Thursday, August 11, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago today I was a mess.

Every joint was swollen, I was stuck in my apartment that I had just moved in to, and I could hardly walk. I could hardly do anything! It was pathetic.

I was reminded of this year marker the other day when I walked over to my local bookstore, Village Books, to use up a gift card. A year ago, we had just moved into our apartment and had yet to set up internet or cable. Being stuck to the couch with swollen joints, I entertained myself with books. The problem was that I could barely make it to the bookstore that was two blocks away from my apartment.

2010 Summer: Icing knees and sleeping kitties.

When your joints are swollen, you remember every step. Down the apartment building elevator. Down the street and across Harris Ave. Up the small set of stairs to the Village Green (a difficult task, and embarrassing to have people watch me hobble up the simple stairs.) Walk across the grass to the bookstore, a relief after making it up the stairs.

Where I had the Déjà vu was once I walked into the bookstore and looked straight ahead of me at the stairs.

I remember the first time I tried to make it up the stairs. I was struggling. Oh boy was I struggling. Leaning hard on the railing, making it slowly, one stair at a time. Trying to make it look like I was totally normal while people gave me odd looks wondering what my deal was. Two hours later I made it to the top.

After that, whenever I went to the bookstore I took the elevator.

The other day I made it up the stairs. I ran up those stairs faster than was really necessary. I wasn't in a hurry, I wasn't running to get to the latest best seller before it was sold out, I was just skipping up the stairs for the hell of it. Because I could.

When I was finished making my purchase, I headed back down the stairs. Those stairs that I damned a year ago. The stairs that I measure my success by.

Sure, I had to go back on medicine, but the point is that I am stable. I am doing better. I can make it up and down stairs without having to take a break in between each step. And I know how lucky I am to be able to do so. I am grateful for the ease of movement.

Are you?

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