you are not walking right at all.
Last week was a cruel one for me. Tuesday saw me with the physio, walking, standing, on the bed trying to stop my legs from shaking. She was very lovely, and gave me a handful of exercises which I suppose will help eventually, but are a frequent reminder of my disability. There was one point, when I was trying to move a football with my foot, standing on one leg, when it was hit and miss whether I would cry or not. I didn’t, mercifully. Physiotherapy is invaluable, but anyone I know who has had to do it finds it tough.
On Thursday, it was the podiatrist’s turn. Apparently I am wearing the wrong shoes (I thought flats were good, but no…), I am not using the middle of my feet at all, and I need to stop walking the way I do. He did actually weigh me too. The worst was having to be filmed walking – me, the anti-Naomi Campbell extraordinaire. Because my legs were at their worst (that’s good, he said) I was almost staggering from one end of the gym to the other. Watching it back was one of the most humiliating moments of my life, and I’ve had a few. It turns out I heavily place my left foot on the floor, and then swing my right round in front of it. I’m cringing as I write this. As we were watching the recording, I said ‘I didn’t used to be like this’, but he didn’t care what I used to be able to do, of course not. My agile, able, graceful self is dead now. But I can’t let go of the memory of it – holding my head high as I walked, not noticing the distance or scanning the route for seats, thinking I could just go on and on and reach new destinations.
But here’s the thing: my difficult encounters last week have brought me closer to getting that back a little bit. The experts wouldn’t have taken so much time if I was a lost cause. I’m away now to get that football. The best things always require a little work, and a lot of hope. So, bring it!