It wasn’t coming home along the sidewalks that have become ice rinks. It wasn’t as I was taking the bus or picking up something at the grocery store. It was in my home.
I came in the front door and put what I had bought at the grocery store on the counter. Then I went to walk over to the couch and the floor came up to meet me.
I tried to get up, trying to brace myself against the kitchen counter, but couldn’t. My legs gave out under me and I fell back to the floor. They wouldn’t work, wouldn’t move. As I lay there on my kitchen floor, my legs started spasming.
It was beyond anything I had felt before, as if my legs were filled with hot knifes and needles, broken pieces of glass.
I could do nothing. All I could do was lay there, still in my winter coat, and let the spasms pass. It took about fifteen minutes, lasting longer than any spasm I’ve had before and I’ve had plenty. Before the Multiple Sclerosis hit and Max showed his face, the Cerebral Palsy spasmed many times through out the day, but now like this. Cybil Paulsen’s spasms were painful but brief, little reminders that he was there. This was something else all together.
I lay on the kitchen floor and waited. I counted through the pain, trying to control my breathing, trying to ignore my legs. They weren’t moving. Though they remained still, it felt as if they were moving all over the place. I talked to them, begged them. I just kept repeating “Stop it, stop it, stop it, please stop it.”
Eventually, they listened. The spasms stopped.
I lay there for a further ten minutes after the spasms stopped because I wanted to make sure they were done, that they had gone away. My legs were tree trunks of muscles and when I stood, I cried out. Pain flared in my legs, hot and bright.
I stood there for a moment, testing the strength of my legs. I took a step and then two more. Then another.
I shuffled to the bathroom to have a warm bath to see if that would help relax my legs a bit and it did. I had trouble getting into the tub and almost slipped and fell into the water but caught myself. Needless to say, I didn’t stay in the bath for very long.
I made a cup of tea. I sat with a book. My leg muscles had hardened and are still hardened masses of muscle even as I write this. However, all this is okay. I did what I could not have done a year ago.
I got up. I was not confined to a bed or to my couch. I was not a prisoner inside my own body. I got up and I will get up again.
For that, I am thankful.