I Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me


I know, the title of this post is inaccurate.   It should be “I Won't Dance,”   but the point of this blog is that in my recovery time from spinal fusion there are certain movements I cannot do.   For at least three months I can't bend forward, twist at the waist, lean over to the side, or anything that will put a strain on the area that is being fused.

So, learning new ways of sitting, lying down, and picking things up has taken up much of my winter.   I could mention other things I have to do differently, but this is a public forum and I don't want to offend anyone!   I have become very adept at picking things up with my toes and putting on pants by sitting down.

If I make a mistake and move in a way that i should not, I am quickly reminded by my body that I have done something wrong.   I told my surgeon I imagine it's what it feels like to be hit by a taser.   A strange electric kind of sensation which leaves me nauseous arises from the hardware in my back.   Another unpleasant feeling is when I am riding in a car and go over a bump; I am painfully aware that the vertebrae affected are without the cushioning of disks and so basically all the impact goes right into that area.

Recently I was working in the kitchen and listening to music, as is my habit, but I quickly discovered that I am unable to do any dance moves, not even a little side to side sway.   All the hardware says, “No!”   This is something I have to yield to, because music just naturally makes me move.

This began to make me wonder why we don't react to the little things we become unable to do as we age in this same way.   I am prevented in doing some things because of my recovery and my need to be careful until full fusion and healing has taken place.   It's a temporary thing and I accept that.   However, I already am hindered by certain prohibitions of age, like kneeling for very long or satisfying sleep.

I say aging causes these things, but of course not everyone ages the same.   Some of my physical conditions are caused by arthritis and some from my weight.   If I   had been an active younger person   I might fare better now, but such as it is,this is my reality.

Where can we find satisfaction even when we are not able to do all that we would like to do?   Some people are widowed and miss their spouses terribly, particularly that feeling of being a third wheel. I am divorced but have no wish to be part of a couple.   Some people would like to travel but don't like to fly or don't get around well and so can't walk for long distances.

My point is that while some things in life we cannot control or change, there are others out there who have different conditions stopping them from doing what they would like.   Being jealous of someone who can do what you can't is just as futile as being judgmental about people who don't want to do what you like to do.

Everyone has something in their life that they wish were different, so celebrate what you can do and don't bemoan what you can't.   Help others to find their strengths and weaknesses and then see where you can help and complement each other's needs.