If I was to search for a word about what it's like the word would be heavy. Imagine placing a hundred pound weight around one of your legs and trying to go for a walk. It's unbelievably heavy. It's so heavy that it doesn't want to move and if I am able to make it move it drags or spasms out of control. The other leg is more like a fifty pound weight. I can make it walk in a sort of controlled manner but it takes all my will to do so. All my will power is generated into walking and sometimes I fail. When I do I fall. I sometimes feel like a 1950's robot in a sci-fi movie or some disjointed Frankenstein monster doing a poor imitation.
If it was just me and I was by myself I would just give in and give up. Take the easy way out and stuff my butt in a wheel chair but I'm not. I'm a husband and when I stagger around my wife worries. So, I grit my teeth and I lift my legs carefully. Sometimes I let my one hand drift to the side and I grab the pant leg and lift my leg in a motion that replicates the normal human motion. Even then I'm amazed at how light my leg really is. I can lift it easily with one hand and yet all the muscles in my leg can't seem to lift it a foot. I practice though. I practice every night. She doesn't need to worry about me because I have kids. So any little thing I can do to make her worry less is one less thing I have to worry about.
When you have kids you become a leader. A leader sometimes has to do the hard things and make it look like it wasn't hard at all. Sometimes that means leaning against the wall when nobody is looking or turning away when the pain becomes too much. It sometimes means going ten feet when you think you can't imagine going one foot. Kids have enough to worry about in this life without having to worry about Dad. Also it means being truthful. I've learned to be brutally honest with my kids. If I try to take a foot and I end up failing I tell them. I don't let them see me fall though or I try not to let them see me fall. I wouldn't be honest if I said it never has happened because it has. My kids though are wonderful. They wouldn't let me know they saw me fall and would say "I tripped." and offer to help me back up.
My cats... They only want two things from me. My attention and my love. Both I have in spades.
The other thing is the pain. The never ending pain. The constant buzzing in my legs letting me know that though they are heavy they are still alive. This is what happens when a nerve isn't cut but crushed. The constant buzzing of a foot that has fallen asleep and won't wake up. The tingling pricks of ant bites that don't exist. The calf muscle is in a constant charlie horse. This isn't my imagination. You can touch it and it's rock hard. It's a perpetual never ending spasm. The back of my thigh isn't much better.
Then there is the back itself. It's weak letting me know that I'm just one step away from a full break down. If I push it (and I have) it will make me pay in ways that can only be described as thunder bolt of electricity be thrown from the heavens itself. There is a knot there. You can feel it. It's the size of a thumb. It's always pushing down. It never lets up.
Then there is the leg that only feels like it has a fifty pound weight on it. The pain for the most part is only about half of what the other leg is but sometimes it likes to remind me it could be worse. I've had days where I refuse to get out of bed for anything more than the common bathroom break because when this leg likes to remind me it could be worse it really let's me know it could be worse. Then I bury my face in the pillow and I scream. I'll scream for what seems like hours. My mind goes insane as I try to deal with it. One moment it will be 8:00 and the next it will be 11:00. I think that at a certain point you just pass out.
I broke my foot and walked on it for a week. Their is an X-Ray because the Doctor didn't believe me. I have a scar in my Right Leg where a deer horn punctured all the way to the bone. I was able to put my finger in it and that was when I decided I might need to go to the Doctors. The pain of those two things were about a 3 or 4 on a 10 point scale with 10 being a highest. I don't remember when my pain was below a 5. I took my own tooth out with pliers and I can say that the pain of an infected tooth rates about a 6 with me. So, when I say the daily pain level of my legs rate about an 8 you can chalk it up that it's a good deal worse than taking your own tooth out with pliers ( I was broke).
It's been a while since I wrote a Life Disabled article. I just haven't been in the mood. Last couple of months my pain was pretty much out of control. I could only manage putting down a reply here and there. There was a couple of days when I was gone completly and one especially bad day where I lost it altogether and walked out crying. Today I went in to have an epidural placed and to be honest I remember going in and coming out but nothing inbetween.
I've thought about suicide but I couldn't do that to my kids. I had a good friend who did that and it still pisses me off to this day. He left two four year old girls and a 16 year old son to fend for themselves. The anger I have for him goes beyond even my pain. What he did to his parents... I couldn't do that to anyone. Still, I would be lying if I didn't say that the thought hasn't passed through my head. When the pain gets that bad it get's pretty damn hard not to think of a life with it ending. Still, I am here. Each and every day. Some days are better than others. When those days come I try to make them count. I use each and every second of those good days because I know that when tomorrow hits that it will end.
So, there you have it. I didn't get into some of the gory details. Things like just coming up short on making it to the bathroom or the stomach problems you get with problems like this. Still, you get the idea.