Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Hello from the Underworld.
Let's talk about mobility and perception. If you know me personally, you probably know I've had difficulty walking for quite some time now. I have synovitis in my right leg due to Lupus and it has lost both strength and flexibility that I cannot seem to regain. My right knee is very stiff and fills up with fluid (it's been drained numerous times by both orthopedists and my rheumatologist). Some days, it can hardly bend at all. I've been through a long stretch of PT that seemed to help temporarily, only to be followed by yet another flare up, despite a decrease in overall systemic inflammation. It's a drag.
So I finally got a walking cane, as pictured above with the lovely silver scrollwork design, because GLAMOUR, baby.
Does it help? Most definitely. It takes the weight and pressure off my janky leg and helps me walk with less pain.
Do I use it often? Eh.... I feel too self-conscious to take it to work. I use it to get around when I go out sometimes, especially if I will be doing a fair amount of walking. It helps me get around the house on a bad pain day, too. But work, where I probably need it the most? So awkward. I don't want to be perceived as too "impaired" for my job, for which I already have restrictions. So I limp and wobble around and suffer, which I know is dumb.
I've been on my feet (on and off) for six days in a row, five of them work days and I'm in a significant amount of pain. My body can't manage the levels of activity I'm trying to squeeeeeeeeze out of it.
I'm trying to talk myself into taking it to work if I need it. My cane even folds up and fits in a carry bag. But I know I'm going to get a shitstorm of unwanted interactions and questions and I just don't want to deal with the excessive interest I'm likely to get from co-workers, many of whom already comment almost daily on my gait or how I look, etc... Or what's worse, the looks of pity, which are totally gross. I mean sure, it sucks...but don't look at me like I make you sad. UGH.
Ultimately, I need to do what's best for me and my health. Still, I just don't want to deal with the perception of being sick, being damaged. But my body isn't giving me much of a choice sometimes. It's getting incredibly hard to walk and with each active day it gets just a bit harder.
Currently seeking: the mindset to do what needs to be done and take the damn walking cane to work with me.
Currently watching: Person of Interest (obsessed!) and Banshee (intrigued.)
Currently reading: The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman
Current culinary obsession: more often than not I drink milkshakes for dinner because Gastroparesis sucks.