May 28, 2013

Lessons learned…

I am always getting the feedback your posts are so happy, you defy Dystonia, DBS has been your miracle…well as much as I am a robot, I have many emotions and fearful episodes of doubt too…

On my recent trip to Belize my best friend and I decide it would be a great idea to go visit some ruins and go cave swimming.  Ruins were slightly disappointing and we were ready to move on to the cave swimming.  In our typical travel fashion, we just book and don’t really ask questions…which always ends up with one of us asking the other what did we get ourselves into?

We were off to cave swimming, unbeknownst to us this would include walking a short trail for about 10 minutes and then somewhat of an arduous hike to get to the cave…there was a slight climb involved using roots as leverage and then several rocky passes where we just walked in our socks for fear of slipping.   When we got to the first rocky piece, I felt the anxiety set in, the doubts, the “carrie  just stop here let her go and stay back”…I ignored that first thought, then the root climb came up shortly thereafter and I felt the tears come in my eyes….”I can’t do this”…then I tried and made it…then the third obstacle came and I just blurted out “Times, like this I miss him”.  I recently just lost my third hand, my helping hand, the person that would always hike with me and help me, without me even saying I need help, he would just know…and as I blurted that out, I felt the tears set in and I quickly wiped them away no one wants a Debbie Downer on a tropical vacation. 

It was right after that comment, we saw the opening to the cave, the one we would have to climb several more rocks to get to and I was tired.  Rafael our tour guide was quite the humorous one letting us know the vampire bats were coming to get us.  Needless to say the hike was worth it, swimming in a bat cave miles and miles under a mountain may be one of the coolest things ever…but I have to be honest part of the cave floating was laughing and part was constant fear.  Fear of how am I going to get back to the tour bus?  My legs were extremely tired and I just knew I couldn’t do this on my own.  I had no choice but to say to the tour guide – I have to ask for your hand, I have a disease and the down part of a hike is the hardest, will you help me? (what was my alternative, living with the bats?)  So we took our time down and he gave me his hand every step of the way.  The irony though, was I did slip at then end on a flat slippery piece the one time I said I could do it…tricky, tired legs!

After a drink that night, my friend said to my – I was so surprised at your strength and how you were going after it, why the self doubt?  I knew you had it and I was looking out for you.  Don’t you see we all look out for you? And to be honest, I hadn’t looked at it that way…I looked at it that I have to rely on the help of strangers now or modify some of my habits.  My Dystonia became very real on this trip.  I am stronger physically and mentally learning how to ask for help is getting a little easier as time goes on.  I am glad I pushed through, I am glad I asked for help, seeing my best friend squeal about vampire bats while cave swimming was priceless.

As I embark on my first half marathon of the year in a couple of days, I sadly sprained my ankle yesterday while getting off a boat, I thought I could do it and didn’t take the offered hand…lesson learned, take the hand silly!  So I am aggressively icing and taking lots of ibuprofen hoping to heal by Sunday… I may not make the best time but I am hoping to get it done.  Please cheer for me on Sunday as I run the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon!  And as always please, please donate…without my DBS, cave swimming would only have been a fantasy! 

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