In the cinematic masterpiece “What About Bob?” Bob Wiley (played by Bill Murray) a lovable but plagued character, seeks help from a tightly wound therapist, Dr Leo Marvin (played by Richard Dryfus). Before going on his ill fated vacation, Dr Marvin gives Bob the advice of taking baby steps in the following scene.
Bob: Baby steps?
Dr. Marvin: It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time, one tiny step at a time.
Bob: Baby steps.
Dr. Marvin: For instance, when you leave this office, don’t think about everything you have to do to get out of the building, just think of what you must do to get out of this room. And when you get to the hall, deal with that hall. And so forth. You see?
Bob: Baby steps… Baby steps… Oh boy! Baby steps… Baby steps… Baby steps through the office. Baby steps out the door. It worked! It works! All I have to do is take one little step at the time and I can do anything.
I’ve been thinking a lot about baby steps this week. Our culture rarely appreciates or celebrates the small steps in life. We often measure progress by leaps and bounds. We like milestones and measurable, noteworthy accomplishments. We celebrate the big wins and tend to minimize the less flashy, slow and steady progress. We want to see big results, fast!
Enter Mold Toxicity to teach yet another lesson.
When treatment will last 9 months to two years, the 6 week point isn’t exactly monumental. But I am noticing small wins.
- I don’t need a nap every day. Sometimes it’s just a rest. Sometimes it’s nothing at all.
- I can do my hair without major rest breaks for my arms most days.
- I’ve taken a few walks around the block before my legs said nope. And it didn’t end in tears!
- I don’t always have to sit down to put pants or socks on. Rebounding is helping my formerly impeccable balance slowly return!
- I can stay awake past 9pm! (when i want to)
- Round two of antifungals didn’t totally knock me out like round one.
Small victories? For sure! But victories nonetheless. Less sleeping means more time feeling human. Being able to do something as simple as my hair without rest breaks signals big progress. While walking around the block wasn’t an option in February, now my neighbors can stop wondering if I’m a hermit. Getting dressed like I used to makes me feel a little less infirmed. And while I’m not looking forward to round three of the antifungal, I am now hopeful that it’ll get easier every time.
It’s these incremental baby steps that keep me going. Detoxing mold is hard. This treatment schedule is all consuming. My morning treatment activities usually mean I’m worn out in the afternoon. In the words of one of my favorite podcasters, Nora McInerny, I’m not exactly thriving. But seeing small steps in the right direction means I can keep going. It’s working. Even if it’s painfully slow.
While I’m moving in the right direction, the progress line sure is a little more curvy than I’d prefer. One day last week, I felt up to running errands and seeing friends (yay!). The next day, I got overheated in my epsom salt bath, nearly passed out in the shower, and had a little soaking wet “rest time” on the bathroom floor (ugh!). On Monday, my doctor and my mom both commented that they could hear the dense fog beginning to lift in my voice (woohoo!). But the next day I got test results that the sinus treatment I’d been doing isn’t strong enough for the fungi that’s colonized there and I have to start over with a whole new protocol (bleh!). There are a million ups and downs like this in each week and sometimes in each day. Little victories are often met with matching setbacks but the final scale is showing enough tiny bits of progress that I can keep pushing in the right direction.
Baby steps… the idea is just so accurate. Toddlers, even though they can walk, fall down ALL the time. And there are usually adoring adults around to clap and celebrate each tiny step, politely ignoring the many times babies fall or just choose to sit and take a minute before getting back up. We humans don’t start walking one day and run marathons the next. There’s a lot of wobbling and falling before we get it right. And, there’s a lot of proud, celebratory moments in between. Progress isn’t linear in most things, but when it comes to health, we are so accustomed to taking a pill for a problem and having symptoms disappear. Real health journeys that address root causes look more like a twisty, winding road filled with ups and downs. Addressing the real issue behind the symptoms is rarely cut and dry and is hardly ever a clear line from problem to solution. But the ups help me know I’m on the right path, even if it is curvy and filled with potholes.
So as I baby step, wobble, and fall toward the goal, I’ll celebrate the small victories along the way like a baby learning to toddle. And as our character Bob said “All I have to do is take one little step at the time and I can do anything!”
How can you help?
- There are lots of products I need that can be gifted. Check out the amazon wish list here.
- Send me fun hobby ideas or your best obscure streaming show.
- Send me your best book recommendations or loan me your favorites.
- And of course, I welcome hilarious jokes, memes, or stories from your life. I hope friends will keep me laughing. Tell me what’s happening in your world! Don’t expect a call back – just know I’m deeply grateful to be connected to you.
One thought on “baby steps”
Oh, Kim… These sound like major steps to me! Now that’s progress! Way to go…..
You continue to be on my prayer list …. Thanks for sending out your updates!
Day by day….