It’s not in the act.
It’s in the needing.
Yesterday I knew for certain that I was getting better. I had been really weakened from being on the road and getting sick. This would be true for anyone, of course, so please don’t make more of it than it is. I managed to make it through all my lectures but one and, though I had to cancel a trip, I was pleased to have managed what I managed. Getting home and getting rest and getting medical care have made a difference.
I’m getting better.
One of the things that frightened me about the bug that I got and the resultant severe episodes of ‘the trots’ (people who can’t want should not have to bear the indignity of the ‘runs’) was that I became weaker by the day. In the end I had to take Joe’s arm in order to get up from my wheelchair.
Now the act of taking Joe’s arm is nice. It’s an act of intimacy and it’s an act of trust, it speaks or our relationship in a different way than anything else he does to help me. I reach up, take his arm and then, magically, can stand. His arm is more for balance and security than it is for lifting. Since becoming disabled, I have had to do this on occasion, typically when very tired, or when feeling my balance a little worse off in a particular moment. As I got weaker from the dehydration and the lack of sleep, I needed it every, single time I wanted to get up.
And Joe was there, every single time I wanted to get up. He would hold his arm out, I would take it and then stand. The touch of my hand to his arm gave me both strength and courage.
It wasn’t the act.
It was the needing. I didn’t like needing help that I didn’t need before. I didn’t like the asking for help, I didn’t like taking the help, I didn’t like the sense that if Joe wasn’t in the room, I wasn’t able to rise. I didn’t like those things. And, of course, I worried. What was this? A change in my disability or a result of being so ill?
That question was answered yesterday.
At home I was able to pull my wheelchair up beside my chair (yes, mine, please don’t sit there) and put my hand on the back of the chair, and stand up. The chair did what it did and I did what I did and there was nothing attached to the story. Nice. But then, yesterday, I was about to roll over to the chair to get up when I thought, suddenly, ‘I don’t need it.’
And I didn’t.
I stood up by myself, no assistance needed, no husband’s arm, no chair’s back, nothing. I simple stood up. I knew I was getting better. My strength was returning.
I had to go nap.
That’s what I was getting up to do.
But it’s progress!