Friday, February 18, 2011

Anatomy of an If

This morning, another one of mild temps and ever larger patches of green grass showing in the backyard, I heard a robin call for the first time this season. Gazing wistfully out the back door at the dried husks of my sleeping flower beds, the sorry state of those three or four different styles of perimeter fences that need replacing, the sagging floor and roof of the potting shed, I wondered how much yardwork I'll be able to do come spring.

If a picture paints a thousand words, one viewing of this backyard melodrama would fill a booklength DIY-Project-of-the-Month Club selection.

I fear not, for water therapy has made me newly optimistic about my abilities. And now that my Physical Therapist has added TENS torture to retrain those footdrop muscles, I'm doubly so. (Torture because of the excessively high setting of electric shocks last Wednesday that sent my leg into a cramp and made white streaks appear in my suddenly bouffant hair.) If my dorsiflexion improves, the Walk-Aide device will work better. And if water therapy improves the back pain, I can stay on my feet and move around for longer periods, thus justifying the expense of a Walk-Aide.

That's a lot of ifs.

I was pleased with my new neurologist, whom I met yesterday for a long first appointment. She is a good listener, laid back, eager to treat symptoms and well-informed about DMDs. And only a mile from my home. She approves of my continuing to take Tysabri, and the new infusion clinic is also only a mile from my home. More reasons to feel good about the future.

If Tysabri continues to improve me without eventually killing me with PML, if physical therapy makes my back and legs stronger, if I can lose the 14 pounds I gained after quitting smoking, maybe then...

...I'll figure out why happiness cannot be imagined without an if...

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