Look painful? It is.
I’d been sick for weeks. After I crawled out of that abyss, I regained confidence. Too much, I’d say.
Remember that glorious feeling you get when the dimness of sickness leaves your body? I remember it, but it no longer touches me. Still—there is a glimmer. The memory touches me. But Multiple Sclerosis is always with me. It tamps down that memory. I ascend from the depths of illness only to be reminded that my body doesn’t work right. I figure it operates on the level of a seventy-five+-year-old. It galls me.
Stories grab me, and I had an idea on which I wanted to follow-up. I got ready and took off. I needed pictures and conversation. And needed to absorb some of the revelries. Bad idea? It seems so. But I needed a departure from my difficulties. But it’s like having a five-year-old child gripping your hand. I cannot leave my illness behind.
On my way home, I lost focus on my feet. I had this impetus driving me Home—Home… Really a bad strategy. My ankle reminded me it was there by buckling. I regained my focus on my feet too late. I realized if I didn’t succumb to my ankle’s demands, I could at most break it or at least get myself a severe sprain. I accommodated my ankle. I fell like a tree being cut down in a forest. I’d like to say my mind murmured, “Ti-i-i-imber,” but I don’t remember.
Worst still, I fell onto the asphalt on the street. I lay there like a fish out of water while cars drove around me. It was disheartening.
A woman and her daughter finally blocked traffic, ensuring I didn’t get run over. I was semi-grateful. The thought of being run over would have put an end to my problems. Plus I was embarrassed and ashamed that my foot had betrayed me.
Another car stopped, and the daughter and a man lifted me to my feet. I heard the mother yelling at her adolescent daughter, “Don’t touch her!” But the daughter ignored her mother urgings. I was back on my feet in no time.
The woman approached, telling me she was a nurse.
“I have Multiple Sclerosis,” I said, striving to assure Mom I was not contagious. I halted the verbalization of the thought The dead don’t want to die.
I looked at their vehicle and knew these people would give me a ride home if I desired. But the drive to get home overtook me, and I indicated it was not far, and I could make it on my own.
I’m shaking my head at myself now. I’m too damn stubborn. My determination emanated from me, and they left me on my own after many thanks.
Well—I made it, thinking of how I would pay for my fall later. I figured I’d have until the next day, but the glow of pain caught up with me too quickly. I did my story and went to bed.
That was a Saturday. It was Tuesday before I finally dragged myself to the doctor. The Physicians Assistant did a rather cursory examination and directed me to X-ray.
“How far is it?” I said.
“It’s just upstairs. Down the hall, up the elevator to the fifth floor.”
People often do not get the difficulties of being disabled, but I was surprised to find this demeanor in a PA. I faced the horror of the long hallway, making my way one step at a time. When I finally got to the fifth floor, X-ray was forever down another long hall. I was like that choo-choo train, murmuring in my head, I think I can. I think I can. I know I can. I did. One foot in front of the other. Step by step.
X-ray showed I have at least one cracked rib. They did not X-ray the ribs under my arm, and I suspect there’s a crack or two there.
I knew I had reached the point where I could not take care of myself, and I requested rehab. My request was denied. I went home, climbed into bed for four days, canceling everything that required I make the stairs. I am on the third floor. All that walking to X-ray had caused my hip to explode with pain, and I knew I had hurt it in the fall. There was no way I could make it back to the doctors. They called to check on me, and I felt guilty that I could not feed myself. I healed enough in about five days to do more than what was necessary.
The moral of this story? Hey—the disabled are disabled. Sucks, but true. I keep warding off that Sucks to be me lament. This is all I got, and I appreciate what I’m still able to do.
Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen
https://medium.com/@joycebowenAbout the Author: Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker. Inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org