Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One Mile - One Step at a Time

Today I did something that is extraordinary for me.  I walked a mile without pain and without my cane. 

I took my third dose of Lyrica this morning - a drug that my doctor thought might help the neuropathy in my foot.  Then I went on a walk on the bike trail that runs throughout the neighborhoods in my community to test it out, to see how far I could comfortably walk while on the drug, to see if it made a difference at all. 

About a month ago after the EMG made my foot feel a little better, I started walking again - just a little and as slow as an old woman with a walker.  It hurt, but every day I could walk a little farther, but never enough to amount to more than an eighth of a mile and never without pain or discomfort. 

One day last week, I made it up a hill and across a road to the point where the trail has a three way intersection.  I didn't have my cell phone, so I couldn't call my husband to get me.  I didn't think I could take another step.  I was too embarrassed to stop at a neighbor's house to ask for help even though I knew two people that lived right there.  I took a break and walked home wanting to cry.

But today, I walked to that point, the three way intersection that was the farthest I could go last week.  Today I made it there with zero pain, with my right foot feeling the same as my left.  And I kept walking.  I walked over a bridge, past my son's school, and to the crosswalk at the edge of our neighborhood. 

I forgot to mention one thing - I couldn't walk a straight line. 

I was very aware that I was walking like a drunk person.  I live in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone - and most people are at home looking out their windows.  I wonder how many people are talking about me walking without my cane...and drunk. 

I laugh out loud about this and don't care - I know it's a miracle I could walk as far as I walked today.  And I think it's hilarious because I still feel very stoned.

I walked across the street to the neighborhood adjoining ours.  It's a lakeside neighborhood.   They recently built a little park with benches and gardens that overlook the lake.  My goal was to get to a bench to rest my feet before I returned home. 

I felt very emotional yet sane in this part of my voyage.  The logical part of me that wasn't affected by the drug made me wonder if the drug is going to reverse the damage or just mask it.  I wondered if the act of walking will reverse the nerve damage or if it will make it worse in the long run.  I made a mental note to myself to ask my doctor these questions.

I called my husband to tell him how far I had walked.  At one point in the conversation I thought I had lost my phone because it wasn't in my left hand where it was just minutes before.  I told my husband I lost my phone - the one I was talking into.  The sober part of my brain was very concerned.  The drunk side thought it was hilarious. 

I hope I get used to this drug.  I hope the buzziness wears off quickly.  If not, I think I can manage partially stoned as long as I can get the sober side to control the buzzed side.  On my walk back to my home, I concentrated on walking a straight line, one step after the next without weaving.  I did it, but it wasn't easy.

Obviously I can't drive, but I have hope I can resume living a mostly normal life without so many restrictions.  I am going to take my big kids to see Captain America tonight - my husband agreed to drive us.

I've decided to take a week off of working on my novel while I'm trying to get used to this new medication.  Maybe I'll start writing something else, but I don't want to make changes when I'm not feeling like myself. 

Tomorrow I plan to walk another mile.  And another the day after that.


  1. Captain America on Lyrica - How fun!

  2. Oh yay! So glad something is helping you. that's really wonderful. OK, I confess to giggling picturing you meandering about looking drunk. :) Hope good things keep coming your way.

  3. great job....I cant walk but a few feet w/o being in pain due to bursitis.

  4. @Anonymous - we didn't make it. I think it's in 3D - that may have been more than I could handle.

    @M Pax - I was laughing too. I feel much more normal today (not as giggly), so hopefully the meds will work out. And they have a lower dose I'm hoping to get my hands on tomorrow.

    @Keena - I hope that gets better.