Nancy was told that she would most likely loose the use of her legs by this time next year. She could hardly make out the words that were coming out of her doctor's mouth. He continued talking to her but she couldn't hear him over the loud ringing in her ears. She was certain everyone else could hear it too, but for some reason they weren't reacting to it. Nancy's eyes darted back and forth between the doctor and her daughter. She was making herself dizzy. "Who's dimming the lights", she thought to herself and as she got up out of her seat to escape the noise and confusion her daughter tried to catch her before she collapsed to the ground.
It was the second time in two days that Nancy had fallen.
Sometimes the hardest part about being with people is trying to navigate their reactions to your fall.
Nancy had asked her family to gather at her home the Saturday after she received the news from her doctor. She told them that she had been diagnosed with a rare form of late onset poliovirus. The virus had been developing in her left thigh for quite some time and her recent fall at the diner had forced her to deal with the lingering pain. At this point paralysis was inevitable.
After a long while of hugging and crying with each other, the family slowly walked out to their cars. Nancy stayed at the front door -holding it open with her one hand and giving out reassuring waves with the other one. As the last car backed out of the driveway Nancy closed the front door. She remarked to herself that this simple act of closing the door had more significance than ever before. It was as if Nancy was closing the door on a certain way of life.
Things would be different now.
Nancy was no longer in charge of her life.
Now she was scrambling.