When you have a chronic illness I guess there are times you want to believe you can still do what you used to. Even though you know the truth. Every day is met with some struggles and reminders that things aren’t what they used to be. Opening bottles, removing foil seals, (although needed one of the most annoying things) buttoning a shirt and so on. You hold on to the good days (laugh) and hope that there will still be days you will walk trails and climb mountains. Some how in your mind you still can. I see people post about trips and things they do. I find myself having a brief moment of amnesia. I think so what! I can do that too! In my mind I’m still the tough little girl running the neighborhood with my sister. We grew up in a small country town. Climbing hills, trees, and mountains. Riding bikes, popping wheelies, and jumping over the ramps boys set up in the lot behind our house. The boys said you can’t do that! Watch us my sister and I said. Keeping up with the boys. That was life for my sister and I. Where ever she was I was sure to be following.
I still have that let me show you attitude. I had one of these let me show you moments recently except there were no little boys to prove anything to. Instead I needed to prove to myself and find out exactly where I was with things.
We planned a day trip to the Tonto Natural Bridge with my sister and brother-in-law. Tonto Natural Bridge is a beautiful place. Long steep trails that lead you to some of the most gorgeous sights. The bridge being one of them. One trail takes you to the bottom where you can actually go inside the bridge. Water flows over and through it. Just amazing!
The day of the trip I was feeling good. I wasn’t tired and oddly enough my legs weren’t hurting. I thought I got this. It might take me longer but that’s ok. I was in good company with my partner in crime so I knew she would wait for me.
I was here just a little over a year before with my son. At that time walked all of the trails and over the giant rocks inside the bridge with ease. So this seemed like it would be a good test.
We started down the trail to the bottom. Going good so far other than my balance isn’t good so I’m watching every step I make. It’s very steep so I’m afraid of falling. Not so much for myself ( I have padding lol) but because the trail is narrow, cliffs on the side, and it is crowded. I was more afraid of hurting someone else. We made it to the bottom. Yay! Happy dance. By this time my legs were getting weak. Enjoyed the scenery for awhile then it was time to begin the upward climb to the top. I was determined to make it up. Not that I had a choice. Once you go down you have to go back up and no one could carry me. Just a few steps into the climb I knew my legs were rapidly getting worse. I wasn’t giving up and the adrenaline carried me for awhile. My body was saying nope not today! First with fatigue and then vertigo. Everything around me was spinning. I had to stop several times due to the vertigo and let people go around. My legs were heavier by the second. I started to wonder if I was going to make it. I struggled to lift my leg. Every step became harder and harder. I had to have help. Someone to push on so I could lift my leg. That’s when it sinks in how much things really have changed. I thought to myself this is crazy it’s just been a year since I was here.
I made it to the top. With help but I made it! I got what I came to get. I found out what I needed to know. I still have that fight in me and I can do most of what I want. I just have to have people with me that help me fight. One thing was very clear from all of this. It’s time for a cane! 🙂
Though I will probably never walk to the bottom again I have the memories of this trip. I can revisit in my mind. That is something MS can never take away.