I have spent my life believing that humans could be pretty much limitless if they tried. This belief is being challenged to the core on a daily basis. I had been someone who accumulated degrees while working full time. I parented, volunteered, made art and gardened. Others described me as burning the candle on both ends. I thrived on activity and multitasking.
Two years ago, I abruptly developed severe symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis (grave muscle disease). It became extremely hard to breathe and speak. I know now that I had been experiencing lessor symptoms for a few years prior to this.
Grieving the losses of this disease is hard. I remember saying to my husband, “I’m not smart anymore” ( 1+1 just didn’t =2). I also developed double/triple vision.
I scooted to the back corner of my Zumba class because I could not keep up anymore. I had been one of those rare creatures who loved exercise. One day I gardened for about fifteen minutes. I was so exhausted that I just cried because I could not continue.
Art making, as I knew it, has stopped. My hands no longer move and hold things in the same ways.
Within the horrible limits of this disease, I am managing to continue living a creative life. Each day, I pick one thing that I will do and on most days I am able to do it. Today’s one thing is to write this. I am learning how to cope with the losses listed above. A friend said to me, “You sure know how to make lemonade.” She is so wrong. This is not lemonade. It is lemons. I am thriving in the lemons.
Future writings will touch upon finding alternatives to the ways I have done some things. It has been hard to make changes, but when I am willing to try to do things differently or partially, I find I may not have to let it go completely.