Last night, I had a lengthy visit to a neurological ophthalmologist, Dr. McHenry in Dallas.
Due to the appointment timing and my eyes being dilated–I had to call on Uber to pick me up and transport me home. (YAY- LOVE UBER!!- Get your own Uber account using my promo code for a FREE first ride: michelec79 at www.uber.com- or use the app store)
Anyway, my Uber driver, Scott, was awesome. He picked me up within 5 minutes of me ordering a car and whisked me home. Making small talk, he asked about the doctors office being open so late. I dropped the brain surgery bomb. I am fascinated with the different reactions I get from strangers. Sometimes I get a blank stare. Other times a gasp. Last night, “Oh you poor thing!”
Really? “You poor thing?”
Now, Scott was a wonderful guy, a great driver and for goodness sakes, he’s from Tennessee (so he really knows how to talk ..”whiiiiite, briiiight, niiiight, liiiight”- Which honestly is music to my ears–I get a little homesick from time to time (except for the life of me, I can’t determine where home really is?).
SO anyway, amid the Dallas traffic and the droning voice of the navigation system, I educated good ol’ boy Scott on Chiari Malformation Type 1, Arachnoid Cysts, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Craniotomies, Posterior Fossa Decompressions- the differences in neurologists, neurosurgeons, opticians, ophthalmologists and neurological ophthalmologists. I daresay- this, Scott’s first night driving for Uber…will be his most educational one. AND- possibly his most opinionated one.
See after Scott declared me a “poor thing”, he also blessed my heart. It had to stop there. I refuse to be victimized or pitied. Now seriously, do I seem like the kind of girl that wants pity? Granted, I believe a certain amount of respect is due to any person that faces life’s challenges head on and continues to daily rally and do it again…but pity is where he was headed..and where he was promptly stopped in his tracks.
Starving, shoeless orphans in Cambodia—they can be pitied. Chiari Warriors – we are to be revered, applauded and hailed as the victors of our daily battles. Arachnoid cyst/arachnoiditis patients–no pity required…. We just wake up and do it again and again and again. We know what works for us, we know what doesn’t. We know when to crawl in bed, we know when to push ahead. Fighters for normality of life…Life is to be lived, not merely survived.
Survival of the fittest? Not this chick- Living Life Carte Blanche–Why not? Why the heck not?
Please know–this little pep rally comes on the heels of me being in bed for over a week…no kidding- over a week! I flew to Orlando over a week ago- then I flew home. I had multiple plane changes on the long route home and my head couldn’t keep up with the altitude changes. So my ears didn’t finally completely clear until about two hours ago. So that was- 10 days of stasis of fluids in my head— which led to sore throat, cough, fever, headache, fatigue, eustachian tube dysfunction, laryngitis, and bronchitis. I still feel like I’m swallowing razor blades and I sound horrible. I’ve slept more than I’ve been awake and every cough is like someone hitting me in the head with a hammer. – However– I went to work at my RN job two days, attended my grandson’s birthday party, strolled the Bishop Arts District of Dallas for a few hours with my mom and managed to make 10-20 calls each day for our home business (left lots of voice mails that may or may not be understood by the recipients). I don’t say this to brag…or to dishonor those that are in worse physical condition than myself. I say it to really set the scene for what life is like for some of us..and how we keep living normal lives regardless.
Now, I know, Scott-the Uber driver, meant no harm. I did not chop his legs off and put him in his place. But- I did kindly and gently lead him down a path to understanding my weird brain thing and I told him-without telling him- I am no victim. We all have a choice in how we handle our physical deficits. My choice is to live well in spite of mine I hope you will choose the same.
BTW: If you sign up for Uber, use my code to get a FREE ride: michelec79