My husband and I went on a 5 mile hike at Palmer Lake Reservoir Sunday. I was secretly hoping he would pick Santa Fe or Spruce Mountain to hike instead. Palmer Lake has a pretty steep ascent that is quite long which means coming back is a very steep descent. I’ve grown to despise going downhill.
My husband’s “brain rot” (see previous blog from July if you are unfamiliar with the “brain rot”) causes ataxia. If you don’t know what that is it basically means uncoordinated. His balance, gait and depth perception are quite affected now. He walks like he is drunk. Without the fun part. So hikes are a challenge. Going uphill is great. There seems to be less of a balance issue and we trek along at a good pace.
It takes quite a bit of effort by the human brain to coordinate all of the bazillion things that must occur for your body to move downhill and not fall. It really is quite amazing. Most of us take that simple event that happens a thousand times a day for granted. Just one foot in front of the other…not giving it a second thought. Patrick does not have that luxury. His brain does not communicate correctly with his feet. In fact…his exact words on the hike were “my brain doesn’t know where my feet are”.
So as we start the descent downhill I put my arm out…he grabs it. It helps for him to balance against me. He said I am like his “stair rail”. Ha. Glad I can be useful. So as all 165 pounds of him LEANS on all 102 pounds of me and wobbles or falls or loses balance or shifts its a bit of a thrill when you are on the side of a cliff with a 200 foot drop!
Now, to put it mildly, I am NOT a patient person. Thats why I find it quite ironically humorous that the universe blessed me with a child with severe ADHD and a husband with brain rot…REALLY? So the downhill portion of the hike is quite a test of character for me. HMMMM…be patient and support my husband down the hill so he doesn’t fall or get irritated and say “dude you’re on your own I just cannot go this slow”. Yes I just re read that. I AM that shallow. Shit- I know how bad that all sounds. I am human. And if I said I love every fucking second of this journey we are on I’d be a liar. Some of this crap just SUCKS! And at times I lose my patience. At times Im not so sweet (if you can believe that). At times I question what the hell we did to deserve this. At times I want to run. I am so far from perfect and I will right here, right now admit that when I said “in sickness and in health” this shit NEVER crossed my mind.
So as I “slow my pace” to match his and keep thinking how many more calories I could burn if I was moving faster I sort of saw myself and thought “damn you’re an ass”. I started looking around at the mountain, the rocks, the trees changing colors, the caves, the blue birds, the lake and my husband. Slowing down. SLOW. ING. DOWN. If he didn’t have brain rot we would walk much much faster. We would have raced each other for fastest time. We also would not have had the 50 great conversations we had. I wouldn’t have noticed the water, the birds or the trees changing. Because I would’ve been rushing to finish.
Now before you think Ive come to find the “REASON” behind him getting brain rot or that I believe everything happens for a reason or that we are done fighting this thing that couldn’t be further from the truth. I quit trying to find “all the reasons why things happen”. It is a colossal waste of time and energy that could be spent doing something more constructive. Like research.
All Im saying is…sometimes slowing down is not such a bad thing. It’s all in your perspective.