I think that someday I will probably be forced into a wheelchair again by the overwhelming power of my mind. It is a terrifying reality to live with, knowing that my brain can shut down my body without warning. Five years ago I woke up one morning completely unable to use my legs or my left arm. I dragged myself to my roommate’s bed and shook her awake. She called an ambulance. She rode with me to the hospital.
I used to think, when I first learned to walk again, that I would never go through that again. But I have continued to struggle with it for all these years. Some days I can’t get out of bed except to crawl like a baby to the bathroom. Sometimes I can’t hold chopsticks, sometimes I can’t hold a fork. Sometimes I don’t have enough coordination to properly push the clutch pedal in my car. And every day I’m thinking about what things are major stressors and how to counter them or run away from them.
This summer has not been good. Ever since I survived my car crash, one stressor after another has landed in my lap and my condition has gradually deteriorated. I’ve felt dizzy, I’ve had extremely strong reflexes, my doctor did a neurological exam and found a whole mess of anomalies, but nothing showed up on the MRI. That’s the evil of conversion disorder. It doesn’t show up in medical tests. It’s easy to believe that it isn’t “real.”
But it is real. On Saturday I fell down the stairs. Twice. I’ve been shaking so badly that I drop food and can’t write, except for extremely slowly and illegibly. It is getting worse. Today I stalled my car for the first time in months. I did it twice. When I got home and had to get out of the driver’s seat, I forgot how to stand for a few minutes. These are real things.
I think that someday I will have to use a wheelchair again. I just hope that someday isn’t tomorrow.