I’ve had my spinal tap/lumbar puncture- which was, as things like that go, quite fine. The worst part, besides getting a needle stuck deep into my spine, was laying down face first on this bench-ish thing with my pants halfway down my fanny. Duke is a teaching hospital so there was a guy student in the room and that made me feel sort of weird, and kind of old? Like, um, hey? I don’t want this kid who isn’t really even a doctor or a nurse yet looking at my sweet vulnerable little butt. It gave my eager brain something to work on while the doctor numbed my back and got things going.
There aren’t supposed to be any results until maybe the end of this week, probably next week. BUT! Last night I got an email from my neurologist that said everything is normal so far. Therefore I am feeling cautiously super optimistic and then also grumpy frustrated: if not MS then what is going on?
What is going on? I can’t rightly say, nor can modern medicine it seems. Which is fine, really- it is. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga reading and practicing lately. Yesterday on that thin table with the half moon X-ray machine and half my fanny hanging out I remembered that I needed to breathe. So I did, and I almost disappeared. There are all these moments that are really just this one moment: this one changeable flowing uncertain moment that makes up a lifetime.
There is too much going on in my life right now- some good, some hard- but what else can I do but keep going? Last night after I got the “normal so far” email from my neurologist I let the dogs in and our big guy is limping badly again out of the blue. I got so mad at the universe! “WTF?” I ranted in my head. “You fucking see me waiting to see if I have MS don’t you? And that Jonathan is looking for a job? And that we might move in a year? What if I have to put the dog to sleep now? Too much!”
And then I started in on all the things I’m worried about. I started winding myself into a big fat tizzy, until I stopped.
Yo. I stopped.
I remembered that I can handle all these hard things, and all the good things too, because I can surrender. I can stop wishing the truth wasn’t true and go with what’s actually real. I can wait patiently for a minute while my mind/ego starts a tantrum and then in the pause let it breathe, let it know that it will all be OK. I stopped fighting it. I gave in. Yes, I told myself. Yes. It is too much. It’s a lot. It’s OK. And then I didn’t have to handle it just right. I stopped predicting the future and stayed here.
Surrender is such a gift: it’s not giving up, or giving in. It’s accepting things as they truly are and going from there. Or from here: this moment where I might have MS, or I might not. Where the dog is hurting, where the job situation is exciting and uncertain, where we might move in a year (I know, a year! I can be a little neurotic). The thing about surrender is this: when you admit you don’t know what to do that’s when you get shown the way. Surrender is a graceful way of saying “Help”. It’s a way to say “I don’t know”- I don’t know how, I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know what to do. When you stop thinking you have all the answers- that’s surrender.
When I quit drinking I had to surrender big time. I had to surrender everything I thought I knew about myself and be willing to learn what was real. Now I’m learning that surrender happens in big and little ways every day- that surrender is one of the strongest most power full words I know.