Guest post: Myself from 2007

July 31, 2009

in Guillain-Barre, Mindfulness

I started blogging right after my brother-in-law was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This is a post I wrote way back when, before anybody but my mom read Weebles Wobblog.

Since I’m kinda occupied this week, I’m offering it as a guest post. I’m feeling the same sentiments now that I did then.

Our Bodies: Do We Rent, or Do We Own?
My Dad once told me that we are all TABs: Temporarily Able-Bodied. Being young and invincible, I dismissed his statement as a middle-aged mope.

Years later, I finally see what he means.

Eleven weeks ago, my sister’s husband complained of numbness in the hands and feet. He got on to WebMD and self-diagnosed before he went to his doctor. The doctor said surely he didn’t have Guillain-Barre Syndrome — it was much too rare. Gino whipped out the WebMD printout and the doctor disappeared for a few moments. When he came back, he ordered Gino to get to the hospital — now.

Over the next two weeks, Gino lost function of everything south of his eyeballs. In went a trache tube. In went a feeding tube. In went a catheter. In went two central lines. Lost was the ability to move, to speak, to swallow, to breathe. His immune system had attacked his nerve system — quite effectively.

The advance of the syndrome finally stopped, and Gino was able to move from intensive care to a rehab facility. He has spent the last two months getting reacquainted with his body. As his nervous system reconnects, he is experiencing both great pain and small gains. It’s a cause for celebration when he can hold a cheese sandwich and almost reach his mouth.

Hospital staff love visiting Gino’s room to see his latest tricks. You see, Gino is in a rehab hospital dedicated to spinal and brain injuries. Most of the people we meet there are NOT getting better — they are merely learning how to live in their new normal.

People at this hospital are proof that we are all TABs. An ATV accident changes everything for the man with a 3 year old. A stroke from birth-control pills can turn a 32 year-old woman’s life — and that of her partner — 180 degrees. The trucker who didn’t wear his seat belt will not be able to hold his wife’s hand when she gives birth to their first child this summer.

Gino will be released next month, and is expected to regain most (or all) function over the coming years. He will be once again be Temporarily Able-Bodied.

I am so grateful that I can walk hand-in-hand with my husband. That I can scratch my nose. That I can take in a deep, delicious breath of Colorado air. That I can hold my children and swing them around.

I am not owed my body, I do not own my body. Taking good care of it doesn’t guarantee continued use of it. Made from the stuff of stars and inspiration of the Divine, my body is on loan from the Universe. I am thankful for the small and large things I can do.

I am temporarily able-bodied and I finally get that fact — as much as a TAB can.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma Moe April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great reminder to never take anything for granted. Thanks for sharing!

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

This seems to be an especially helpful reminder for many of your readers who lament the failures of their bodies to reproduce. There are other systems which still work, and which are even more essential.

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Martha April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Wonderful post, so true no matter what your age.
((Hugs))

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Phoebe April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great post. I hope that Gino’s ability to heal gives you inspiration in your current situation.

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annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

A beautiful call to mindfulness of each moment and to gratitude for what we are able to do right now, especially as TABs.

Holding you and Roger in my heart often these days, Lori.

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Sunny April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

What an awesome post. Well said, as always. It’s easy to imagine that we will ALWAYS be healthy, that those sorts of bad things always happen to OTHER people. Infertility has been a wake-up call for me in that regard. Because of course my body was going to get pregnant the first month.

Hope Roger makes some major improvement this weekend!

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edenland April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Awesome awesome post. LOVE it. How is Gino these days?

I’m going to tell Dave about the term “TAB”. So true. I’m also going to steal your idea of having yourself as a guest post. But I’ll totally link you. :)

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Doesn’t this hit home for me now…

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Kristin April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

What a fabulous post. I love the term TAB.

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Sandy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Thank you for reminding me not to take for granted little things like fixing and drinking a cup of tea and enjoying a cool breeze. Hope your husband is doing better.

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Wishing 4 One April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Amazing post. I am always greatful for my health and my families good health. We just never know when our time in these shells will change. Thinking of you and Roger, wishes for a speedy, full recovery soon! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Kami April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

A good reminder. I just took a deep breath and appreciated my chest opening up, the smell of the air, the sound of my breath moving in and out.

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Furrow April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Geez! You know from experience, don’t you?!

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Suzy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

What a reminder to not take anything for granted!

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So so very true. I’m often struck by this at work. How much things can change and how much I take for granted.

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becomingwhole April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

None of us are ever in control, are we? It’s just certain circumstances remind some of us part of the time more than others (disability, accidents, infertility).

Thank you for this. TAB will be rolling around my brain for a while.

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I loved this post. It is a good reminder. We are all TAB.

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Crunchy Domestic Goddess April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

What a touching post and excellent reminder for us all. Thank you.

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ifcrossroads April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Thank you – I think we can all take our bodies and life for granted. I know I need to be more mindful.

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loribeth April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Here via LFCA & Kirtsy. I somehow missed this one when I was on vacation. I’m always so thankful for good health, & this is an excellent reminder why we all should be! Glad to hear Gino is doing better.

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alyssa April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Thanks for giving me some much overdue perspective on my own body issues. I should be thankful that I can still operate in my current version of normal.

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chicklet April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Very well written my friend.

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Shinejil April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

I’ve been feeling something similar: Great gratitude for what is working at the moment, and great pleasure that I can still do so much, even if I feel all gripey and limited. The TAB effect also means we’re able to feel more deeply for others, because there but for the grace of god/whoever, go we.

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Silya April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

Thank you for this wonderful, beautiful and important post. Thank God your brother in law was able to diagnose himself and get the treatment he needed. This is such an important reminder, and one that I needed to read today.

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areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

I hope your family remains TAB – seems like you’re getting way too many reminders of that lately. One of my coworkers had Guillain-Barre…horrible.

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Elana April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Wow. Such a moving post. Thank you so much for reminding me of how lucky I should be to have a fully functioning body.

Here from Blogger Bingo (a post that everyone should read).

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