Wednesday, November 27, 2019
As I climbed the stairs to my office after a busy morning of baking and preparing sides for tomorrow's Thanksgiving Dinner, my breath caught. Thirteen years ago I clung to the banister for dear life as my weakened muscles and withering spirit were crying out for healing.
I was in the dark night of my soul being worked up for any number of possible diagnoses but in the end, I was given the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.
I prayed and I cried. I knew in my gut that I was at a crossroads in my life.
By January, the diagnosis was confirmed and I went back into a toe up leg brace and used a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility. I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. It came in the form of a poem, "Running the Race" followed by many many many poems in which I imagined myself free in my body, running and dancing in the rain, whole and healed from my past of paralytic polio and a childhood rife with violence.
I remember when:
I couldn't climb the stairs in my house and was told to adapt my home or move to a ranch.
I had to take a dry swallow and chin tuck when I ate unable to hold a conversation during meals, and drink liquids through a straw.
I had to take several time outs during the day to rest and meditate due to chronic fatigue and pain all over.
I couldn't do grocery shopping, use public transportation, do the laundry and everything was an effort.
I couldn't enjoy the change in seasons, go for a walk, maintain body warmth in winter and overheat in summer.
We white knuckled our finances because I took a leap of faith leaving my career and salary to heal my life.
As I wrote poetry, went through intensive outpatient treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital followed by working with a personal trainer, my life transformed.
I keep a gratitude journal and every day I write down what I am grateful for. I thank my body for all it allows me to do and for the miracle of healing in my life.
I went from clutching the staircase in my home to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond harnessing the power of the mind/body connection and my fiery spirit to go beyond limits.
We live an abundant life physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. I am blessed to workout and/or run 5 days a week.
Since the diagnosis, I appreciate and cherish my blessings great and small:
It was not that long ago that I prayed for the things I now have in my life.
In Thanksgiving...I am so deeply grateful and blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours.
You can read all about my journey of transformation from the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond in my Trilogy of Transformation available on Amazon and feel the heal in my anthology of inspirational poetry.
I was featured in a Wellness Warrior blog by Meghan Khalei of Lovely Bones Physical Therapy. To read the blog follow this link.
Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com to learn more about my inspirational journey and for healing resources.
Kendra Petrone and I talked about my healing journey before the 2019 Boston Marathon on her award winning Exceptional Women Show. Listen by following this link.