers, others so deep they show the old brick under the pavement. To all of this, speed bumps have been added, as if they were really needed, which they are not.
For me, 2018 was like navigating this street in a wheelchair. I am currently sitting stuck in the largest pothole. Having tried every one of the fourteen available disease modifying therapies, I’m left with none that have worked and a brain inflamed for more than a year now. I am currently moving through a six month round of chemotherapy, a Hail Mary pass by my frustrated neurologist. The MRIs all show more and more new lesions. Each has brought its own charming new symptom. When 2018 started I could walk at least 50 or so paces. one sunny day, my trainer and I made it all the way uphill to our local park. Now, I have not left the wheelchair for weeks. I can’t even stand up on my own. My vision has deteriorated to a point where I can’t even think about reading normal sized print. I have to rely on enlarging all text on my iPad. My voice has become week and scratchy, as if I had larengytis.
I have a home health aide who gets me ready for the day and another who gets me into to bed.
I have made peace with these changes, and I realize the old city streets may never be paved smooth again. I work on the things that can be helped, and I try to accept the things that cannot. When I get the decision wrong in terms of what I can work on, my mortal enemy regret circles around. I can live in regret over not having worked out more or not having done more. most days I can easily dispatch these feelings of regret by reminding myself of all the things that I did do and how much they helped for as long as they could.What I do know is that every day you will find me trying to make my way around and over the speed bumps and potholes.