Monday, October 11, 2010

She's Got the Look

I love a line from the trailer of "She's Got the Look," a reality show in which long-in-the-tooth and lean-in-the-leg women over age 35 compete for a modeling contract. One 40-something runway-worthy woman gushes in the ad, "The great thing about getting older is that you no longer have fears."

Oh, really? I just want to take her aside and slap the curvy booty on her skinny body (how does she do that?) and say, "Oh, honey, the fears don't go away. You just learn to confront them."

And let me tell you, the show is designed to make the leggy lovelies crack under the pressure of extreme fear, whether it's heights or depths (under water) or something in between. These women quickly learn how to produce a cover-girl shot even though they want to pee their pants.

I have to admit, I haven't felt that kind of head-spinning, stomach-churning fear in a long time. That is, until my physical therapist tried to teach me to climb the stairs. As I watched him demonstrate how to lead with my strong left foot, I felt sick to my stomach. I could feel the fight-or-flight adrenalin surging through my body. My pulse raced and my sweat glands went into overdrive.

I remembered my unsolicited advice to the potential supermodel: ". . . just learn to confront them." I put aside my fears and attempted the left-foot-lead technique, but felt my head spin. "Can we go now? I feel dizzy" I whimpered.

As I used my walker to navigate back to the room, I still felt dizzy and requested a wheelchair.

It's a good thing I'm not a contestant on She's Got the Look. For sure I would have gotten the axe.


Nancy said...

Hi Susan, Wish I can help. Please call if you need anything. I mean ANYTHING!!! BTW, what hospital are you in or are you home now? COH??? love ya... recover quickly... nancy

Anonymous said...

Hey Susan,

It's the small steps that count. Just a little at at time, as long as you're making progress...don't be too hard on yourself:)

Lisa C.

Petrea said...

You're on your feet already?!? That is amazing. Amazing. My god, you're doing fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Trish said...

slow and steady wins the race. when I got into OT for my hand, I had trouble moving my thumb and finger at all. I couldn't move either one without breathing hard and wincing.

Now I'm making a fist, moving those digits fairly well (and when provoked, giving a 1 finger salute when required). None of those things could I do when I started post-op, all of which I wasn't sure I'd ever do again. Time and patience and a little faith.

Fear is natural, or you'd be skateboarding down Lake by now! ;-)

Somewhere, someone must still carry the t-shirts "Over 30, SOME fear".

Ann said...

Susan, I wish I lived closer so I could lend a hand. You are one tough woman!

Marc said...

and I thought I had problems.

Last night I went to bed at 8 PM, and finally managed to drag myself out of bed at 4:40 AM this morning. (I could have slept a lot longer.)

Now all I have to do is muster up enough energy to make breakfast, and then go for a bike in an hour.

I just don't know if I'm up for this %*&^ anymore. [BIG SIGH]

Sorry for venting here Susan, but I couldn't help myself. Once I got started.........

Karen said...

He's already got you climbing stairs?! Wow, that seems awfully quick, considering you basically just got home from the hospital.

Take it slow, baby steps. Sometimes we need to trust our instincts and realize when we're really frightened it's because that thing is not good for us - at least for the moment.

Jean Spitzer said...

Oh, my. I hope it gets easier soon.

Susan C said...

Nancy, thanks. I know you mean it.

Lisa, I'm now making great progress, one step at a time.

Petrea,I'm very fortunate to be a "youngster." Healing really is faster.

Trish, I was once fearless, but kept ending up in ERs.

Ann, thanks, it takes a tough cookie to know one.

Marc, vent away!

Karen, it's a fine line sometimes between giving in to and conquering our fears. But, you're right. Timing is everything.

Jean, thanks.