09. Paraplegia: My Once Good Right Leg

Eric_Caulier, Photo by Georgette METHENS-RENARD

Before the biopsy surgery,
I could stand on my right leg
like the ‘golden rooster’ in Taiji,
perform the three foot, heel and toe kicks.
I could pose as Yoga’s ‘eagle’ and ‘tree’.

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On the floor,
I could stretch like a cat,
aerobics-18884_640perform a ‘shoulder stand’,
or cycle upside down in the air.
On my stomach,
I could raise my legs
and pose as a ‘locust’ and a ‘bow’.

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800px-Stretching_black_cat_on_a_railing_and_cherry_blossom_trees-Hisashi-01

 

 

 

 

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Lying on my back now,
when I hold my right leg up vertically;
it bends at the knee without resistance
like a pair of two-band BBQ tongs with a broken spring.
Its toes curl inward and point downward, limply,
like the legs of a cooked shrimp. shrimp-489648_640

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It became lifeless so suddenly;
some nerves could have been severed during surgery —
it couldn’t be due
to the disturbed and swollen tumour alone.

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Taiji posture of Eric Caulier. Photo by Georgette METHENS-RENARD. CC AS-A 3.0 Unported License, via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eric_Caulier.jpg

Shoulder Stand. Author unknown. CC0 Public Domain, via – http://pixabay.com/en/aerobics-balance-exercise-female-18884/

Black Cat Stretching. Photo by Hisashi from Japan. CC AS-A 2.0 Generic License, via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stretching_black_cat_on_a_railing_and_cherry_blossom_trees-Hisashi-01.jpg

A Cooked Shrimp. Photo by Jinho Kim from Daejeon of Korea. CC0 Public Domain. via-  http://pixabay.com/en/shrimp-cooking-food-seafood-489648/



02. Walked in, Wheeled Out: Sudden Onset of Disability

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I walked into a hospital
in a hot summer afternoon in February, 2004,
for a biopsy operation on a spinal cord tumour.

The Neurosurgeon said,
‘This is going to be a simple operation for you
because you are healthy and well.
You will be able to get out of bed tomorrow,
                       but I couldn’t
leave the hospital three days later,
                       I didn’t and couldn’t
and return to work a month from now.’
                       I never did

Three months later,
I wheeled myself out of
the rehabilitation ward of another hospital.
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1024px-006351_-_Zahara_de_los_Atunes_(7426899582)

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Zahara de los Atunes, Provincia de Cádiz, Andalucía, España.
Photo by M Peinado, Spain. CCA 2.0 Generic License, via – 
 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:006351_-_Zahara_de_los_Atunes_%287426899582%29.jpg