The Good, The Bad and the Reality
Monday, August 24, 2009
For six weeks I’ve been unable to put weight on my right leg without really bad pain. So I’ve been unable to walk without a limp. I’ve gone from wearing a pedometer and getting my 10,000 steps a day, to trying to get from the bedroom to the kitchen with the fewest number of steps possible.
You can imagine I ‘ve done a lot of sitting; a lot of time in my recliner with my feet up, listening to books on my ipod with my cat Rosie by my side.
I only go places I really have to go and where I can get what I need with the fewest number of steps. Getting in the car is difficult because it really hurts when I lift my right leg to get in. I’ve started backing up to the front seat, sitting, then swiveling around until I’m in position to drive. Still some pain there, but not nearly as much. I can only get in and out of the car about twice on any given trip, then I have to go home. Some days I wait for Joe to get my mail and put out my garbage so I don't have to walk to the end of the drive.
I’ve lived with chronic pain for about 7 or 8 yrs. This is the first time I’ve had pain anyone could “see”. Ususally, pain is invisible, except to me. Now I can’t walk, so it’s visible. I really don’t like that.
I’ve tried chiropractic, massage, ice, rest, and now am scheduled for MRI and Orthopedic appointments.
All this has brought me to a lot of thinking about my life. I’m big on counting my blessings and start each day that way. Now I’ve divided my paper into two columns - Good and Bad. The Good column goes on endlessly, being thankful for family, loved ones, good health, excellent blood-work, seldom ill, nice home, nice neighborhood, reliable auto, steady income which does not depend on me working ever again, many toys like HDTV, ipod, endless art supplies and books, etc.
The Bad side has only one entry - Pain.
After my last massage late one afternoon, the following day showed some improvement for the first time. I began to have an hour or two during the day when I could put weight on my leg and walk around the house without limping! Still some pain, some residual soreness, and I had to be careful not to walk too fast or over uneven ground. Next day, even better. As long as I interspersed an hour of rest in between times on my feet, I could get around a little longer, still with some pain but not enough to make me limp.
It’s so amazing how the act of putting one foot in front of the other can be such a great and wonderful thing. Pain brings you to a halt and gives you lots of time to think. I’m so grateful now for the act of walking which we usually take for granted and have added it to my morning litany of “Thank You for...”
I’ve gained about five pounds over these past six weeks of immobility. I wasn’t able to exercise much before the limping began. Once it took hold, despair set in; fear of never being able to walk again without a limp, etc. etc. The only thing I can do that feels good, when pain is bad and I’m so down, is eat. Now that’s a hard habit to break, especially after eight years of it.
But, hey, that’s why I’m here.