Being zen and feeling better

I’m amazed at what a patient person I’ve actually turned out to be. I’ve always felt quite impatient when I couldn’t do something easily, or had to learn something new that took a while; I like doing things that can be done quickly and I like learning things that can be learned quickly. This whole experience has been a profound lesson in the opposite.

I’ve had to be okay with doing things slowly and taking my time with them, to be okay with just slowly and methodically doing the dishes, say, or walking slowly to the beach and back, because everything just plain takes a lot longer than I’m used to. This whole thing has been an excellent lesson in being in the present moment, an excellent lesson in not trying to rush through something to get to the next thing but instead just immersing myself in each daily task and being fully there with it because I’m going to have to do it for longer and much more carefully.

That said, I think the most intense time of moving slowly, like I’m moving underwater it’s often felt like, is nearly over. Things are definitely improving, I’m even starting to see a tiny bit of muscle tone in my arms. It bothers that I’m still not even as strong as I was when I first saw the specialist: I lost so much muscle just in the week and a half between that appointment and the muscle biopsy I haven’t managed to gain even that much back in a month of prednisone. But perhaps regaining muscle will go faster as the immune response calms down more and more. Anyway it’s something else for which to use this endless reserve of newfound patience, as I just relax and let it be okay that I am where I am, that the healing is definitely coming, slowly but surely. And I actually am genuinely enjoying all this slowed down time to work on writing projects and do a lot of cooking. I really have become a happily patient person.

And lots of things are definitively better! Bending over is easier, washing my hair is easier, getting dressed is easier, walking is easier, grabbing and lifting and picking up are easier. Typing feels almost normal. I’ve started working out in a limited way, hoping to move things along now that I don’t think exercising is making it worse. One of these days I’m even going to be able to pick up the cats, and then I’ll pick them up every time I see them, just to practice. They’ll love that.

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