Second Wind

Sixteen months ago I was woken up. I had been asleep for four days, medically induced to get me through the first four surgeries. Aside from the impact itself, the treatment also takes a lot out of you. I felt like I had been put through the wringer, and at that time neither my doctors or I knew about my ankle, spine, or the syrinx. Someone knew about it, but they just made a note on a mri report to follow up later. I suppose they felt better telling me the three to six month story.

You could certainly say that that twenty twenty two knocked knocked the wind out of me and for the longest time didn’t seem to let me catch my breath either. This year opened with me in a Texas campground getting every step I could, as few as they were, as I was forced to walk about distances for my basic needs (who wants to walk one hundred yards to use a bathroom?) From there, finding different surfaces, slopes and terrain and seeing how far I could force my hobble. Then seeing if I could do it while standing up straight. And with.. ahh, we know the process. Yet, I didn’t then.

Muscle memory is an odd thing. My muscles have completely forgotten how to walk, or have they? I’ve been unable to walk properly, yet I have made myself move.  Without knowing the right way to learn, or re-learn, I had to find my own way- I just had to keep moving. And that approach, for the most part, worked until I got back here.  Sure there was cleaning at first and now keeping it up each day, cooking for myself and with a good perspective as to its ease here in a kitchen, yet mostly the comforts of a home make for a comfortable life.

Do you know how much time I save not walking to or from a bathroom or going to fetch water or take out garbage? Or all that work tearing down, sorting, packing up my stuff every two weeks. Ahh, banish the thought. Wait- there went all that exercise too. Now I’ve made up for it was all the floor exercises and static stretches I do, yet nothing can replace walking a few miles a few miles per week. It sounds reasonable to me at least.

A decade ago I would ride my bike to go visit a pair of friends and side by side shopkeepers downtown. Today, although one has moved from her spot, I went to see Bob at CK Barimores. I’ve been thinking of a good walk downtown for a while and couldn’t find the purpose for it. Yes, my health, recovery, exercise… yet no walk yet.  Sometime yesterday I had needed to clean my pipe and found the screen for it had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.

That seemed to do the trick. I needed to go downtown to see Bob and get a package of pipe screens. While preparing to go I thought of my vape, I’ve had this one for two or three days and I should get a new one. At first I thought it would be too much, so I headed south with just a water bottle, my cane and plans to follow my path back from downtown if I needed to. Yet, I got to CK’s and had a good chat with Bob and he was glad to see me walking. When I asked for the screens and picked a size, he handed me the packet of a dozen and wished me a Merry Christmas.

Feeling good I headed around the block and up Michigan Ave- I thought of going up to the Coffee Company, but the weather wasn’t nice enough for a blended ice coffee nor was it cold enough for a regular coffee. A few blocks up and cut north through the park on my way to Lansing Ave and a long walk up that stead incline. At the top just a block west and I had arrived. Sweating, panting a bit, yet mostly feeling good. As I left I thought “at least it’s all downhill from here”, then I remembered that downhill is harder, slower and more impactful on my ankle and knee.

Altogether two point three nine miles. More than enough to swell up my ankle. Tried to take it easy the rest of the evening and ending up taking another surprise nap. Maybe I need to work harder to get a few more hours of sleep each night.

Time to rest.

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