I Will No Longer Apologize for Walking Slowly Due to Pain


“Sorry I’m slow…”

“I’ll move so you can go past me…”

“Sorry I’m in your way…”

“Yeah, I’m not so fast, sorry…”

Due to my complex regional pain syndrome in my foot and leg, I use crutches to walk. I’m pretty lucky actually (though I have to remind myself of that) because after two and a half years I am weight-bearing with my crutches pretty well. CRPS is a very painful condition, and because it is so rare, most people haven’t heard of it. There’s no cast or boot to explain the crutches. And since I’m “walking” I feel I have to apologize for my slowness.

 

I feel like I always have to watch for other people because I’m always in the way. I constantly step out and stop and wait for people to go past. Or even worse… I try to hurry.

“Sorry I’m slow…”

“Yeah, I’m not so fast, sorry….”

But recently I attended a Functional Rehabilitation Program. And one of the first things they told me was, “Take it easy, don’t rush… It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” In other words, it was more important for me to focus my energy on walking correctly on my crutches than it was to worry about being slow. People can wait, it’s OK.

So now, instead of apologizing all the time, I will just take a breath. Focus on my walking, stand tall, keep my spine in a neutral position, engage my core and concentrate on taking comfortable steps. I will feel more relaxed with my walking. I won’t hurt as much. My walking will be safer. I will feel less anxiety.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via greenaperture.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

A woman looking away from the camera with a deep and thoughtful expression.

When Your Insurance Won't Cover the Treatments You Need

For people with rare and chronic illnesses, finding a physician knowledgeable about their condition can be extremely challenging. Some people are lucky enough to score one of those doctors that are perfect in every way. Not only are they knowledgeable about the condition, they have a great bedside manner, listen to you, care about your [...]
A duck floating on the water, reflecting the sunset.

How Living a Life With an Invisible Illness Is Like Being a Duck

A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching a Taekwondo class when my instructor initiated what we call a “life skill talk.” That month, the life skill was self-control. He introduced the question by asking the kids what his favorite animal was and after a few guesses, he said that it was a duck. Above [...]
Doctor and patient sit at table and talk

To the Doctor Who Doesn't Feel Like You're Doing Enough to Help Me

To the doctor who doesn’t feel like you are doing enough to help me, Thank you for seeing me as a human. Many doctors can’t see past my medical record number. I’ve found it is rare to find a doctor who is committed to improving my quality of life. Living with multiple painful conditions is very tiring and exceedingly [...]

The Discrimination I Experience as a Young Person With Invisible Illness

There are thousands of chronic illnesses and even more people who have chronic illnesses. It’s hard for most people to believe, but yes, young people have various chronic illnesses too. I cannot tell you how many times I have told somebody I have a chronic illness and the response I got back was, “But you’re so [...]