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When I Was Too Weak to Walk in the Mall

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Today I went to the mall with my husband and kids. Even on a good day, my trips to the mall come with limitations. I was pretty weak to begin with, but I was trying to keep an optimistic mind in hopes that I would be able to have an enjoyable afternoon with my family.  

As we got out of the car and got everything situated in the stroller, reality set in as I noticed my legs felt like overcooked spaghetti. There are some rare occasions when I get a second wind with my muscle strength as I push a little; I was hoping today would be one of those days.  

Well, it wasn’t. As we walked through a store and out to the mall, I found myself concentrating on my muscle contractions in order to keep my legs going. The weakness took over like a strong wind lifting me off my feet. It was a crowded day at the mall, but I managed to find a place to collapse my limp body. As I watched my husband and kids walk off, I struggled to hold back the tears. With so many people passing by as I sat, I wondered why I was the one who couldn’t walk? I watched countless people passing by, including older people who were walking around without effort, and here I was struggling to hold my body upright in an armchair at 33 years old.

On most days, I do a decent job taking this all in stride. But today I had trouble accepting my situation. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. And with no diagnosis to make sense of it, I felt completely lost. How do I fit into a society that’s passing me by at lightning speed? I’m not sure I have the answer to this question.

As I took a deep breath, I tried to restore my mind and mustered enough confidence to keep the tears away. I could wallow in self-pity, or I could choose to keep moving forward to the best of my ability. It’s all right to have days like this when you’re dealing with something so pressing, but you’ve got to pick yourself up afterward and keep on living.  

After all, I’m lucky enough to have my heart beating and the rest of my life ahead of me. The least I can do is hope for a better tomorrow. 

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Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 1, 2016
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