Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Can Walk, But...

Here is yet another health update.

Since I had to turn in my rental car on July 20, 2012, I have been carrying my belongings in a backpack, and for a while some extra clothes in a big black garbage bag. The bag has since bit the dust as it became too unwieldy to walk around with.

I had a bus pass for the first 31 days after dropping off the car, so my walk time was minimal. Then the bus pass expired. And I had to walk everywhere, carrying the backpack. Now you know why I got rid of the bag.

The backpack weighs, at the present time, around 50 pounds. It has my computer, my camera, the charging equipment for both and one full change of clothes and several extra pairs of underwear and socks.

I found, over the last few days, that my knee can pretty much hold up under the weight, but not without some discomfort and pain. The shoulder is much the same way.

I can walk pretty normal, but with a limp. The knee, when I first get up after an extended time sitting, is stiff and the limp is more pronounced. But it is the feeling of the knee that concerns me, because whether it's stiff or not, it always feels like it could buckle on me at any time.

This is especially freaking if I'm stepping down from a bus or van and the step is a large one. I have been known to stumble forward a little when landing on the right leg. I can't step down on my left leg, because the right knee feels even stranger when I try to bend it more than about halfway. It's like a pressure on my knee, when I walk on it, when I stand on it, and when I step down on it. It's extremely uncomfortable, and I'm worried that one of these days I'm going to go head-over-heels because I can't properly balance myself.

And when that happens the results could be catastrophic. Thankfully I try to be as slow and careful as I can when stepping down, even ticking some people off, but it's my health, not your time that I'm worried about. Stuff it.

The shoulder only hurts when I move it certain ways, and like the old joke, I don't do that. I test it every once in a while, but it really hasn't improved much in the last two months.

This week I plan to look into Vocational Rehab. We'll see what they can do for me. Other than that I will continue to look for the kinds of jobs I can do (desk jobs), to write when I can and have the muse, and to work on raising funds for Project Five-Star. One of these things has to pay off!

Edit: I've been asked why I don't use a cane. Two reasons: First, the cost is beyond my means, second, I would have to hold it in my right hand. One of the things I neglected to mention was that I've had issues with my hands cramping up when I hold something heavy for more than a few seconds. That had as much to do with dumping my bag of clothes as anything else. I'd be really worried that I'd drop  the cane or worse, need to lean on it for support and my hand/arm gives away. So no cane for now. But thanks for asking!