Eight & Nine Weeks Ago

by: Keiden

Eight and nine weeks ago there was a lot of unknown staring me in the face. I wasn’t sure what I’d still be able to do but since my trip to the hospital I have discovered that I can still do pretty much everything that I did before all this stuff with my health popped up. I can still drum though it feels a bit different now. I can still go on walks and walks in the woods are still more fulfilling than walks through my neighborhood. I can still play my ukulele and it gets easier the more I play it.

Trying to figure out and test what I could still do with my body was a really interesting process. There were some things that I was really nervous about figuring out if I could still do them. Blacksmithing was one of those things at the top of the list but I finally got the forge out and found that I can still bang on some hot metal with a hammer. Taking the forge out this week meant so much to me and I was so happy that I was not going to have to give up this craft. I may not be able to do it on very hot days or if my body is having a bad day but I can still do it.

My mind has been preoccupied with all the day to day happenings lately because Shannon got pretty sick so I’ve had to step up around the house and with getting ready for our trip. I still haven’t gotten the medication so that is one less thing to worry about and to be honest I was relieved because with the big trip coming up that meant I didn’t have to mentally prepare for starting a new medication while traveling. Twice a year we go down to Louisiana for an event that her best friend runs and it is the longest road trip of the year for us. With Shannon being sick I haven’t had the time to worry about this big trip; we were either going to make it or we weren’t there was no in between option. Shannon and I travel well together and I trust in that, I’m not sure we would have gotten married if we didn’t because both of us love traveling.

We did some things differently with the travel this year, some of them worked and some didn’t. One thing that made the driving a lot easier was taking two hour shifts instead of each of us just driving as much as we could in one go. Driving in shifts meant we were getting out of the car and using our legs every couple of hours so nothing in my body cramped up. We almost always split the 17 hour drive into two days so we aren’t driving for 17 hours straight; we did it once unintentionally and we’d rather not do that again. Instead of leaving around mid-day on the first day of travel we ended up leaving late that night and only got around five hours of driving in so our second day of driving felt extra long and that didn’t work well for me. We left late in the evening because Shannon really wasn’t feeling well and we were able to get her to the doctors in the late afternoon. When the doctor cleared her for travel we figured it was best to wait until after rush hour to get on the road.

We successfully completed the Louisiana trip! It feels like a major accomplishment because it is the longest drive and one of the hottest events of our season and making it through all that shows me that I can still do this. I was really lucky that we were able to stay in an air conditioned space because I definitely hit moments where I needed to cool my body down. I also brought my new ice pack that I can drape on my neck and shoulders and that came in handy a few times. It was actually one of the easier years for us at this event. We took really good care of ourselves during travel and the event itself so there was a lot less stress all around. We reached out for help from friends and the community beforehand knowing we needed it and we didn’t work until we dropped. We may have started out on the road late on the way down but on the way home we ended up getting in around 11pm and that’s the earliest we’ve ever gotten home from that drive. It felt so nice to be able to get the backseat unloaded and still have some down time before getting to bed.

We got home Wednesday night and Thursday was spent unpacking and jumping right back into crafting in prep for a craft show on Sunday. The weather was too wet and then too windy to get the forge out so I’ve been making jewelry instead. In a lot of ways that trip down to Louisiana felt like a jump start. It was because of going down there that I got the forge out to make a few more troll crosses to bring down. It was because I made it through the event and all the travel that I am feeling more confident to take some risks and push myself, maybe this will help me be more willing to explore and try out new things now. Anything is possible.