Monday, February 6, 2012

Alone Together

Last week I had to deal with the most intense kid I’ve ever had to work with having a psychotic breakdown… The parents were very much against accepting the change from a kid who was previously in a college bound program to one who was being recommended into hospital admission. His parents couldn’t accept that it wasn’t just will power to overcome everything. The Judge, trying to get them to consent told them, that some things like cancer and brain tumors happen and we don’t see symptoms but they can thoroughly affect the brain and life… The parents never did concede. Those were strange moments as I watched all that happen. I didn’t eat lunch except one day last week and crashed for the first time ever on a training run, a nerve wracking event with the Livestrong marathon two weeks away, and the marathon itself two days before my 8 hours of neuropsychological testing happens. The neuropsychologist wants me to note what differences I have and I’ve been trying to both by self analysis and asking friends (the self analysis shows some of those memory deficits that I’ve noticed like when I pour orange juice for Kiana and drink it and then remember that it was for her or when I forget the jogging route on our marathon run. The language ones keep happening when I’m supposed to come up with unusual words, the most recent one being where I could see the word but couldn’t grab it but knew it started with an A… after a few moments I gave up but someone called it correctly. Of all the words, it was altruistic). But I’ve also asked that he point me in the right direction as he did last year but I know that sometimes I’m slow in recognizing self change when injured, trying myself to willpower it to a better place. Last year, as I struggled with IT band problems, my physical therapist couldn’t push my right leg down no matter how hard she tried and I couldn’t hold my left leg one up with her pushing no matter how hard I tried. Sometimes the mind can’t over power the body…and sometimes it can. Where the balance lies we’ve been trying to figure out for a long long time.

When all this happened, I joined some parent meet up groups, some divorced meet up groups and some cancer ones (went to more running than the other 3 combined, focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. Like the surgery, I may never know conclusively whether that was the right or wrong path.). The honest truth is that while I went to very few but was fascinated by the experience of so many of these things where we look for that human connection. In the end we want to believe that we have someone who gets us but perhaps as McRoberts said “I am alone, you are alone, we are alone, let’s be alone together.” I don’t get anyone perfectly and no one gets me perfectly but I’m glad to have enough rhymes and rhythms where there is some great occasional harmony. I threw a super bowl party where there was a large crowd with a huge range of people and I was grateful for the connections and harmonies.

The interview with Livestrong is a few days away and then they are going to post a link to my blog off their website and inviting me as a guest blogger. I’ve thought about going through and editing and I may still try to clean up some of the typos and add pictures but no content will change. Of all the angles they could have gone with, they are focusing on an entry I wrote about whether or not the way I handled cancer pushed someone I loved away. Life is odd.

As I’ve shared this with a few friends and acquaintance, I keep getting asked about Lance Armstrong. I understand he’s a controversial figure but I don’t think anyone is particularly critical of Livestrong’s mission. But I get asked about whether or not I think he doped and I don’t know but I keep thinking about his quote: “People keep asking what I’m on. I’m on my bike six hours a day.” I am out training for a marathon, sometimes with a group, sometimes with a running stroller. That’s where the work is done, not on race day. I don’t know if he was on anything else and I’m on anti seizure medication but pounding the pavement is where I have to keep pushing for the marathon. And frankly, while overwhelmed at times, broke at times and frustrated at times, I am starting to maintain happy. Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

So who knows what’s coming in neuropsychological tests and MRI’s and marathon results and relationship and parenting and finances. And who knows if some of the reasons for changes in any of this are even discernible… And it may have its reasons but it will never have my rhymes, those rhymes being amazing people that the universe has leant me (I’ve always said only really good people can be my friends because only a good person can tolerate me). But at those tests and those MRI’s and that marathon and everything else, people have helped, so maybe in each of those I can just be grateful that in everyone of them, we are alone together.

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