Getting used to leveling off

I said I could walk without pain. I was a bit premature.

It still hurts. Not all the time, but sometimes. And I hate it. I still have this crazed idea that I want my remission to be not remission but a cure. Complete and downright. And of course I have to absorb the fact that is not going to happen.

One of the ugliest parts of chronic illness is that any brief reprieve sets itself in the brain as a total cure. A doctor tells me, however, that neuropathy doesn’t end. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The most anyone can hope for is–you guessed it–a temporary reprieve. And with the return of neuropathy comes a sense of despair. It is so easy to be ungrateful, to feel not joy in the moments of relief but angry that they faded after only a few days. What strange creatures we all are, we who live with chronic pain. We live between the assaults on our bodies. Sometimes that feels like trying to remain dry by running between raindrops during a storm.

But I don’t view myself with a significant choice. It’s not a matter of whether or not I choose to exercise myself. It’s more like how far I will talk; because the one thing fixed firmly before me is the knowledge that I shall walk because I can walk.

The mechanism, the rhythm, of disability is a fascinating topic all on its own; and to that I shall return. For now, for tonight, I will be satisfied.


About Ken Wolman

Sit still, shut up, and listen. We might both learn something.
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