First your legs go

Boomers learning to play baseball in the mid 1950s were taught throwing the ball starts with the legs.  The muscles in the legs act as springs sending energy through our trunks into our arms flinging the ball away.

This distant memory came to me today while I was throwing yard debris into the borough’s dumpster.  The container was filled to the top as it always is.  I dragged the load from the car and grabbed a small section only to have the entire mess become inter-twined making it more than I could handle.

I found a way to make smaller sections.  Now all that was left was to fling these bundles over the five foot high sides of the dumpster.  My first attempt was so bad the debris bounced off and landed on my head.  I gathered my dignity and summoned once mighty leg muscles to send the bundle onto the pile’s apex.  My better efforts landed just above the container.  I was able to push the bundles past the point of hanging on the edges.

I can thank a symptom called disequilibrium.  This unwelcomed visitor is the result of neuropathy in my legs caused by diabetes.  My description of this aliment is trying to walk with legs not quite strong enough.  The feet drag, and there is much stumbling. Most of the time, the legs just don’t respond as you’d expected.

I have started walking with a cane.  It does help.  I would have fallen at least twice today but not for this support.

Am I happy to need a cane to ambulate?  Not at all!  Canes are for old folks or so I thought.

But my cane is not just any ordinary cane.  No, no, it was made by our local handyman/good guy, Dominic Guerreri.  When Dom’s retirement came, he made canes for his male buddies.  Dozens of these handcrafted canes made their way to friends.  They could now continue their long walks with Dom.

My Dad was one of the men for whom Dom made a cane.  When Dad died twenty years ago, the cane found its way to my basement.  It looks like a wooden vine with a strong bow in the long section and a oddly angled handle jutting from it. Do I feel jaunty when I use it?   No, I feel more like I’m on display.  I wonder who is watching me and what their new opinion of me is.  Of course, I can’t allow these thoughts to control me.

I know it’s just a cane, but it’s symbolic of a decline I fear and despise.  I guess I’ll always believed I would be one of those rare old-timers with still some spring in the legs.

Yeah, like I can stop time.

 

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