The funny thing about the wrong thing is that it isn’t always so blatantly, entirely wrong in the beginning. Sometimes it’s something a little off, or not quite right. But with life being imperfect by design, we accept the nature of the beast and carry on with our mild concerns in the back of our mind. Then we worry about other shit.
In my case, that little something was pain. Being a professional yo-yo dieter and treadmill extremist I am well aware that my body will ache from strains, from time to time. Feeling a little discomfort in my leg? Life is discomforting. So I handle a little discomfort getting in and out of my car, after long shifts on my feet and anything else that seemed to agitate the issue. I learned to move my legs, sit a different way, elevate my feet or what the fuck ever, and work around it.
The human being has the potential to be incredibly tolerant. Because I have not currently been enrolled in any sort of medical insurance, the thought of an actual doctor’s visit has been the furthest thing from my mind over a little hip pain. Besides. The pain seemed to migrate and settle for a spot right in the back of my leg, opposite of my knee. Out with the old pain, in with the new pain. So what if I eventually couldn’t sit on those bar stools for very long before I couldn’t walk properly? I shouldn’t be at the damn bar, anyway.
You get used to it, the pain. And you slowly get used to the ways that it slows you down. You’re no longer met with surprise when you go to move one way and it doesn’t go so well – in fact, you’re in the pattern of knowing very well, what you can and can’t do. You live around it like a disability that can’t be fixed. You officially walk slower. You know, that when you go to stand up, you’ll have to stand there for a moment until you can put your weight on that foot and walk without limping. Don’t make it look weird – just act like you’re checking something on your phone on the way out of the restaurant when you’re actually waiting on your body to work again.
I was going up the stairs to my cleaning boss’ gazebo to fetch one of my last checks that she would have waiting in an envelope under a rock, when her boyfriend saw me.
“You’re limping,” he said. I don’t think about it all of the time. I have sort of divided the problem between when it is really bad, and when I’m just cruising along. I was just cruising along, and hadn’t really given much thought to how I must have started to walk improperly all of the time. Doesn’t that asshole know that sort of thing can really give a female a complex?
“Oh, yeah,” I answered, dismissively, “I have a weird leg or something.”
He proceeded to tell me that if I kept walking on it that I would develop a gait. Likely too late. I can remember being a kid at the rink, wondering why it was so hard for me to skate because my left foot simply would not leave the floor like my right. It was like I was always scootering, my left foot, the scooter. There’s no way we missed a problem like that for so long…
30 year olds shouldn’t be limping. So there’s that.
I really don’t want to think about it.