Perception and attitude shape our lives. The same event seems completely different depending on how I look at it. Yesterday, the very same pain that I've had ever since surgery suddenly seemed like a catastrophe. The reason was that I thought that it had disappeared forever. Today, I readjusted my attitude and let the pain return to its role as part of the fabric of my life. It's nothing extraordinary. I can still love life even though some nerve endings are firing all the time.
People have asked off-line how successful the surgery was overall. It alleviated the pain shooting down my arms - a very nice benefit. However, I haven't yet regained sensation in a section of my hand that's covered in scars because I can't feel it. I also don't yet have full strength in my biceps on one side. However, regaining sensation and strength is incredibly slow. Nerves that were damaged so badly that they didn't transmit information correctly need to regenerate, starting at my spinal cord and moving toward my extremities. That can take a year. Or, it may never happen. Only time will tell.
The one thing that my PT and I don't like is that the spasms in my neck muscles intensified after the surgery, and they haven't yet relaxed. We're trying different strategies to convince those angry muscle fibers to leave me in peace. Our unsuccessful attempt the other day really dragged me down.
Today, I woke up with a rejuvenated outlook. I can handle the muscle spasms and enjoy my life. So, I took both halves of the Labraduo for a mountain bike ride with me. They entertained me endlessly. We climbed up to our local lookout for a weather forecast. Foreboding, don't you think?
Then, we relaxed on the peak while I photographed my favorite furry subjects. K assumed her pose towering over R and stuck her tongue out at him as he gazed adoringly at her.
Then, they both took more serious poses.
R was next to stick his tongue out. Those who know about canine communication say that tongue flicks are "calming signals", meaning that something had both dogs riled up but they were trying to calm down.
After playing in the warm air on the peak, we descended via an aspen grove with nascent leaves.Funny, whenever R joins us on a ride, he adds a certain high voltage electricity. I end up with mostly action shots on my camera. Fortunately, the perpetual motion pup is well trained. Otherwise, we'd be a disaster. Below, he's responding to my recall.
After dropping the duo off at home, I did my solo ride, again staying completely in the forest and never letting my tires touch a road. I tried a trail that I've been avoiding this season because I was afraid of how technical it is. The tortuous and thin path has lots of rocks and hairpin turns, and I wanted to avoid a crash for the sake of my healing spine. Today, I threw caution to the wind, and I rode the trail more cleanly than ever before - a victory for my attitude adjustment.
This photo shows the only section of the trail that's straight but you can see how narrow it is. It has a very small margin for error.
On my way home, I found a deer antler from a buck who survived last year's hunting season to shed it this spring.
Today, I wore my new favorite cycling jersey, a birthday gift. I can't imagine a more perfect jersey for me! In fact, a few days ago, a friend asked if I'd had it custom-made!