It's bad enough when the pain level reaches the point where every move makes you wince.
It has been a long time since I have lived in this level of pain. Eventually, the mind accepts pain as part of one's existence, and the body begins to compensate. I have gotten rather comfortable in a tilted walk...
That, however, isn't the worst part.
Sometimes, people look at me walking, and I can see them trying not to wince in sympathy...
The hardest question for me to answer is "Are you OK?"
Well, no, I'm not OK. My life is not in danger, and I am not having a medical emergency. On the other hand, I am not functioning within established parameters. A couple of Tylenol will not do anything to help me.
I have some classic moves these days. When I get out of a chair, I have the "pregnant lady push". You know, the maneuver where the hips and belly precede the rest of the body, sometimes with a supportive hand on the back... Typically, this is followed by the "old-lady-needs-a-walker waddle" where I shuffle along, gaining 6 to 8 inches each step, bent over through the hips and waist, sometimes leaning on walls, tables, or counters as I go. When I finally return to some semblance of upright, I find my right side somewhat collapsed, my left side over-stretched to compensate.
You can see the pity, pain, and sorrow in other peoples' eyes...
I was feeling particularly lithe one day as I was tacking up to ride. I thought I was on the mend! One of my fellow boarders looked at me and said, "You're still walking funny..."
Another shining example of adjusting to the imbalance and pain.
How ironic that I end the most exhilarating season I've had in years and progress to this condition of limited functionality?
I see a specialist in the morning.
I do not accept that this condition is permanent.
My goals for 2013 have not changed.
My approach might just need a little adjustment.