I miss walking.
Sounds strange when I say it that way. As though I am stuck in a wheelchair and cannot get out. Or perhaps a quadriplegic with no movement in my limbs. Thankfully, I am neither of those things and I feel deeply for those who are. It must be hard knowing you can never use your legs again. The thing is, I can relate. Not in the way that I can never use my limbs again. Yet. But more or less in the way that prevents me from using them the way I used to be able to, and the way I wish I could again.
When I was younger, I walked everywhere. No lie. Sometimes I had a car, and other times I did not. At the time it didn’t really matter though. If there was somewhere I needed to be and did not have wheels, I simply walked. There was no place too far or out of my reach. I threw on my walking shoes and away I went. Simple. Admittedly I overdid it from time to time and walked entirely too far, and found myself hurting for it later. The point was though, that I could walk.
I took it for granted.
Now, due to health issues and weight gain, I can barely move. It hurts. All the time. ALL THE FRICKIN’ TIME. The barest of movement causes me pain for days. I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes at a time without severe back and leg nerve pain. Walking from one end of the house to the other might as well be a 5-mile trek. I’m left out of breath and praying for the nearest chair. Grocery shopping, or shopping of any kind for that matter? Forget about it. You will find me hunched over the cart looking like I am 90 years old and depending on that cart for my very life. Who knows. Maybe I am.
So I will say it again. I miss walking. The feeling of freedom. Of being able to do the simplest of things without fearing death from them. I realize that unlike the quad I mentioned early, my legs do still work. To someone in that situation, they would probably be very angry at me and tell me that I am wasting the miracle of having working legs at all. In that, they’d be 100% correct. The thing is… the thing that no one seems to understand. Not my doctors… not people I try explaining it to… not anyone really… is that it HURTS. It’s not minor pain you can push through and feel accomplished about. It is pure, hardcore nerve pain and muscle weakness. There are times when I go to take a step and a sharp pain will shoot from knee to thigh, while I hear a cracking sound, and my leg just bends and gives out on me, as I scream out in sudden shock and pain, scrambling to grab onto something before I fall. Each and every time I swear to the heavens that my leg just broke for no reason, and of course I am thankfully always wrong. Still… it makes it near impossible to simply “push through the pain” and “be thankful” that I can still walk because technically, I really can’t.
My girls are always wanting to visit the zoo or the aquarium. I can’t. Oh sure, I can always rent one of those little motor scooter deals and ride around. The trouble with that is that my pride gets in the way. I am entirely too young to be riding one of those things. People stare. I don’t like being stared at. I am very self-conscious. So I end up disappointing my children.
I ashamed that my life has come to this. I. Miss. Walking.