It is currently 3am, and I’ve been lying in bed, unable to get back to sleep, for over an hour and a half. Around 1:30 I woke up with a seething, burning, throbbing pain in my left hip. I tried to adjust my position, but my hip was so stiff that moving it even an inch felt like trying to rip the wood frame off a door jamb.
As I slowly turned onto my back, I had to do some seriously Lamaze-style breathing just to try and cope with the feeling that my entire leg was attached to my body by a rusty hinge, or a threadbare string, about to snap.
Fears began populating my mind. Is this normal for me or is something newly wrong? What the hell am I going to do now?
Pain has a way of seeping into your very soul, altering your disposition and your outlook on life. I feel sometimes that I am merely a fragment of the vibrant person I could be. I can’t help but think of the things I would do if I was not limited by my hip pain. If I could take long walks, if I could hike up a mountain, if I could go for a run – then surely I’d be a happier person.
I’m not sure how productive it is to think that way… and I always have to remind myself that it could be worse. At least I can do the things I can do. I have so many things to be grateful for. My family. My love for music. My creativity. Art. Love. Nature. A roof over my head. Food to eat. Thirteen seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians on Hulu. Makeup tutorials on YouTube. The new Lana Del Rey album. Etc, etc, etc.
But here’s the thing… we say that we are in pain, right? We’re not “having pain,” we’re not “with pain.” We are in it. I think this is accurate… It’s as though the pain is the main entity… and I am simply living within.
I’ve been living within it for over 30 years. And I think, overall, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my shit together despite my challenges.
There is an end in sight. Someday I will have a hip replacement. And until that day, I will try my best to be grateful for what I have. And after that day… watch out, world. Because there are a lot of roads to walk and mountains to hike, and I’m gonna do them all. Within reason.