My horoscope from last Sunday made me smile – Leo: Moving on is tough if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress — but you are. That is really truer than it sounds. For what seemed like an eternity I’d been struggling to move on from past hurts and betrayals, but I felt like I was mired in place, getting no where at all. Then last year I made major progress, all thanks to a concert I attended when visiting a friend. It’s amusing the places and things that can help you face and overcome your demons. Lately though, I’ve felt like I’ve been stagnant again, not able to move forwards. So that horoscope was perfect in its timing, arriving on a day when I felt hopeless, felt like I wasn’t healing anymore, possibly even felt like I was backsliding. It gave me a much-needed kick in the pants at exactly the right time.
I have very bad knees1 (osteoarthritis, osteophytes2, and chondromalacia patella) and my orthopedist has restricted some of my activities; one of those restrictions is to avoid stairs unless absolutely necessary. At my last appointment when I had a cortisone injection, I mentioned to him that I work on the 10th floor of my building and that we were getting close to “fire drill season”. Since a fire drill means taking the staircase all the way down to the bottom, and I’m not supposed to take stairs, I asked him if there was anything that could be done for me. He wrote me a note that allows me to take the freight elevator with anyone else unable to take the stairs. After that appointment I contacted one of the fire marshalls for my floor, to find out exactly what to do, and to alert them to the fact that I was now to follow these alternate evacuation procedures.
That note finally came in handy this week. Monday afternoon, the fire alarms went off. Someone actually had to tell me3 they were going off, oops? Let me tell you – it was incredibly nice being able to ride the freight elevator down. The last time we had a drill my knees weren’t half as bad as they are now, yet I could barely walk after going down all those stairs. I knew if I had to do it now, I would have issues before making it all the way down, and likely wouldn’t be able to move at all the next day.
Like I said above, if I had been required to take the stairs on Monday – I most likely wouldn’t have been able to walk on Tuesday. But, on the off-chance I had made it into work – Tuesday would have killed me. Tuesday afternoon the fire alarms went off, again. As I was waiting at the freight elevator for the fire marshalls, most of the people who were headed down the stairwell next to me showed their jealousy – calling me a cheater, saying it wasn’t fair, etc. It amused me some, with all the looks & remarks I was getting. But, when the elevator opened and I got on, it was already almost full with very able-bodied people from the top floor who were just flat-out being lazy. On the way down, we stopped on a floor with someone in a wheelchair, and 2 on crutches were waiting, yet none of the execs in the elevator made a move to get off to let the people who truly needed it have their spaces. That kinda saddened/sickened me some. Hell, I feel slightly guilty about taking the freight elevator down, yet I actually need it!
- My knees are bad enough that I could request a disabled parking sticker, but my conscience won’t let me do it. I may be barely able to walk on my worst days, but I would feel guilty taking a handicapped spot from someone who needs it even more than me.
- Osteophytes are more commonly known as ‘bone spurs’.
- I could hear a faint siren, but I usually hear them coming from police/ambulance vehicles outside on the Tollway so I just tuned it out and assumed it was out there again.