A couple of days ago my bus was late. I’m not a particularly patient person so instead of waiting I hopped on a No. 1. and got off at Island Bay. From there I walked. The walk wasn’t bad, actually it was pretty good. 15 minutes up hill as suburbia did its best to put on a pleasant face in the lazy evening light.
A couple of years ago I tried a similar trick. My own bus had obviously vanished into a hole in the space time continuum somewhere along Lambton Quay so I caught the Number 1. My plan was different back then though – I figured I’d get off and call my girlfriend from the pay phone at the Island Bay shops. She could come and get me. The trouble was, the pay phone was broken and my plan derailed. Back then the hill up to my house stretched away like an unassailable alp. Climbing it would have taken me at least an hour and involved considerable pain. Fortunately, I was rescued by a friend who just happened to walk out of the library at the right moment allowing me to use her cell phone to call my partner.
A year before that I decided that my outdoors task for the day was to go and visit the library. I never got there. I couldn’t get a park within a block of the library and couldn’t bear the thought of hobbling two blocks on crutches.
Things aren’t perfect now – I lost sleep last night to a gnawing pain in my back, my wrist is sore as I type this – but they are a lot better.
And that really counts. I’m stating the obvious but being mobile makes life a whole heap better, and happier. That’s obvious but the strange thing is that it took me a long time to realise just how exhausted and disheartened acute arthritis left me. I’m really glad to be free of that burden for now. And really, really full of admiration for people who carry similar or much heavier ones. Now I’ve had my feet in those shoes I know just how uncomfortable they are.