My New Brace

Full-leg_BraceYesterday I was fitted for my new full-length leg brace. Although it was held together with makeshift parts, I went for a walk to test it out. The odd thing was that I LIKED it. Sure, it made clicks every time I took a step, and, yes, I did walk with even more of a limp. It may, also, not fit under some of my slacks. All of that, and more, is true. However, what is also true is that my knee could not buckle when I had the new brace on! What a relief!

I have not had a full leg brace since I was eight, as I quickly outgrew the need for them post Polio. Returning to a full bracing is a strange experience, a going back in time and emotional memory that is more than a little unnerving. Like much that arises from Post Polio Syndrome, I find myself firmly situated both in the present and the past. Perhaps this awareness of the confluence of past and present is the human condition, a state we seek to mitigate through art and meditation.

It seems to me, based on experience, conversation, and reading, that many Indigenous people share my experience of the present as filled to the brim with myth, history, and Ancestors, all very much alive and shaping this very moment. Epochs overlap, forming compression, amalgams, and concretions, supporting metaphors based in the geological. I believe those fuzzy memories of full-leg braces, the ones that seem half-visual and half-kinesthetic, occupy a more immediate ground that also troubles the personal. Still, there is an undercurrent of hope running through the jumble of emotions, memories, and sensations, and the distinct possibility that regression will indeed be in the service of life and healing. We shall see.

23 thoughts on “My New Brace

  1. …”the distinct possibility that regression will indeed be in the service of life and healing”.

    This is a beautiful and succinct way to put these experiences. It’s what I wonder about what I am going through at this time with my own health and an emotional/heart issue, along with various issues for other friends. I feel it is all connected, but I now work to see those connections within the moments.

    All the best for you, Michael.

    1. Thank you! I awoke early this morning, flooded by layers of emotion and sensation, a moment of connection to something on the edge of awareness. Perhaps a gift of aging is the growing capacity to let the moment fill with complexity and story. I home I can be with friends in a way that nurtures such moments. Our bodies and hearts are so resilient and strong, and so very fragile, and there is such need for gentle holding.

  2. Congrats Michael!
    Anything that will help keep you mobile I’m all for. I’m sure you can deal with all the rest of the mishagas: cultural, psychological, etc.
    Keep on posting!

    1. Hi Charlie, I will find out whether I can manage the mishagas. Last night I awoke with a flashback. Very complex set of emotions and kinesthetic memories. I am appreciative of the recollections, of recovering the layers to the stories. Makes for a good deal of added richness. Are you on Killarney?

  3. I’m glad you’re finding some relief from the new brace Michael. I actually had a hip brace when I was very small as I had what was called ‘clicking hips’ at the time, where the hips kept coming out of their sockets. I don’t remember wearing the brace, though I have photos and some stories about how I used to use the brace to help me sneak out of my cot at night!

  4. I hope that you can revisit some of the wonder and curiosity of that 8 year old you. Also, super heros add equipment as they progress. My prayer is that you find this is an adding on, not letting go.

    1. Thank you, Janelle. I do have moments of that boy’s wonder and excitement. I also experience his terror and consternation. Sometimes it is all here at once! It is all accrual, even as there are losses.

  5. I really get that feeling of layers and waves of the past merging into and through the present Michael. Some places and events highlight or enhance it for me, and I suspect that memories with strong emotions attached pull in extra threads to the present. We are after all built on everything which has already passed✨ Good luck with the new brace💕

    1. Naomi, I am reminded by everyone involved that this brace is an experiment. I, too, hope it proves to be a success. Over the past ten years I have learned to allow experiments.Some work better than others!

  6. Dear Michael, I wish you the very best with your new brace and i know it takes courage, wit and wisdom to re-live the past and accept the present. There is no doubt in my heart that you have those in ample measure. I wish you more.

    Just got out of a difficult, torturous phase of ‘renewal’ due to sudden unexpected burnout. Will talk about it with you soon, but it was a great experience with much connections from the past and the underworld, that got together and the dots connected like never before- a whole world opened out. I remembered your wise guidance that sometimes we just need to know what we know already. It made sense with a renewed light. wish you much, this new year- please accept my greetings.

    1. Dear Patreeksha,

      It is good to hear from you.Reading your note I am reminded that so often our lives take unexpected turns, and we find ourselves once again in uncharted waters. I look forward to hearing more about your recent experiences.

      1. Dear Micheal thank you, and I do hope to connect with you. My internet is in dire straits these days for the last several month. Earlier I was unwell and now the net is down for voice calling. I suspect it is a ploy of the service providing company to coerce me to buy the new plan that they are coming out with. I am not giving in to them as yet, but I dunno for how long. Please bear with me for calls I have tried to connect with you, and failed to! Greetings from goa once again.

  7. I’m happy to read about your new brace Michael. I hope that will bring you much joy to get more mobility, than you have had for some years. I do understand that you also will experience kinesthetic memory, which can be tough to re-experience. I hope, that you will find it worth anyway.

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