Pushing the Limits

May 9, 2012 at 10:35 am (Chronic Pain, Disability, Living, Living With Chronic Illness, Mental Health) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I am, at heart, a pusher of limits. If you tell me I (or you) can’t do something, I am literally obsessed with finding a way to make it possible. This may sound like a mostly positive thing, but as one may expect there are times when pushing a limit means falling off the cliff hidden behind it.

I did an image search for “pusher of limits” and this was one of the first images in the results. I’m not sure my Pusher of Limits looks like Grover, but I just couldn’t resist.

Things have been a little challenging for me lately, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t updated the blog since April 18th. I’m very sorry about that; I am trying very hard to make at least one post a week, but as the warmer weather defrosts my schedule, my responsibilities as a traveling educator start to eat up what little post-surgical spoons I may have had lying around. Not only was I teaching classes at the event, I facilitated a very intense ordeal. So intense, in fact, that several of those close to me pulled me aside beforehand and very seriously asked me if I was physically up for the demands of what I knew (and didn’t know) would be expected of my corpus habitus.

Pusher-of-Limits said, “I can do this. I will make it work.” Saner-Voice took steps to try to reduce the impact on my body.

Now that the event is over, and the season of events has begun in earnest, I’m seriously taking stock of where my health and my desires intersect. Pusher-of-Limits keeps telling me that nothing has to change, that I can continue to travel and go to camping events forever. Saner-Voice and Corpus Habitus disagree.

I turned to Ninja the first night I was at Ramblewood (a campground that hosts several alt sex/spirituality events during the summer) and said, “I shouldn’t be here. I can’t hack this. I need to rethink some stuff.”

I won’t lie. Even with having a personal golf cart, and two service people plus my spouse and friends who don’t mind lending a hand, it was fucking hard. I was frequently in pain, even if I didn’t show it. My incision, which is still healing (but doing nicely) hurt like a mo’fo most of the time. I didn’t get to do or see as much as I would have liked, spending heaps of time in bed with my Nook banking spoons for my obligations. I did get to have a little fun, but it was short and sweet and sporadic.

Wanna know a secret? I am scared to death that I can’t do this anymore. I was scared every moment that I was there that something would go wrong, that I’d be rushed to the emergency room in a strange place and have to find a way to explain why I was at a campground three weeks after surgery. I am terrified that the level of ability I have now is dwindling, and each event I attend I have a moment of “This may be the last time I can do this event.”

Doing these events for me is “being with the people”. I spend so, so much time in isolation, sometimes only seeing my spouse and my slave for weeks at a time. Other than doctor’s appointments, I rarely go out just for fun, and three times out of four I have to cancel because I feel like crap. The artifice of “obligation” that comes with being a presenter for events helps motivate me when really, if it were just another social outlet, I’d likely cancel. Even while at the event, there are times that twenty minutes before class time, I’m in my bed desperately summoning spoons so I can just get through the next ninety.

So it was with great trepidation that I saw Dr. WLS yesterday. I knew my drain had been very active while I was away, and my scar was aching at a pretty intense level. I honestly don’t know if he’s just so focused on ending our relationship that he wasn’t concerned, or if I’m really doing better than I think, but he “advanced” my drain (moved the tubing out about three inches) which is a step towards having it removed. He looked at my scar and said it was healing very well and didn’t look infected at all.

Today, the limit pushing is a different one. Now that I’ve realized Dying for A Diagnosis, and have a general feel for the difference between blogging and journalling, I’m seriously thinking about starting a second project, where I can talk about spirit work/shamanism and ordeal/kink, which only sometimes is appropriate for what this blog is for. I need to figure out if I have enough writing spoons to take on this new blog without neglecting this one. Baphomet is skeptical; if it were up to Hir, this would be my focus and I’d write in here every day, pumping out as much content on chronic illness and spirituality as I possibly can before I die.

I am aware, as I ponder this, that DfaD is more than a blog. It’s a devotional act, a very important vehicle of communication for those who feel vested in my health, and a meaningful tome for those who suffer from chronic illness and need to hear our stories told in honesty and truth. I need to evaluate my reasons for wanting this other blog, and what commitments I can make to it while still striving to post here at least once a week as health provides. There are a plethora of blogs about shamanism and ordeal/kink, but not as many about the spiritual experience of dying.

Can I push my limits a little further? Or is it time for Saner Voice to rule?

I made a promise, and sealed it with death. I will live up to my promise first and foremost, and will not shake the responsibility You have put on my shoulders and in my heart. Hail Baphomet! Rex Mundi!



  1. Eric S said,

    I find this a tough call. There are a lot of things I think you have to offer on the front that you think is too crowded and yet I do not wish to make your life harder.

  2. Renee said,

    First, if you were to write a blog about kink and spirituality, I’d most definitely read it. (Okay, to be honest, I’d most definitely read it if you linked to it, as you do with DfaD. Without links reminding me to check a blog, I do forget to check it regularly.)

    I also want to respond about Ramblewood and events but I’m not entirely sure how to. Your fears are your fears, and I don’t want to minimize them in any way. I get fear, man do I get it, and pulling out the threads of them can be … tricky.

    I’m feeling the need to say something that’s hopefully reassuring. While your experiences at Ramblewood are, without question, a good indication that you need to do a lot of thinking and planning before attending camping events, I think your recent surgery has a lot to do with your experience.

    I don’t think Dr. WLS was being intentionally unobservant; rather, the fact that an incision is healing normally doesn’t mean that it isn’t painful as a mofo if you’re up and about a lot. Healing from major surgery — and this was major surgery — takes a lot of physical energy. It throws off your nitrogen/protein balance hugely; even if you’re getting enough protein to facilitate healing, other systems (like your muscles) aren’t at their peak for performance. Since, at an event, you’re having to do a lot of moving around (and even just sitting up takes muscle activity), you’re using a system that isn’t working at its best. (And if you’re not getting enough protein, your muscles are who’s donating their amino acids to the healing process.)

    So, on top of your body being stressed/strained/fatigued from healing, it’s now being additionally strained because of the work that a not-peak bodily system is simultaneously being asked to do. Of *course* you were finding this event very difficult — for your body, it was the equivalent of spending X days running a marathon. And, as you know, marathon runners aren’t running them for multiple days at a time.

    And, just so you know, I’m not just talking out of my butt here. This is the stuff I’m needing to learn and actively work with in my program.
    I still love you and will support you in acknowledging any new limitation you have, but don’t want you to mistake current limitations for permanent future limitations. Many hugs to you!

  3. Alex said,

    I think it’s a fine line, too. I selfishly want you to write so I can read it, but I also know you have other demands on your time and energy right now.

    I also think that maybe right now is not an accurate reflection of what you’re up for–you’re still healing from big stuff, like Renee said.

    Either way, whatever you choose, I’m still reading.

  4. This is not all of me. « Dying for a Diagnosis said,

    […] started a second blog, called Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars. As I have discussed on here before, in Pushing the Limits, I wanted a place where I could write about all the other aspects of my life – spirit work, […]

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