The return of pain brought me to a greater appreciation of the fact I had not been experiencing it so much lately. I still walk with a straight-legged limp because my knees do not support me well when bent and I have to be very careful not to twist on them, or to let them lock when standing still. Then they really hurt. Waiting at the checkout is when that is most likely to happen.

But lately, my legs had not been hurting so much. I don’t even experience the pain I did when I first started pedalling the bicycle, as long as I keep my legs from splaying while I ride. The ache in my thighs and calves after a ride is a different category of discomfort, signifying the development of the muscles that will, hopefully, start giving my knees more support.

However, the pain I’m experiencing now after a fall and a sideways knock on my left knee has reminded me of my vulnerability and reinforces my desire to shed weight and get fitter. It seems there is more than just arthritis involved here. In my depression in the Kimberley I allowed myself to become physically lazy as well as overweight. I have only myself to blame for the weak muscles that resulted. I believe strengthening them again will go a long way towards returning me to stability.

I think the swimming and cycling has been even better for me than I had realised. It occurred to me, for instance, that for some time I had not been suffering the excruciating discomfort caused by the spondylosis damage in my spine which manifests as pain down my thighs and calves. It is nothing like the ache of tired muscles, which seems almost pleasant in comparison. And the spondylosis pain seems to be gone. Does this mean I can stop taking the daily dose of pregabalin? I must discuss this with Doctor Mehdi.

Today I kept quiet, walking only as far as I had to and otherwise resting or sleeping in the caravan. The swelling has gone down, but my knee is still hot. This is odd because one thing I had noticed before was that my knees always felt cold to the touch, as if the circulation there was poor. My right knee feels normal at the moment. Has something changed or am I imagining it?

This current increase in my disability has been good for my dietary goals. I cant stand long enough to cook and prepare food. I managed my breakfast coffee and for lunch I prepared a rather tasty scrambled eggs with wilted spinach but it was not fun. This evening I think I shall settle for a cup o’ soup and a stick of celery with a slice of sunflower seed bread.

With luck I’ll be better tomorrow.

Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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