Visit to the doctor.
Rarely, if ever, do I visit my doctor’s surgery on my own account. I have found an accommodation with myself that works well, most of the time, and I know that as I get older I am finally learning to listen quietly, to suspend judgement and to live in the moment more fully. Problem is, I had a vivid dream, the meaning of which was clear, to me, at least. I have always had lots of car dreams: a car, in various states of repair, indicates my physical life and concerns. Small careering fast downhill with no steering wheel….that sort of thing.
So, a shiny, green car in good condition. Green = health, and there is lots of that. But open the passenger door, and under all green health, you can see that the hinge, the lynch pin, is rusted right away, and that the door is only just hanging on. I took this as a warning, that one of my joints needs attention, and made an appointment to ask for a referral to X ray. But my darling GP, whom I have not seen for six years, is unwilling to expose me to any more X rays than is absolutely essential – and I would agree with her, normally – so she gently declined my request, tested my joints and told me there was no sign of any damage that would either show up on an X ray, or affect my range of movement significantly.
She said she would request a referral to physiotherapy and OT, for an assessment, to see if they can make any recommendations. The problem is, as anyone who has read ‘Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy’ will know, I have an insane and quite unreasonable detestation of ‘assessments’ by medical professionals. The very idea is upsetting and I fear that if I go I shall be defensive and upset and probably burst out crying. I need my privacy. Surprisingly, the fact that I have CP appears no-where on my GP notes, but has been documented elsewhere extensively, so while my GP is entirely oblivious of my emotional fragility on the matter, I cannot explain. In this particular instance, I would have preferred a referral. I could hardly sit there and say, “Well, my angels sent me a dream, which means….” So, I am no further forward, except, perhaps, that now I am certain that I should probably go swimming every single day for the rest of my life.
Conclusion 1: Wild Horses will not drag me to any assessment.
Conclusion 2 – I am more or less back to square 1.
Conclusion 3 – I shall need to start taking more care of myself.
Conclusion 4 – So, no change there, then.
I have been swimming this morning and yesterday, so we are making progress. Maybe that is what Spirit were trying to tell me – get moving, girl! Look after yourself. So I shall be cheerful and hope for a miracle. In the meantime, does anyone have any other suggestions?
November 19, 2014
Why Did I Write Trapped (Part 2)
Fran Macilvey acceptance, allowing, cerebral palsy, change, choices, conditions and diseases, family, Memoir, writing 'Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy', Fran Macilvey, Fran's School of Hard Knocks, Memoir, Path To Publication 4 Comments
Recently I was interviewed about Trapped at my husband’s church, and the experience was over so soon, I felt I hardly had time to draw breath. I had prepared some answers to questions, which were helpful to hold on to. When we went off script, it felt quite natural, easy and relaxed.
The minister was gentle. She asked thoughtful questions, asked, why did I write Trapped; and was so perceptive and kind that, almost, despite the laughter, it would have been easy to weep, though not for the obvious reasons.
Being disabled, one runs the constant risk of being misunderstood. I felt I was, and that process turned me initially guarded, then defensive, then prickly, then isolated. In retrospect, and having had the courage to spell everything out (as much as for myself as for the reader), I see that retreat is not inevitable, of course. I can’t help feeling that much misunderstanding and sorrow might have been avoided, or shed more easily and naturally, if there had been more people around who were unafraid to grasp me in their arms, speak to me as I needed to be spoken to, firmly and kindly, in order to break through the self-imposed isolation that has been one consequence of being misread.
I grieve for the obvious reason that life was awful, and for the less obvious reason that I have wasted so many years being unhappy. There is the other, more insidious pain of knowing that my perceptions – like those of others! – were often greatly mistaken, and that if I had been less fearful and stood my ground, no-one would have minded terribly.
Sure, the world is full of insensitive oafs, and cruel people who are casually unjust, and it is our focus on such people that turns us inward. But the world is also brimming with delightfully kind, forgiving and thoughtful people.
This also makes me grieve now, because I missed so many opportunities for joy, and for love, and for fun and humour and sheer delight. Meeting wonderful people, knowing they can see past my social awkwardness, my stumblingly stupid statements, to the smile that hopes it will be accepted, is so liberating. That makes me grieve now. Life is full of inexplicable contradictions, isn’t it?
Without having gone out of my way to excavate my experiences by writing them, none of this would be clear. Muddy confusion would all be sitting still, at the bottom of a dark glass, festering.