Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ain't No Chain Strong Enough to Hold Me

The battle rages....

I am continuing to fight the war with my insurance company. There is a battle here and a battle there. Most importantly there has been no retreat from my side. My team, composed primarily of my MD, my surgeon, his staff, and my wife, will not back down. Though, I have to admit that I have felt defeated more than once, and more than a little let down by all this.

Things were getting worse. In addition to the pain, the nerve damage was starting to increase and show in different ways. My knees started bucking out from under me. There is numbness in my thighs, and I have a general sensation of weakness in my legs. I started to get really nervous about where this was going.

It was a friend that reminded me of the things I have done, planned to do, and a lot about who I am. She said, "Maybe this is why you are an adventure ultra runner - for the mindset." I had to stop, and think. I do not believe in fate or destiny, but I do believe one can make one's own future, and that we are the sum of what we have done and the memories that we have. So, this statement hit a nerve. I thought about how this ordeal is like an ultra run. It has mental ups, it has real mental downs, and it requires unusual commitment to continue. The difference is that this ultra must be completed. I cannot stop. I cannot drop. It is simply too important. It means my life, not that I will die without it, but the life that I want, indeed must live.

Friends have given excellent suggestions that I have followed up on. It is clear, however, there are steps
that must be taken in this process. I am really only beginning.

It was true that I was stuck in a down spot. I was tired, feeling beaten up and beaten. I had a hard time believing I could go on and that there ever would be a good outcome, even if I did.

My friend's comment to me helped me rethink where I was and what I was doing. I got myself a better outlook.

About this same time came a note from my surgeon. He said to keep up fighting the insurance, but also to rest assured that I would have this surgery.


That was the other thing I needed, it appeared. A real statement that I would be OK. That my surgeon would see to it. I don't know how, but I believe him.

I felt good, and posted this to my ultra runner friends on Facebook:

"If I get through all this with the expected result, I promise to all of you that I will do extraordinary things with a working back. I must to make all this worthwhile to all those who have supported me through this ordeal.

I will make Marshall Ulrich and Lisa Bliss look like wussies! OK, no one can do that - but, I will push like never before to find my own boundaries, just has they have theirs, only to find they have no boundaries, no limits."

The responses I received were priceless. Lias wrote - "Yay! I would be just thrilled to be wussed by you! Of course you can do it!" Marsh was on a self supported circumnavigation of Death Valley, but I am sure he would say something similar.

I was ready to hit the road and do something amazing. But, I can't really do that, yet. I can continue to fight, and get the treatment I need. When that is done, look out!

"Ain't no chain strong enough to hold me.
Ain't no breeze big enough to slow me.
Never have seen a river that's too wide."
-- Clarence `Gatemouth' Brown

Oh, and since you are here, follow the link in the right side panel to see the movie I made from my Death Valley experience in 2010. That was when I earned my nickname.


"Badwater" Bill
Acton, CA

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