Wednesday, 26 February 2014

It's A Dog Fight

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog." Dwight D. Eisenhower.

As my body weakens, I feel like I am getting smaller, as if I was part of an ever shrinking universe. I can, almost daily, see things become more difficult, see things retreat from me. Distances become farther, reaches become higher, weights become heavier; I am becoming the small dog in a big fight. The dog I face, this disease set before me, becomes larger and more vicious each and every day.

I am tired so much of the time these days. The dogfight starts when I get out of bed, the beast that is this disease snapping and gnarling at my heels from the moment my feet touch the floor. It pursues me as I struggle to dress, it snaps at my arms as they work to push myself into my wheelchair, it growls in front of me as I push my way across the carpeted floor of my apartment.

Even the simple act of making coffee has become part of the dogfight. I must lift up to reach the coffee and the coffeemaker. Adding water means lifting, reaching, holding, carrying; all these things are part of the daily effort to live as normal a life as I can. The best thing about my morning is after I make my coffee, when I can sit in my wheelchair and type. Then, for a few minutes, the dog is at bay.

It seems like everything exhausts me these days, every bit of stress is too much, every decision too hard to make. Yet even with this, I keep fighting, keep biting back, snarling back, growling back at the cursed creature that will be my doom. This is not a choice I make, at least not yet. Exhaustion is not enough to make me give up; it is just a part of the fight.

I am not ready to stop fighting yet. My body and my world may be getting smaller but my spirit continues to be large. I know this is a fight I cannot win; death is a beast that overtakes us all at some point. Mine will come, one day the big dog will get me; just not today. For today, I will win this fight. For today, I will be the dog with more fight in me. For today, I will live.

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