Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: The gift

The morning had passed in a blur of bright lights on the TV screen: talk shows, reality shows and canned laughter tracks. Pleasant, numbness distraction, only inches away from the comfort of her bed. All she needed to do was reach out her fingers and change the channel if the numbness got too - mind-numbing.

It was all so effortless.

Until the young girl with the frizzy blond hair interrupted.

"Do you think you might want to try sitting up?" the girl asked innocently.

It seemed like an easy enough task.

Slowly, the athlete rolled onto her side. With every muscle straining, she pushed herself onto her elbow. Then, using every ounce of strength, she pulled herself to sitting.

Focused on breathing deeply and slowly, then placed one foot, then the other into the waiting pink slippers.

"Maybe you want to try walking over to the chair?"

Once again, it seemed like an easy enough task.

Inhaling, she drew together every last ounce of strength, then pushed herself to standing. Shuffled one foot, then the other forward. Her slippers making shushing sounds on the floor; whispered secrets on cracked white linoleum.

Just a few more steps, and she was at the chair -- utilitarian, grey pleather, with hard wooden armrests worn with the palms of others who had rested there before her.

The young woman watched her silently.

Reaching back, she placed her hands on the armrails and winced, lowering into the chair.

It was at that point that the room began to spin. Sparkling lights flashed behind her eyes, and she broke into a cold sweat.

The young woman brought a cold towel from the bathroom, as she closed her eyes and willed the world to stop on its axis.

Five steps from the bed to the chair -- only moments ago, it had seemed so easy. Only weeks ago, she'd run a marathon.

Now, here she sat, having barely been able to walk from bed to chair without passing out.

Suddenly, the new weakness in her body scared her so much, she started to panic.

Placed the cold towel around the back of her neck.

Inhaled, exhaled.

Until the world stopped spinning.

She opened her eyes, and looked at the nurse.

"I'm feeling better now," she reassured.

It would take a few more hours before she'd be able to walk from chair to bed, then bathroom, without feeling like passing out.

Two days after her myomectomy, she is released.

Now, the athlete can't wait until she can run again. With each day,  she looks forward to the moment she can run around the block without pain. Step by step, she feels herself getting stronger.

And she cherishes the gift that good health is; looking forward to the day that she can move from walking to running again.


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