When someone sees me and says, “You’re getting around so well!” I must confess that, although I know they are celebrating my progress, there is a part of me that gets angry. I generally smile, and say “thanks,” but I am often thinking about the price that getting around costs me. It is painful and exhausting.
I used to tell myself that I was selfish for feeling this way. Then my counselor told me that part of why my anxiety has become so powerful is because I am not allowing myself to simply feel what I am feeling without judging myself, hence my decision to be more “transparent” here.
Every morning I wake up and struggle to get out of bed. I attend physical therapy 3 days a week. Some of those days I am in a lot of pain before I get there. Other days, the pain is a result of the therapy. If I feel good and my pain is minimal, more pain will come later as a result of doing too much (which might be as little as a trip to the grocery store).
As I read my writing, I realize it seems I am ungrateful for my ability to walk. Then I feel guilty, and the cycle begins. But my purpose for writing this is to be honest, so I have to admit that I am pissed.
I am pissed that the Color Run is this weekend, and I cannot participate. I am pissed because I used to walk or run for an hour every morning and I cannot do that either. I am pissed because I have a trampoline that I can’t use. I am pissed because it hurts to walk for more than a few minutes. I’m pissed because the people in my arthritis H20 class are 20 to 30 years older than I am and can kick my butt. I’m pissed because I can’t ride my bicycle, much less my motorcycle. And I’m pissed because I’m pissed.
I have always been able to see the bright side of things. I certainly see the bright side here as well, but the dark side is impossible to ignore. Yes, I can walk, but my hips won’t rotate correctly, so my hips, legs, and back hurt. Yes, I can get around, but I can’t Zumba or do any of the other fun physical activities I love so much. Yes, I survived, but there are constant reminders of the trauma and I wear many of them.