Five Years

This is a picture of me, five years ago.  Five years ago, I had a surgery on my arm that was supposed to stop the tingling from a pinched nerve and prevent nerve damage.  Five years ago, that surgery damaged my nerves and sent my autonomic nervous system into a tailspin.  Five years later, I’m still experiencing the pain and affects of that surgery, and they aren’t getting better, they are getting worse.

This is the first year that I actually didn’t think about the fact that it was the anniversary of my pain, the day passed just like another holiday.  But now, I think about it and see how far I’ve come since I first started this blog as things were beginning.

First, I look at my post, “I Can Niko” I was living with the use of one hand at the time, and posted some of the things I couldn’t do.

“I realized the other day that I had not used my left arm normally in more than six months. I have not folded my own clothes, zipped a Ziploc bag, or clapped my hands in half of a year.  
there are so many things I can’t do and may never be able to do. I think of the brand new pair of boots in my closet that I can’t tie, the half-finished scarf on my knitting loom, or the new material I can’t quilt. I pondered of all the frustrations I have faced and will face, including toilet paper out of reach, containers I can’t open, and meat I can’t cut.  I still feel a longing for certain things I can’t do with one hand.
The thing I long to do more than anything is curl up on my left side, how I used to sleep and sleep one, long peaceful night.”
I can do all of those things and for most, I don’t even think about them.  I tie my shoes daily, forgetting the months I wore elastic shoelaces because I couldn’t tie my own.  I cut my meat at meals without thinking of how I would cry because I had to have my meat cut like a toddler.  I fold my own clothes, zip Ziplocs, reach toilet paper, and open containers easily without remembering the hard times I had.  Most nights, I sleep on my left side, though my nights still aren’t quite as peaceful as I might wish.
Oh, and those Niko boots?  Yup, I can wear them, tie them, and they’ve been on many adventures!
Going back and reading my post “1,000 Little Steps = 1 Big Step” is more than a little ironic.  After writing a few more things that I’ve accomplished, I wrote:
“Am I cured? Am I perfect? No, but I’m taking little steps toward improvement. And that is all that I ask, that I continue to head toward the goal, a little step closer each day. I need to continue without getting frustrated because I’m not growing enough and be content to grow a little step each day.”
Looking back, I can finally see the big step I’ve made!  I’ve made it 1,000 little steps for my first big step – now for 1,000 more for the next. I can’t wait to see what awaits me!


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