Hardware


detail of painting, m/m
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I’m telling you.. humor and humility are my finest virtues these days.

My best traits used to be stuff like honesty and a sense of humanitarianism.

But now… I laugh more and count on good lipstick to cover for the raw realities of my companion, MS.

Yesterday at the physical therapist’s office, I rose from the table following a session with mini shock treatments stimulating my lazy musculature.

My knees have always tended toward hyper-extension but now, as there is even less structural integration in my right leg, my knee just wants to slam back as far as it can when I walk.

I’ve had what they call an AFO for quite awhile which is a fiberglass sheath that goes from foot to under the knee.

It is a leopard print which seems to entertain me and PT-types.

Foot drop is a common issue in MS which is when muscles weaken which govern lifting one’s foot up to clear the ground when walking.

The AFO takes care of that.

My new knee brace extends from just below the knee joint and goes up to mid-thigh.

It is made from a cool techno- metal and straps around my leg with velcro.

Very light. Gives me great support. Can’t see it under clothes. I walk better.

Straighter. Inching toward forgotten pride. It helps me meet life full on.

So.. I’m in the therapist’s office putting all my contraptions on and blithley whizzing through the various velcro straps and such.

She is trying to help me and suddenly looks up with half-wet doe eyes and says: “HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR BRACE?”

Well.. I almost lost it.

Such sincere compassion and real curiousity and presence.

She very nearly took me into my ‘cry-zone.’

But partnered up with tears and sprinting out in front is laughter.

And that’s who got there first.

Often, in this grueling testing ground of character, I just CAN’T feel.

Not in the moment at least.

My dog, Olivia is fat with the tears she’s licked from my face over time.

So they’re there, sure.

But humor is my elixir of choice these days.

And believe me.. it’s VERY real and not a front.

If you saw the brace contraption you’d likely marvel at the engineering involved and we’d quickly move on to talk about the latest VANITY FAIR magazine article on Lady Gaga and I’d tell you I really had no idea who she was until I read that article and we’d laugh at the absurdity of my disconnect from really important things.

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One Response to “Hardware”

  1. Twyla Papp on December 1st, 2010

    Wonderful content. Going to require a good amout of time to absorb the job=D

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