Taking a Walk


I am feeling very frustrated with WordPress text formatting in posts, it doesn’t let me indent or do anything in a normal way. But ANYWAY, here’s my assignment numbah two, “Write about taking a walk”

(PS this one’s about MS! YAY!)

 

I can’t feel my feet and I’m watching them to make sure they’re going where I want them to go (up the stairs) and I can’t feel the carpet under my feet, carpet I’ve known since I was five. Back down the stairs, then racing up again, my feet pounding against the stairs (I can see it and hear it but I can’t feel it).

 
Pacing in the aisles of trains and pacing in the Philadelphia train station and pacing in more trains and pacing in New Haven and stomping my feet against the floor of the shuttle. Up the stairs of my dorm, watching my feet still. Walk to the health center.

 

-My feet are numb.
-Have you tried warmer socks?
-It’s been a week and a half.
-Have you tried a shower?
-….It’s been a week and a half.

Walk to the hotel to meet my dad, who comes up for the MRI. Walk into the outpatient center and down the hall and they let me keep on my boots while I’m in the machine. Walk my feet in the air while the technician injects contrast material into my arm.

 
Walk back to the dorm, then back down Church again, to the neurologist’s office. Pace in the waiting room, pace around the examination room, flinch when she says I might not walk again. Keep walking. Walk far far away from her when she says my life will be severely limited. Keep walking.

 
Walk up the hill, walk back down, lie still and scream as loud as I can when they do the spinal tap (although in my head I thought I was just talking very quietly, I thought only my mom could hear). Walk back up the hill, then down again. This time they put the permanent IV in.

 
Walk around campus with a tube hanging out of the sleeve of my tshirt, my classmates stare and I explain fast and then just keep walking.

 

Walk down to Baltimore, in the aisles of trains and pacing in another waiting room and holding my mom’s hand. Walk as fast as you can, says the nurse, we want to measure your speed. Pins poke my feet but I do not feel them. My MRI on the computer screen shows faded dots that correspond to my faded feet.

 
I walk back home, up highways and then onto the smaller country roads. Pace my house for a couple days, walk through an airport and onto the plane. When the seatbelt sign goes off I pace the aisles, trying not to look out the windows.

 

Walk my feet nervously against the plane floor during landing (bumpy, as always in Seattle). Walk to my boyfriend, walk to his house, walk around the city, walk through the rain. He is bewildered too, but it’s hard to try to make him understand what I don’t either. We’re good at walking though, so we walk.
Walk around as much as I can, because they said maybe in five years I won’t be able to, maybe in ten years I won’t be able to. The new neurologist tries to hide the statistics in a wave of optimism, but I hear him. 25% chance of rain would make me bring an umbrella, should 25% chance of not being able to walk make me buy a wheelchair? I keep walking.

 

I walk to the gym, walk my feet in circles on the stationary bike, my grandmother asks

 

-Are you doing special exercises?
-No, I’m just going to the gym. Like a normal person.

 

5 thoughts on “Taking a Walk

  1. Wow, cade, I wish you all the luck in the world as you walk through life- As I’m sure you’ve heard, if you’re walking through hell, KEEP WALKING- you’ll probably reach the other side. All the best,
    ALex

  2. Nicely written essay on one of the mysteries of MS. Did any if your Dr.s tell you that those who present first with sensory symptoms fare better in the long run? I’ll guess not. Did any of the Dr.s mention that they cannot predict the future? Probably not.

    I’ve had MS for 30+ years, and I can still walk, though with the assistance of a walker these days. I’ve used a wheelchair, and still do for distances. But at the end of the day – it is what it is. I predict you will do just fine for a very long time. But then, that’s just me talking, and what do I know? I can’t predict the future either.

    Be well,
    Webster

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