Post Rat Lungworm – Sensations

The other day John and I were relaxing in the sun room. I was writing, probably about rat lungworm, while he planted some more starts for the garden. We were simply enjoying one another’s presence without conversation until…

John asked me, “Don’t you feel that? It doesn’t bother you?”

Looking up from the computer, I responded with a hint of wary confusion, “What doesn’t bother me?”

He pointed at my foot. I followed his finger with my gaze.

I was shocked.

A fly was on my toes, and I hadn’t felt it. I watched it in silence, mouth slack, totally disbelieving.

“I don’t feel a fucking thing,” I whispered in wonder.

The fly walked confidently from toe to toe, over, under, even beginning to go between, and I did not have a single sensation register that it was happening.  Nothing.  In the hospital I lost all of my reflexes, and just about any positive sensation my legs could feel. Everything was pain. It still is.

A fly couldn’t have landed on my toe without throwing me into a frenzy before rat lungworm: my feet were incredibly ticklish.

Yet, the fly walked on…

And I felt nothing.

Every once in a while…well honestly, usually, at least once a day there’s something that brings more than just a tear to my eye as I realize something else that may be gone forever. I miss the sensations I used to feel in my feet: the welcoming of dipping them in the cool water of the Pacific Ocean or Lily Lake after a run, bike ride, or a combination of the two.  I miss being able to feel and control the 6-8 legged beings of this earth when they choose to land on me.  I miss cold rain as a remedy for a sweaty situation.

I miss comfort.

One of my favorite sayings has always been:

 The danger of an adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.

road tripI took it from Paulo Coehlo’s, Veronika Decides to Die when I read it in Monterey in 2007, before my first month long solo road trip across the country living in a borrowed plastic 1997 Saturn SL1 after flipping my car one and a half times down a hill on a drive from California to Texas.  It made sense to me: shed the social stigmas and go enjoy life how YOU want to enjoy it…Who cares what people think!? I thought I understood it…

Now I’m living it.

Do I truly believe it?  Do I even understand it? Was the danger of being a part of 72 Hours in Fiji…The EPIC adventure where I got to meet incredible people and see incredible things…jump out of helicopters into jungle rivers, and run…simply run through the jungle…

Is THAT adventure worth A THOUSAND days of ease and comfort?

A thousand days is just under three years.

Three years of not feeling comfort.

I’m four months short of my first year without comfort.  8 months of pain and medication. I’ve pretty much got exactly two rat lungworm Hurricane Rita PTmore years of this in order to live by my favorite quote.

I’ve searched and searched my soul through many quiet moments since I first felt as if my mobility was being challenged after returning from Fiji in October.

I want to.Would I do it again? Was it worth it? Do I believe the quote, truly?

I really, really want to.

The adventure was incredible. I’d definitely do it again.

Minus the slug.

Let’s hope Paulo was exaggerating a bit…maybe it will just be a “500 days of ease and comfort” payment for my amazing adventure…

Remember, tomorrow’s not guaranteed.

And…eating a raw slug could give you rat lungworm disease, and that, my dear Storm Watchers, can kill you.





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