I've been thinking . . . hang on . . . I need a drink. I'll be right back . . .
Mmm juice. So, I've been thinking that getting up and going to the fridge, or the bathroom for that matter, is something I definitely take for granted. Every time I move between rooms, run out on a quick errand, run around with the great kids I get to play with through my church, etc., I've thought about the bed rest study and how I won't be able to do any of those things for 4 months, esp. when I'm on the 90 days of strict bed rest.
Then I got to thinking about all of the people I've known who have had to live with some form of mobility problems on a day to day basis. Whether it's a broken back, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or amputation; challenges like these that require assistance, a slower lifestyle, or absolute dependence on someone else are so foreign to the vast majority of young, healthy people. We might be kind to the elderly or physically disabled around us in our little worlds. We might even have a relative who we've helped in some form or fashion, but I don't imagine that anyone really knows what life is like being bed-bound unless you've experienced it yourself or been beside a family member who needed you for the most basic human functions.
I don't pretend that the NASA study will teach me what the elderly or physically disabled go through. I don't pretend to believe that I will be able to do more than empathize with more compassion and patience in the end, but I hope that through this adventure that I am volunteering for I can expand my vision of the world around me and increase the gratitude that I have for what the human body can do. I imagine, too, that my desire to support medical research for anyone with a physically debilitating condition will grow. I hope so.