I wobbled a little in the street this week. A kind passerby stopped and asked if I was okay.
Embarrassed, I replied, “Oh yes. I have a little balance problem, just once in a while, but you know, I am a Weeble.”
He looked at me puzzled.
“You know, Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down,” I said smiling.
He looked at me a little strangely and walked away.
One of the side effects of one of my surgeries for the pain was the temporary loss of my walking.
I was not paralyzed, I was more like a newborn colt, my legs going all akimbo. It took a few months for me to get back to walking properly but even now, 35 years later, I sporadically turn into a colt again, if only for a few seconds.
I have used the Weeble analogy for years. It is kind of my joke to help the unwarranted embarrassment I feel when I start to sway.
It occurs to me that it is a description for many of us in pain. We fight, we persevere, we have successes and we have failures. We bounce back from the failures to search again for success. Even when the triumph is a small one, it is still one step ahead, a wobble averted.
The level of strength and perseverance I see when I read what people in my online support group write and what I read in other chronic pain support groups astounds me.
I remember as a kid when my father had a cold. He would take to the bed in the den. He had his newspapers and meals brought to him, a man sick as a dog. It was the stereotype: A man becoming very needy, almost an invalid, because he had the littlest of illnesses.
And yet when my father had ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, he put up the good fight.
Maybe it is having something big, something so huge in our lives go in directions we could never have imagined. Maybe it is the need to try and get our lives back to normal. Maybe it is the natural desire to end pain.
The reasons for why we put up the fight are too myriad to try and list, too many to imagine. But they are why we put up the fight.
All of us in pain have great reason to be proud of ourselves. No matter how much we totter and weave, we right ourselves, pushing past being down for the count.
We are fighters – “warriors” — I see us called in many places.
And as much as we wobble, even when we do fall down, the fight remains. No matter how long it may take, we get up, and put one foot in front of the other.
Carol Jay Levy has lived with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic facial pain disorder, for over 30 years. She is the author of “A Pained Life, A Chronic Pain Journey.” Carol was accredited to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, where she helped get chronic pain recognized as a disease.
The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.