We prepare for a lot of things in our lives: what job we’ll get, school we’ll attend, how our kids will be prepared for their own futures…but there are things we can’t prepare for.
Like physical limitations. Handicaps. And all the stages of grief that entails.
It’s no surprise to anyone in my family when I say (all jokes aside, of course) that I love my evil day job. I’ve loved it for 13 years, but it has taken a heavy toll on my body. I have degenerative disc disease, not a rare problem, but in some cases (like mine) quite debilitating. A pretty severe injury drove it to the next level. Daily pain, etc. The pain isn’t the issue, however, it’s that I can’t sit still, stand, walk, or lie down in any position for very long. That makes typing in one place almost impossible. Not something I would have been able to foresee. Numbness, tingling and chronic pain are constantly at war in my legs. Even then I could type without too much trouble. I just had to take breaks a lot. I adapted. With grumbling, of course, and with the wish that I would wake up tomorrow with all of the pain gone (since that’s almost how the pain hit me in the first place).
But now I have another problem. My left arm is going numb. Ever watch one of those movies where the big bad guy bites it in a dramatically overkill kind of way? You know the one…shot, blown up, beheaded, and then he dies? That’s kind of what I did when my arm started the familiar tingling. I just stared at it and said, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” Like the leg thing wasn’t enough, right? On the plus side, it keeps life exciting…
It definitely makes typing a challenge.
Here’s the interesting part. What in the world do I do now? When my fingers slip up while typing, do I scream in frustration (yes, of course I do…)? Well, that’s not productive (and my voice isn’t recovering well, nevermind the fact that my sweet little puppy keeps looking at my like I lost my mind). I have a pretty easy-going way of looking at life and as a very dear friend suggested I put that optimism to work…I’m now in “basic training” for my new limitations. My life has to adjust and so does my writing. Boot Camp for Debilitation. I want to make t-shirts. 😀
Enter Voice Recognition Software. I’ve ordered Dragon Dictate (Dragon Naturally Speaking for the Mac) and am waiting for it with mixed feelings. Relief vs. Anger. But how cool will it be to walk around, sit, lay down, and do it all without having to stop writing, adjusting my laptop’s location, or get out my portable neo every time I have to do so? I have to admit I’m looking forward to it.
So I touched base with some of my mentors in the writing world and got a few hints and tips, I’ve given myself permission to make mistakes and have to expand some of my writing horizons. I’m writing when I can, how I can, and I’m done wallowing in self-pity. It’s time to push forward.