The sound of bedroom doors opening and closing wakes me from my less than stellar night’s sleep. Before I even open my eyes, my body stirs, and the pain instantly radiates through me. Each small movement feels like my joints have become creaky, old, rusty door hinges.
Why at 32 do I feel like I’m trapped inside of an 80 year old arthritic body?
I painstakingly pull myself so that I’m sitting upright in bed. I swing my legs, or rather drag them with the assistance of my hands because my joints are too stiff and stuck to move on their own, from the bed to the floor. Every movement takes more effort than it should. The pain aches deep inside my bones, and I let out a moan of discomfort followed by a long sigh.
I force myself to stand, pushing against the mattress, once again with the assistance of my arms to get myself there because my legs just can’t seem to function. And then I go to take a small step forward. A simple step. But I can barely manage. I press my foot down on the floor as I step and immediately retract it as it tells me it won’t be holding up the weight of my body this morning. I momentarily hold my leg out in front of me to examine it and test my knee. It won’t bend at all. The pain travels back and forth between my knee and my hip as I try to achieve even the smallest angle. Nope. Not happening.
I look down at my knee that won’t bend. It’s terribly swollen and looks ridiculous on my skinny leg, that’s not skinny in a nice way, but skinny as in I’ve lost all my muscle tone sort of way.
And then I continue my journey to start my day by hobbling to the bathroom, hunched over, using the wall as a crutch. This morning reminds me of the days immediately following my surgery… 6 months ago.
This isn’t good.
This isn’t good at all.
After not seeing the progress I had hoped for, I finally sought the help of a physical therapist. And yet, I’ve seen no improvement. In fact my knee seems to be progressively worsening.
My knee is never going to heal. This pain is never going to go away.
I notice the tears wanting out as the discouragement and fear barge in, but unlike those emotions that burst through like a pack of wild and unruly children that I can’t seem to control, I try to control the one thing I’ve become good at: keeping the tears in.
But then I recognize what I’m doing as I refuse to let those tears through. I’m storing up things inside of me that are no good, and as a result hopelessness is rising and flooding my soul.
That old familiar lie of hopelessness. I recognize it more quickly these days, but still it comes.