“Spring has sprung, the grass has rizz, I wonder where dem boidies is?
Da little boids is on da wing. Ain’t dat absoid – da little wings is on da boid.”
I’m one of those people who urge my fellow Mainers not to put away their snow shovels until June, when the threat of snow is fairly sure to be gone. Putting away the snow shovel too early has been scientifically proven to cause snow storms. It’s true, look it up. So I hesitate to say that it looks like spring has come, at least for those of us in southern Maine. It seems they’re still getting snow in the mountains and in “the crown” of Maine. Serves them right for living there.
And with spring, a disabled man’s mind turns to thoughts of venturing out into the world. Venturing out into a world covered in snow is an impossibility in a wheelchair (again, look it up.) Mud, which it seems we don’t really get much of any more (there used to be a whole season devoted to mud, right between Winter and Spring) is just as treacherous. Living as I do up on a hill in the woods, far from any public transportation, means that I need to hire or impose on someone to drive me where I want to go. What makes it more difficult is that where I want to go is just…out. Portland is not a wheelchair friendly city to begin with, being perched on the side of a hill. If I’m thinking of venturing into town on my own, it means essentially being restricted to one cross street or another. I’d need to find someone to pick me and my wheelchair up and drop us off on, say, Commercial Street, which runs across the hill at the bottom, or Congress Street, which runs across the hill on top – and then come back at some time to pick us up and bring us home. I could spend time at the library, or go to the art museum, or just wheel up and down the street which, with my camera in hand, would be a fine afternoon. It lacks the spontaneity and independence I cherish. But it beats sitting here at my desk looking out the window. In the end, I need to take my own suggestion that this is simply a problem to be solved. I am about to start work with a therapist (adding another member to my Team), with whom I will hopefully be able to sort this out, along with a whole tangle of other issues.
I have been working with the Wahls Protocol, an adaptation of a Paleo diet (read more here), for about 8 weeks. What has startled me is that one of my more troublesome symptoms – evening and night-time leg cramps which often became quite painful – has lessened to a huge degree, to a point where I have reduced my consumption of baclofen (a muscle relaxer) from 50-80mg, to 10 or 20mg. While there are still lingering cramps all through the day, they are far less bothersome and my calves are not cramping to the point of excruciating pain. I am thrilled, and amazed that such a simple thing, changing my diet (however drastic those changes might be), can have such a dramatic change. It is a little like the snow-shovel thing – I hate to it say out loud, for fear of jinxing it.
But I’m going to shimmy out onto a budding limb and say that spring has sprung. A family of five deer have been visiting the woods near our house every morning. Windows are opened cautiously, and I begin to think about finding my way back out into the wide world.
If a blizzard kicks up, feel free to blame it on me.