Full Moon Arising
It was bound to happen, and it was bound to be me that it happened to.
It was a cold February morning, one of those cold windy mornings when it seems like the wind blew right through you and chilled your bones. There was a dry powdery snow falling just for good measure. Just so you didn’t forget the fact that winter was still officially on. It was also a Thursday which meant a few local MS patients would be gathering at the “Mercy sports medicine and rehab pool” for an hour of exercise designed especially for MS patients.
I’m pretty sure that even though many of our routines are called by the same name as the routines many of you all do when you work out, you would not recognize that routine if you were to see a group of MS patients doing them.
Our small group is lead through a series of stretches and exercises to keep a MSer moving and mobile while making allowances for their disabilities. The natural buoyance of the water helps us stay upright, where we might not be able to on dry land. The water in the pool is cooled to between 82 and 84 degrees, so you don’t get over heated as you work out (heat is murder for an MS patient). Of course the water also creates a natural resistance to work against to help tone any muscles MS hasn’t robbed from you.
I’m not sure why I found it nessecery to preface this story with all that. Maybe I want to try and cover the fact that I’m dangling by my finger tips from the lowest rung of mediocrity while trying to convince the warden I’m swinging like a trapeze artist on the top rung of excellence. In my cell block, like every where else the strong prey on the weak. Since I have been such a constant “thorn in the side” to the warden the last 40 years, I try to keep up a certain image before her, because I know she would be in on if not leading the mob that was looking to rough me up.
The pretty little life guard with the dark hair, the same one that once pulled me from the bottom of the pool, is the class instructor. Except that she is now the pretty little life guard with dark hair and golden highlights.
I’m not sure what her pay scale is, but I’m certain it is far below what she deserves. Like a mother hen she keeps an eye on each of us helping when we need help, encouraging us and pushing us to do our best. She even ties my swim trunk strings for me, since I have but one working hand and am unable to do it myself.
On this particular day she had tied my trunks for me and helped me into the pool and we started our exercise routine. We of course mix the exercise time with social time and visit as we exercise. On this morning the conversation lagged then came to a stop. I never thought that at all strange though since we were doing jumping jacks at the time. I figured that like myself everybody was too winded to talk. I just continued on with my jumpin’ jacks pushing myself to continue on as long as possible.
This might be a good time to point out that 75% of MS patient are female. So our little group is usually made up of more females than males.
I was bouncing around doing my (near) jumpin’ jacks with a big silly grin smeared all over my face when I noticed I had suddenly been abandon and left to the far end of the pool by myself, and everyone in the pool kinda had a strong look of disgust on their faces. I just smiled even bigger thinking maybe I had jostled myself a little too hard and my classmates had seen bubbles rising to the surface behind me.
It was about that time however that the pretty little Life guard with the golden high lights called an end to the jumpin’ jack legs and instructed us to switch to “cross country ski legs”. I immediately responded only to notice that I could not get my legs to move back and forth like a cross country skier. It felt as if I were tangled up in fishing line or something. Knowing fishin’ wasn’t allowed in the Mercy Sports Medicine and rehab pool, I looked down to my feet to see what was holding me back. The big grin quickly left my face as I discovered the cause of the paralyses in my legs and it was replaced by panic and terror when I saw that my swim trunks were down around my ankles.
By bending my legs and drawing my knees to my chest I was able to get a hold of my trunks and at least get my front covered up. But, having only one working hand proved to be quite a challenge as I was not able to get my trunks pulled up completely. But I held on for dear life and looked around at my class mates like a kid that had just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and they waited to see what my next move might be. I tried again to get my trunks up to a place that would be acceptable to all those in the pool with me. But with out success. So I done the only thing I could think of to remedy my predicament. I called out to the pretty little life guard with the golden high lights, who had been helping another patient and was thus far oblivious to my current peril.
“Yes”? She answered my call.
“Come here a minute”, I said as I held tightly to my droopy drawers.
“What can I do for you”? She asked with her usual smiling face.
“I lost my drawers” I said quietly.
“I lost my trunks and can’t get ‘em back up”, I whispered louder!
“Oh, well ok”.
She began to snicker at my predicament and said “I won’t look” she then grabbed the back of my trunks and gave them a yank, successfully covering the full moon in the Mercy sports medicine and rehab pool. She then retied the string on my trunks and by the time she had finished she was laughing so hard that I strongly suspected that she had “looked”.
I guess I should have known when I got out of the car in the parking lot and tried to put my keys into the pocket of the running pants I had worn that day, to just get back in my car and go back home. After trying several times to put my key in my pocket and failing to find my pocket, I looked down to see the pockets weren’t where they were supposed to be because I had put my pants on backwards. After a start like that you would think I would have enough sense to know things were not lined up to go my way on that particular Thursday. But… Instead of going home I chose to go swimmin’ in a pair of loose fittin’ swimmin’ trunks. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was to tell the warden about the ‘incident’. I had barely finished telling her before she went straight to our friends and repeated it while tears of joy ran down her face. Which is why many of you all have been reading it on Facebook!
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?