i have a friend who had a very nasty bike accident a few months ago. he was in a coma, and then an induced coma, finally waking up on 9/26 (my birthday!). since then, he has made remarkable strides – he’s now home, walking, talking, looking great. we went to visit him last night, and we were so impressed. we were expecting much worse, but if i didn’t know what he’d been through, i would never have suspected. he’s a little wobbly on his feet, his memory is pretty spotty, and he repeats himself a lot, but it is nothing short of amazing how far he’s progressed.
by coincidence, i’m reading a book called My Stroke of Insight, written by a neuroanatomist who survived a massive stroke. after about 8 years of recovery, she wrote this book about her experience, apparently the first documented account of someone in her profession who went through and fully recovered from such a massive stroke. without going into details, it is an amazing story.
the better part of me celebrates these two people and their remarkable recoveries. the lesser part of me listens to them talk about getting better every day, and can’t help but think about the fact that i’m not going to get better, but will more than likely continue to worsen. selfish of me i know, but fortunately i think it is the lesser part of me.
i went for my annual physical recently, and my doctor mentioned (as he has in the past) low-dose naltrexone, one of those “miracle” cure-alls that seems to be helping people with everything from aids to cancer and, yes, multiple sclerosis. my doc has two patients who are using it with great results. it is inexpensive – $30 a month – so it hasn’t gotten much clinical attention. but i think i am ready to give it a whirl. seems to be pretty safe, and it’s sort of a why not sort of thing. my doc also said that vitamin d is very important, especialy for people with ms, so i’m going to start a mega-dose of that. my doc said he was surprised that i had not been tested for the deficiency before. makes me start to wonder a bit about my choice of neurologists.
finally, i have been using as part of my email signature a quote from the dali lama, “be kind whenever possible. it is always possible.” some people have disagreed with that – that it is not always possible to be kind. i don’t understand how it could not be. i can certainly see situations in which it would be very difficult to respond with kindness, but how could it be impossible? my response to a situation or a person is always my choice. when i say, “you’re making me mad,” what i really mean is that i am responding to your actions with anger. you’re not making me anything. i can choose any response i want. i can choose anger, or kindness. i also believe that the people who are most in need of our kindness are the ones who make it hardest to be kind. anyway, i guess it’s a very esoteric and philosophical discussion, but i think it is one that bears thinking about. under what conditions would it be impossible to respond with kindness?
i am so very excited about the changes the next four years will bring. i am so glad that we as a nation showed the world, after so long, our better nature. as one blog i read said, we can have a few days to gloat and sing “we are the champions,” but then it’s time to get to work to put out fires and rebuild the parts of this nation that have been laid to waste over the course of he last eight years. i’m pumped.