a mile in my shoes

summer sky

I walked a mile today.

That might not seem like much. There was a very recent point when that wasn’t even a warm-up, when I didn’t break a sweat on a five-mile walk unless it was 80 degrees out, when I could hardly go fast enough.

This is not that day.

The sun was shining and I really wanted to be outside. I wanted to go for a walk. I asked Ed to come with me – for the company, yes – it’s nice to hold hands with him in the sunshine. Also because I knew he’d keep me from going too far, too fast.

We walked half a mile to a park with a high grassy knoll. I was completely whupped. I lay on my back in the damp grass, looking up at the sky – this sky – listening to the rumble of Ed’s voice as we talked. After a while, I was ready to walk back. A few blocks from home, I needed to rest again on a sidewalk bench.

I wanted to curl up for a nap. Or a coma. Right there on the bench.

Home. So. Far.

Cue the not unexpected totally expected impatience with myself.

Until Ed said, “Three weeks ago today you couldn’t walk on your own.” He’s right. I needed his help to get out of bed, to sit on the toilet, to feed myself. On top of my asthma meds, I came home from the hospital with four new (temporary) drugs.

Three weeks ago, I had surgery to remove an angry gall bladder, after enduring a dozen days of nauseating, constant pain. I don’t know why I had to say “angry”. I don’t think they usually remove the happy gall bladders.

At my follow-up appointment, the surgeon gave me timelines for when to expect things to settle out to a new normal (3-4 months). I mostly just wanted to know when I could start doing planks again. That was when he (finally) cracked a smile.

He said there would be days like this, days when I needed a nap and wanted to go bed by 8:00 pm. He recommended I heed what my body had to say.

Today I walked a mile. Even if it took me over an hour to accomplish. After, I was exhausted. Like, bone-deep, why is that fork so bloody heavy, kind of exhausted. But also, kind of triumphal.

I’m a magical healing person. (You are, too.)

Every time I face some kind of a health crisis – and there have been too damn many times, but still – every time, I am amazed and grateful and filled with wonder at the magic of our capacity to heal.

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