Yesterday I had to run errands. First I stopped at the tire place and asked if they could break the locks (or whatever they have to do) off my back tires, lest I get a flat tire and it can’t be changed.
I’m still in the boot. I’m in pain when standing or walking. Or pressing the gas or brake in my car. I knew I couldn’t sit there with my foot not elevated for two hours.
So I went to get groceries. Upon leaving the store, I was idling behind an SUV that seemed to take an interminably long time to ease out into traffic. I’m sure time seems to yawn when your boot is pressing the brake and your stretched-out foot is screaming for you to let it go.
I finally hit my horn once.
The guy got out of his car and came to my window. He didn’t look scary. He looked like Robert Redford in khakis.
But when things like that happen, you tense up, wondering what will happen next.
He tersely asked me if his tail light was out. He was wound up like a top, I could see that. I told him no, I was in pain.
He said he would move when it was safe to do so. And walked back to his vehicle.
A couple was killed here some months ago for doing what I did. So I guess I’ll have to leave my horn untouched.
When you’re in pain, as many of you know, you tend to breathe more heavily. Your lips get dry and you constantly lick them. You aren’t thinking as straight as you otherwise would, because pain takes precedence over everything.
Chronic pain is debilitating. I don’t take medicine for it because there’s no way I’m going to take pain pills on a daily basis.
They guy next door is having back surgery next week to have most of his spine fused. He stays in bed 18 out of 24 hours each day, he told me.
I strive hard not to end up in that position. I will not let pain win.
I want so badly to get the bathroom into shape. And I know, if the pain would let up for a reasonable amount of time, its frantic hold on me would lessen and I would get back to doing what I need to do. Or at least attempt to.
Spring sits just a few months down the road. Every year at this juncture, my mind is giddy with the prospect of getting outside and working in my gardens.
I fear with the continued strain on my ankle, some of the joy I feel when working in the dirt might get postponed.
I guess that scares me.
Hell yes it scares me. I am a gardener. And a gardener gardens.
Age is time passing. Arthritis comes with age and scar tissue.
Arthritis steals your mobility. And pain is your nemesis.
And the cycle goes round and round.
After the guy finally moved on out into traffic, I burst into tears. I had willed myself not to. But I guess I was due a little crying jag.
I was angry, but not at him.
But at things you cannot change.
Well, maybe I was a little frustrated when I saw him walking so easily. Maybe I was a little jealous, I’ll admit.
My brain says get out there and dance in the rain. And my body stares at my brain like it’s crazy and says: “I cannot dance in the rain like I once could.”
I live alone and there are things I simply must get done. And so I just have to suck it up and do it whether my ankle agrees or not.
I am not the only person with pain. Of course I’m not. My pain stacks up to everyone else’s pain and we are equals.
I sometimes think I have the energy level I had at twenty. But my body will soon be sixty. And it is getting tired.
I look at my youth and realize how precious were those days of having an able body that could run against the wind.
One that could dance in the rain and feel no pain.
I had no idea that there would come a time when I would sit on the sidelines, my brain raring to go. But my body simply couldn’t keep up.
The pupsters are aging as well. They limp and shuffle and look up at me as if to say: “In my head I’m just a puppy.”
I don’t let myself dwell on things very long. I push through the constraints and move on. Because I didn’t want to get to my last errand of the day and have the pharmacist see my reddened face.
I have to remind myself that there was a time when my body was nimble, but I was living with someone I no longer loved. And that’s the loneliest of feelings.
I have to remind myself that the sun came up every day, but for quite some time I did not feel joy. I felt defeat.
I have to remember that time seemed to stand still, because every day in that situation seemed like an eternity.
I must not think about what I can’t do. But remember to be grateful for what I can do.
Life goes on. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll dance in the rain once again.