Walk This Way

I visited my surrogate granddaughter in Arizona a few years back, when she was just learning to walk. She was so cute and so excited to be staggering from one solid point to grasp on to another solid point while everyone cheered her on. I was right there laughing and clapping along until I got up to use the restroom and realized I walked exactly like her. From the couch I grabbed the bookcase, then the wall, then the door frame. If there had been no solid surface, I would have thumped onto my ass just like her.

Lucky for her, she’s now as agile as a monkey. She leaps over chairs, climbs over couches, and skips and hops and somersaults her way through the house and her life.

Me on the other hand… I’m leaving handprints on all the door frames and walls of my house as my walking gets more jerky by the day. I’m leaving a trail of juice box drips on every available surface (except my sippy cup holds wine : – ) .

I’m not gonna lie (I love that expression ~ the converse being “I’m gonna lie”), I’m pretty sick of not being able to walk. The level of frustration is intense on the forefront, yet with a subtle and ever present “hallelujah, I least I can sorta of walk!” backdrop.

That’s a funny thing about MS (and I imagine all progressive conditions). Adapting and dealing with any kind of issues forces you to stare down the barrel of the obvious: it could be (and most likely will be) much worse. So you end up thankful that you can limp, hobble, stagger, mobilize in any goofy, not pretty fashion. Check me out! I didn’t face plant! I only knocked that plant to the floor when I crashed into the table and bruised my thigh. Win!

I end up feeling ungrateful and entitled when bemoaning the good ol’ days of hiking, dancing, standing, walking. Geez, what a spoiled brat! Oooohhh….you want your ability back? Don’t you realize other people have it worse? Reminds me of being told to eat your spinach ~ there’s children starving Africa.

This dilemma is one of those that never crossed my mind when I was more able. Why would it? I believe it is reserved for the chronically challenged (albeit available to all, given pause) and ultimately hard to come to terms with. Be that as it may, I’m mad/happy/pissed/joyous/resolved/terrified that I can move from room to room with my walker. You know, learn to walk before you crawl.

 

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4 thoughts on “Walk This Way

  1. When diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, I was (raging) at my babies’ pediatrician about the horror of it. His (flippant?) consolation was that “it could be much worse”. I fired back that “it could also be someone else!”
    (Over all the ensuing years, I haven’t yet met the person I would have “given” my cancer to – and glad of it. Who wants to live with that hate?)
    But still, I know I am lucky not to have reoccurances, lucky breast cancer is not progressive, lucky I can walk.
    I love you. I think of you almost every day. Stay “lucky”.

  2. Loved this entry — except for one thing. You don’t need to shame yourself for grieving your loss of mobility. “Other people have it worse” means that in your head, you’re comparing your suffering with someone else’s and are not giving yourself permission to feel your very valid feelings. You deserve more compassion than that, fellow ass-kicker. <3

  3. When diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, I was (raging) at my babies’ pediatrician about the horror of it. His (flippant?) consolation was that “it could be much worse”. I fired back that “it could also be someone else!”
    (Over all the ensuing years, I haven’t yet met the person I would have “given” my cancer to – and glad of it. Who wants to live with that hate?)
    But still, I know I am lucky not to have reoccurances, lucky breast cancer is not progressive, lucky I can walk.
    I love you. I think of you every day. Stay “lucky”.

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