The view from here


A dog’s view of the world is different than a human’s they see what we see just
from a different perspective. Having a disability, having mild CP the way I do
is sort of like that. My perspective is different because my view is different.
Here’s a for instance; the other night a friend and I brought home
Mexican. Eating in the living area would be much more convenient than at the
bar, but moving all the food and drink would be no easy task, “Let me explain
something to you” I said to her, almost laughing as I starred at the disarray in front
of me. “To me this is an obstacle course.” The blankets on the floor might as
well have been quicksand (a blanket is so much worse than a rug-I can’t stand rugs.) If
I didn’t fall because of the blankets I would probably get attacked by the
snakes, I mean several different cords for plugins that I don’t even need strewn
across the floor. Either way a fall was sure to happen and then I’d probably
impale myself on one of the stick ends of the pull apart furniture that was
randomly around the room. After my speech I watched my beautiful Pocahontas,
lookalike of a best friend, kick away the clutter with food in one hand and a
drink in the other. “Show off” I said.

Another alternate perspective scenario would be getting sick. To the average person a bad cold is
inconvenient and an annoying. To me, thanks to Cerebral Palsy, a bad cold is a
battle ground. When I do get sick, like actually sick, not like faking because I
don’t want to get up or go out but actually sick with whatever unpleasant
symptoms, I feel like I’m dying. Every time I feel like my life is ending. I
feel this way because my legs either get weak or they ache horribly, like knife
in the the thigh horrible. This is my precursor to a cold. Every single time this
happens. Whenever I’m going to get sick I ache and I know another near death
experience is coming.

I used to think it was a weird CP thing but it turns out my dad gets the weak
leg warning too. For him it’s a sucky irritation that will pass and his body
will compensate in the meantime. For me, it’s a bit more immobilizing. I
remember once it was so bad that getting around meant I had to use a cane which I was
mostly too stubborn for so I crawled a lot. I remember because my legs ached for
almost a solid week. I remember because I had to miss a concert that I really
didn’t want to miss. Being that sick isolates you and the only one who will
really be there is your dog, so there’s a lot of time to think and pray and
reflect. Which is what I did to keep from madness. I thought of the people who
never really get better, the kids who live in the hospital. I thought of those
whose greatest dream is to have good health. Let me just say, you have
somebody praying for you. Stay strong and courageous. The fight in people who deal with chronic sickness is admirable to everyone. There’s something about a don’t-quit-can’t-quit spirit that ceaselessly inspires. Keep the faith.

Recently I was sick again, exposure was my own fault I’ll admit and even though
I ignored the germs to stay at my best friend’s side for company and about
forty-eight hours of Netflix, the crappy leg ache I suffered soon after made me
rethink doing it again. I did recover and slowly stabilized to my normal
unstable self.

During these times of my view verses the average, when messy rooms turn into Olympic training fields and a nasty cold has me wondering what kind of coffin I should have, I got to thinking about the times we wish we were someone else, sick of not. We just wish even for a moment, to have a different life. A chance
to live differently by being somebody different. Well, it is a really, really
good thing those prayers go unanswered because we never really know the truth of
someone else. We don’t know what it took for someone to get to the place we’re
now coveting. If we did we probably wouldn’t have the guts to go through what
they did to get there. So just be you because no one else can do a better job.
No one can fight like you can, or survive like you can. They can’t challenge
like you can and they certainly cannot overcome the way you can. So do not wish
you were someone else. If you want to be different, be different but
don’t be something you’re not, be who you are because everyone else is taken.

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