Recently I found out I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). As is the case for many, I had no clue I had it until my hand and arm started going to sleep at night, with pain shooting up to as far as my shoulder. Doc sent me to a neurologist who did a nerve study and told me on a scale of 1 to 10, my CTS was already an 8. Damn. Good news is surgery, although forthcoming, is avoidable for now. The night pains have been halted by wearing a splint while I sleep, and that along with some modifying of how I use my arm, are keeping it at bay. The knife won’t have to come out of its sterile box until the CTS starts interfering with work and daily living.
Nerve is today’s Daily Prompt. My first reaction when I saw it was the phrase “you’ve got a lot of nerve.” That got me thinking – do I have a lot of nerve? (in a good way that is) Well, some I guess. I’ve shaved my head bald for a fundraiser for cancer. I faced up to my drinking problem and got sober. I’ve quit a job, without another one in sight even, to stay true to myself and my values. Okay, a few points on the scorecard of life. But what about the rest of my scorecard?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hand caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. What does this have to do with my scorecard of life? Lots. I think I may have some carpal tunnel syndrome of my soul too.
You see, as much as I can be brave, courageous, strong, yada yada, there’s a very wimpy side of me too. And I now realize Wimpy is getting in my way of being able to really live the life I dream of. Perhaps I should have been the author of the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series. Gee, all that money would have allowed for some of my dreams to come true. Well, the material ones at least, but that’s not what I’m really concerned about. As my mama used to always tell me, you can’t take your stuff or your bank account with you when you go dear.
What I’m concerned about is a kind of soul sickness that I suspect I may have fallen ill to. A numbness of my soul caused by ignoring my true feelings. A tingling that appears every time I let worry creep into my life. A weakness I experience every time I fear failure, what others think of me, or that I’m not good enough. A pain I feel when I think about my less than perfect moments of my past. And all of this is caused by pressure on the median nerve of my entire existence, my soul. And the pressure is, in one word, me.
So to translate over some of the things my doctor told me to do regarding the CTS in my wrist, here is what I would like to make for my treatment of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome of my soul:
- Periods of rest but also shake it up every now and then, especially after repeated repetitive movement.
Rest through prayer and meditation, keeping in mind the 11th step prayer. Shake things up a little in my life by trying new things, stepping out of my comfort zone, and continuing to sing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond loud and without inhibition wherever I am when it starts to play.
- Stop activities causing the numbness, weakness, and pain.
Take and live life one day at a time, staying in the gift of life – the present. Listen to my gut = God’s Undeniable Truth. Tell Wimpy to get lost and go write another diary.
- Do exercises and stretching to increase flexibility and strength.
Be kind. Be generous. Be loving, unconditionally. Be grateful. Be a dreamer. Be a writer. Be fun. Be a leader. Be the girl who does the happy dance in the middle of the mall just because she knows it makes her kids laugh and smile. And most importantly, just be me.
Think you might have a touch of CTS of the soul yourself? Well I sure as heck aren’t a doctor, although I was in pre-med at university for a bit, guess I had some nerve back then too when I decided to change majors after realizing I didn’t want to be a doctor. Anyway, if you have diagnosed yourself with CTS of the soul too, here are some of my favourite TED Talks that might be good for your own treatment plan. Or failing that, maybe you’ll at least enjoy listening to John Legend sing. That’s good for the soul regardless I think.
Image source: The Quotepedia