Stepping Out With Rambo & Rocky

Rocky

John J. Rambo: “…There isn’t one of us that doesn’t want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something…”

Rambo

Rocky Balboa: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

During the 80’s I was enthralled by Sylvestor Stallone’s cinematic underdog heroes, John Rambo and Rocky Balboa.  Gutsy determination fueled by “a burning heart” were characteristics of both men challenged with insurmountable obstacles in facing formidable adversaries.  (Add my female appreciation for Sly’s rippling male muscles.)

Diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, my life became a grueling challenge in facing an undefeatable foe.  Appreciation for rippling muscles has become a paralyzing dread.  SPS can hijack my body in uncontrollable waves of painful muscle spasm.   “You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life.”  My life is a war, each day a boxing match–Rambo and Rocky, symbolic of living with Stiff Person Syndrome.   “It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

With a typical female mindset, I have a wardrobe of gait aids to accessorize activity with ability.  Rocky and Rambo are my two machismo escorts.  Rambo, aptly decked in camouflage, is my battle comrade for the mall, our war zone.   With my SPS hijacked perceptions, Rambo helps guide me through the minefield of syndrome angst camouflaged as a “normal” shopper.  Packing my artillery of emergency medications, I anticipate possible sniper fire. (Trigger-induced stimulus for symptom attack.)

Rocky is my caddy, companion, and gait aid.   He fits in when I go to the gym carrying my “life support” of medication, cell phone, emergency contact info, snacks for sugar hypos, & glucometer…a Rambo camouflage.  Within the familiar boundaries of the gym, I have become lax in my agoraphobic training of walking “out there.”

Stiff Person Syndrome continually holds my perceptions hostage, creating a possible red alert reaction of symptom overdrive…an Exorcist muscle implosion of Twist & Shout.  A survival mode of fear and avoidance kicks in, further surrendering me to SPS.  Time to reschedule workout training for solo walking against Stiff Person Syndrome assault.

For my first match…

1) Understand my weaknesses.  With a malfunctioning neurological circuit breaker, my perceptions are on continual stimulus overload.   I am possessed with a deranged hyper-sensitivity to a breeze, the cracks in the asphalt, a barking dog, the child on an erratic bike, oncoming walkers, traffic, outside noise, speed, all sucking me into a frenzied vortex of consuming syndrome awareness…”scared stiff.”  Dazed, SPS will deliver a strong upper cut, (spasm), trapped against the ropes or knocking me to the ground.  Olay is no match for stitches, injuries or bruises.

2) Plan an offensive.  To minimize perception distractions, I chose a serene “out there” arena.  I would face my adversary when medication was at peak performance, my body in a co-operative mode.  In my ringside corner, I had a prayerful pep talk with my Heavenly Coach.

3) Commit.  Life with SPS is war, every endeavor a staggering boxing match.  Solo walking, “out there” in an asphalt arena is my chosen challenge.  I strap Rocky into Rambo, my muses, and open the front door…

There’s no easy way out…

Copyright © 2012

  

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2 thoughts on “Stepping Out With Rambo & Rocky

  1. DEAR DEBBIE…YOUR DESCRIPTION IS SO ACCURATE!!! I DO GET OUT ONCE IN AWHILE AND THE PAYBACK ALWAYS COMES…LIKE THIS WEEKEND…TAKING OUR GRAND DAUGHTER TO COLLEGE…SHE IS DRIVING SO THAT WILL STRESS ME OUT…I AM TURNING 62 AND THAT IS 12 YRS LONGER THAN I THOUGHT I HAD…SO LIFE IS GOOD…PAINFUL BUT GOOD…EVEN WITH IG AND MEDS I AM HAVING SPS SYMPTOMS AND SO I JUST RIDE IT OUT…I STAY HOME ALOT BECAUSE OF CAR HORNS AND PEOPLE BUMPING ME AND THINGS I DON’T KNOW WILL HAPPEN…BUT I AM GETTING BRAVER…WE WILL SEE HOW THE COLLEGE DRIVE GOES…I WORK REALLY HARD TO KEEP ME OUT OF THE HOSPITAL…KOVE AND PRAYERS

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