The Warrior in All of Us

I read a series of books by Jim Butcher about a wizard who is also a detective.  His name is Harry Dresden.  My favorite character in this series has always been Michael Carpenter.  Michael was a Knight of the Cross, an ancient order dedicated to bearing and using the three Swords of the Cross to defeat evil. he was the most recent bearer of the sword Amoracchius until he was forced to retire after being badly injured while performing some of his heroic acts. (this takes place in the book Small Favors)

I’m writing about a small story Butcher has written called The Warrior, originally published in the anthology Mean Streets, it was re-released in Oct. of 2010 in a book full short stories about Harry Dresden and his cohorts titled Side Jobs.

Last night I re-read The Warrior and I felt like it had so much to say to people who are dealing with a disability.  (of course, this story does show how Michael is dealing with his new disability, but it is much more.)

In the forward to this story Butcher talks about “The Law of Unintended Consequences”.  He says, “The big important things are built from small and commonplace things, and even our little acts of petty, everyday good and evil have a cumulative effect on our world.”  (Pg. 211)

“Our smallest actions and choices matter.  They tell us who we are.” (Pg. 211)

He goes on to say, “What seems like a good thing or a bad thing might not be either seen from another point of view.” (Pg. 212)

I feel like I could quote most of this story and it would be relevant to our situation.  I tells how knowledge is the best way to conquer fear.  How things happen that you don’t want, after all we are just human, we can’t fix everything, we stop all bad things from happening, some things we just have to accept.

In one part of this story Harry Dresden gives a great pep talk to a little girl who feels she can’t do anything right.  He tells her she has two choices, she can give up or try.  (He even asks if they read Great Expectations in school, and she is amazed that he could make Dickens relevant in her own life.  He tells her she could give up like Miss Havisham, or she could get out there and live life and try.)  This speech deeply touched me, and if I didn’t think I’d get in trouble I’d print it here for you.

Much of this story reminded me of It’s a Wonderful Life showing how you affect people’s lives by the things you do, when you don’t even know it.  In this story, Harry does so many things that he thinks are just little things, but he is shown later that they were just what the person needed to make a huge change.

This is a story full of Faith (yes, with a capital “F”), doing the right thing, trying, showing you how a disability can have a good side, and it I think most importantly it shows that “people have far more power than they realize, if they would only choose to use it.” (Pg. 266 – Jake /Uriel)

We are all warriors.  We only need to choose the right path.  It’s often very hard.  Even Michael is tested in this story, but with a little guidance from a friend, he comes through.  Sometimes it may be very hard to try, and sometimes doing the right thing can be very hard, hopefully at those times we will have the right person say the right thing to us.  But always try to be careful of what you say to and how you treat someone else, you never know how it may effect them.

Even with a disability you can make a huge difference in the world.  One small action at a time.

*As a side note*  I thought it very funny in one part of the story Harry thinks, “(I) then fell back on to the floor of my apartment and watched the apartment spin for a while.”  (of course, he had just been attacked, but I thought – oh boy, can I relate!)

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Much Happier Day

The Christmas Spirit has finally hit our household.

I’m feeling much better about things than I have been.  Today I got so much more done than I have in so long.

But let me start over.  Last night I had a complete meltdown!  I hate it when that happens.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s not pretty.  I feel so sorry for Stuart when I’m like that.

Now, today things look so much brighter.  I seem to have a renewed sense of hope.

I got so much done today.  I cooked.  I vacuumed.  I cleaned up the kitchen.  It was wonderful!  I felt so useful, and I felt like I was much more me.

Tonight we put together our Lego Christmas Train while listening to Christmas Carols.  Yes, the Christmas Spirit has found its way to our house.  Thank goodness!

A Crisis of Faith

I try so hard to believe that things will get better.  I want to believe that the Meniere’s will become manageable, that I will start having normal digestion again, that I can have a life again.

A friend of mine sent me a note on Facebook that said I was her hero, because I’ve been through so much in the past couple of years and still I can be optimistic about the future.  Well not today.

Today, I’m not optimistic at all.  Today, I can’t see past the pain and horror that my life has become.  I read on Facebook all the fun things that my friends are doing, and I’m a prisoner in my own home.

I continue to have horrible Meniere’s attacks.  It just hurts too much.  Not just the attacks, but the unknowing.  Is it going to happen today.  Is this weird feeling I’m having the beginnings of an attack.  I can’t drive any more.  I can’t even take care of my house.  Some days I can’t even get out of bed by myself.

Then there’s the digestion problems.  Today was horrible.  I ate dinner, my stomach hurt a lot.  I went to bathroom and nothing really happened, then I was standing at my kitchen sink and I lost control of my bowels.  Yes, just standing there and Wam! I had poop running down my leg!  (I can’t believe I’m actually telling anyone this.)  I went upstairs, sat in the bathroom for a very long time, then took a shower and put my clothes in the washer.  But during that time I had a complete melt down, and I don’t think it’s over.

I’m really tired of living like this.  I’m ready to just, I don’t want to say die, but that’s really what it comes down to.  I feel like I’m fighting a loosing battle.  The doctors at Duke tell me there is so much they can do for the Meniere’s…so when are they going to do it?  I know I just had the blood patches on November 24th, but since December 4th my life has been a living hell.

The digestive health doctors have no idea what is going on, and the last two tests I was scheduled for I had to cancel because the Meniere’s had control of my life.  I have a scope planned for Wednesday, where they put a scope down your throat and have a look-see.  Now if the Meniere’s will let me go through with this test, maybe they will find some answer.  I have a feeling they are just going to tell me I have IBS.  Something else that has no cure, that I will be stuck with for the rest of my life.

I want to have faith, and most of the time I do.  I’m not religious like a lot of people, but I have my own beliefs.  But that’s not the kind of faith I’m talking about.  I simply feel so out of control.

All my life when things happened to me, I always knew that I could fight back and over come.  But now I don’t have that.  I feel like I’m fighting so hard, but I don’t have the right ammunition.

Even now I want to say, don’t worry, I’ll be fine, I’ll get through this too.  I don’t want pity, and I feel like I see that in so many people’s eyes.

I can accept a lot of strife in my life.  Loosing my hearing, I could deal with.  Walking with a limp and living in pain, I could deal with.  Not having control of my bowels, I can’t life with.  Never knowing when the vertigo will hit, I can’t live with.  (I used to have signals, but now the vertigo will come on so fast.)  I can’t deal with feeling so out of control.

On top of everything, my dear sweet dog has bladder cancer.  In July they gave her 6 months to a year.  She’s still doing very well.  Right now she has a staff infection, the vet says that isn’t unusual for dogs with bladder problems, but I’m afraid it’s the first of her going down hill.  I’ve had my Sandy for over 16 years, I don’t know what I will do without her.

But tomorrow is another day.  I’m sure things will look better after a good night’s sleep, and I will once again have my optimism back.  I’m just so tired.