Weathering the storm

When the storm hit, I had been awake for an hour clutching my artificial knee in which an angry nerve protested my pushing its limits by stepping a mere 10 minutes, twice-a-day, on my new stepper.

In the last three weeks, I’ve increased the number of steps that I can attain in that ten minutes by about 10%.  At some point, I will increase the tension in the machine to force myself to work harder; then increase the number of minutes; the number of steps; the tension — and so forth.

The road back to my ten-pounds-lighter self poses unique challenges for me.  I navigate the spasticity, the broken artificial knee with its imbedded scar tissue and jangled nerves, my awkward balance, and asthma.  But I’m not complaining:  I have two legs at the end of which two feet can push down, however clumsily, however strenuous the task might seem.  I can walk, therefore, I do.

I rose from the bed as the storm raged around the Holmes house.  The only way to unclench a frozen malfunctioning artificial joint that I have found is movement.  I did not reach for my glasses or turn on the light.  I simply paced.  The wind howled.  The rain pelted.  The streetlights flickered. And I walked.

Though the cursed knee hurts, and my legs ache, I won’t complain.  My legs always hurt and I don’t take pain medication any more, so I’m back to the level of pain that I experienced as a young girl, before the doctors started me down the long road to prescription pain dependency.

I remember writing once:

I used to think the pain in my legs from this damned spasticity surpassed all other pain.  And then I got hit by a car and suffered 32 breaks in my right leg.  Then for a few years, I thought the pain of an unsplinted crushed leg must surpass all other pain.  And then I watched my mother die a long, slow death from metasticized cancer that crept into her bones and attacked her brain.

Then I knew that I had light years to go before I experienced the worst pain imaginable.

Eventually, the storm subsided and I fell back into a heavy sleep.  I woke this morning to the feeling of a soft breeze through the open window.  I tested my knee with a gentle motion.  It moved.  The pain had calmed.  The nerve had been released and only protested with a feeble whimper.  I heard the dog grousing to be let out.  Birds twittered in the neighbor’s tree.  I rose and began my day.

It’s the twenty-sixth day of the twenty-ninth month of My Year Without Complaining.  I’ve weathered another storm and life continues.


2 thoughts on “Weathering the storm

  1. Linda Overton

    Thank you for this post. I had a pain in my left knee on Monday. I told my friend I hoped it was a ten because I didn’t think I could stand anything worse, you have reminded me that it is possible to get through as long as you keep moving. Therefore that is what I will do also.

  2. Cindy Cieplik

    Dear Corinne~Thinking about you often…so wish your pain would subside a lot! You are amazing….what you push through to continue making significant contributions every day. I admire your strength!
    Always cheering for you~


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