What It’s Like To Be Crippled

Man standing on his head on top a mountainRecently, I’ve not been able to walk.  It’s happened really quickly. It happened so quickly, my reaction has been stunned, shock.

At this point, I’ve had enough time to research, I don’t think this is going to unresolvable for me, at least in the near term. But boy is it eye-opening.

I’ve written before, how I tend to run in spurts. Run into the store, literally, and run out. I think my neighbor was shocked when my little dog took off and I ran full speed, after him. He’d have gotten a lead and walked, himself.  Sensible!

Prior to this year, it never occurred to me that I would not be able to walk.  Well, like most, I have wondered what it would be like to be in a wheelchair, but the odds of that are low, right?

It was really freaky, the first time I could not walk. I couldn’t fathom it in the moment.  What is this, I thought. Whaaaaat?

Over the next few weeks there were more occurrences, more frequent, more severe. It became apparent it was not a fluke. I had no idea what to do…other than hold on to something.

I’m trying to convey the confusion. I have Lupus. It’s hard to discern what’s going on, in between trying to process the horror of this.  For example, I went to a store today to pick something up. Now what if I were to get there and realize I can’t get out of the car? What would that mean in my life?

I did get out of the car, barely? Am I losing this ability…now? Today?

I’ve very busy. I finally started researching this last night. I liked what I found. I’m pretty sure I can stave this off.  I’m not sure for how long. However, I am also not sure the time I can stave it off will be short!

I wonder now if the universe is not very kindly giving me a glimpse of the future. Not just mine, but maybe yours as well. So I can write this and you can read it so that it might help you in some way.  Saturn transit to natal Jupiter.

65 thoughts on “What It’s Like To Be Crippled”

  1. It’s all right. Truly and seriously, it is. I think I have a line on this. I’ll see my doc in a few weeks. It’s been illuminating to say the least.
    I may have to get a cane for example. However, in between literally, not being able to stand / walk, I can stand and walk (and run and work) so I’ll just have to see what’s up and what I can do. I think I know though, and I think I was stave this off as I said.

    But believe me, the first time you get up…and fall down, it’s a freakin’ trip. Very hard to believe. And it’s quick, see? Totally mysterious the first ten times at least.

    My husband says if he can’t walk, he’ll crawl. Me too! 🙂

    1. If you get a cane, get a badass one… 🙂

      Seriously though, this is terrible news, but I guess not unexpected because of the Lupus.

  2. Elsa, sending you a hug and good thoughts.

    In my mind, you’re the Unsinkable ElsaElsa, so I know somehow things will be ok!!!!

  3. Sorry to hear you’re going through this (((Elsa))), but maybe a call to the doctor mentioning what’s happening, and he’d move your appointment up sooner. I’d be impatient to hear his opinion. Just make sure you have your cellphone handy, if you get in a jam and don’t be shy to ask for help.

    1. I think I’ll fare better if I educate myself and go in organized. As I said, i think i have this figured out. I am aggravating arthritis from those torn discs when I ran my kids out of that fire. I am pretty sure if I quit aggravating it, this will recede.

      The question is, do i want to know how bad my spine is (mri). Answer- no, unless he’s got something compelling to say.

      So if i keep aggravating the problem, this becomes self-inflicted, assuming I am right, which I think I am.

      1. You know what symptoms you are having, inflammation vs complete loss of sensation in your legs. These are two separate problems, the latter would prompt me to call the doctor.

  4. I get it! Losing my mobility from MS is a huge fear of mine. In late March I clumsily missed a step on the stairs and broke my foot. One minute I was cleaning the house and the next minute I couldn’t move. Getting around on crutches was not a viable option for me. I had to learn to crawl everywhere. Little by little, I found ways to get around and then I was allowed to walk in the boot and then I was freed to simply limp around (after 6 weeks). I hope to never find myself in that position again, but of course there are no guarantees! My handicap rearview mirror expires this week.

  5. See, my activities have changed since I moved. One of the new activities is causing this. So i have to either quit it or modify what I’m doing in some way so I don’t suffer this symptom.

  6. There are plenty of terrifying things about lupus and what becomes of you. I have some of that stuff. But I don’t think this is that! I hope anyway.

  7. I feel sorry for you Elsa. It reminds me of my mother in law and how fast she went down to lupus. But she got a bad blood transfusion and it gave her a lot of diseases. Lupus, Scleroderma, Grave’s Disease, Shogrum’s Disease, Vasculitis and more problems. She started having symptoms in 1996 and the doctors told her that she had five years to live. She passed away in 2001. I hope that you will beat this thing and keep fighting it. The things just happen suddenly like she was walking one day and the next, she was bedridden and that was that. It was so sad to see her go down hill from being a vibrant, funny woman.
    Prayers for you; that you over come it.

  8. I don’t know much about arthritis with lupus, but I do know about arthritis. Some days for no reason I walk like a crippled old lady, and it’s always shocking because my mind thinks I’m still 30 years old. Some days I’m just fine. Same with the hands. It’s such a disappointment, how our bodies eventually betray us. But what choice do we have…. just keep on keepin’ on.

  9. I’m very sorry to hear this and hope it’s just a blip. I understand being mentally prepared but I hope what you fear doesn’t come to pass. I wonder if controlling the condition for a time helps it recede somewhat? That can happen, I don’t know about lupus though. Gah. I really am sort of speechless. Big hugs, girlfriend. You know I love you. xoxo

  10. Avatar
    Warped by Wuthering Heights

    ((((Elsa)))) I’m sorry!

    Could this be due to pressure on spinal nerves from your disc problems, rather than lupus? All that lawn mowing perhaps? My mom had spinal stenosis, had difficulty walking/balancing at times. Special exercises, acupuncture, chiropractic work, and frequent massages could help. I’ve known many people who have been helped by Chinese Medicine, it’s really worth trying to find a good practitioner in your area.

    I had no idea so many diseases could be contracted from blood transfusions. But they still save so many lives, bless you for donating.

    Thank you for reminding us all to take better care of ourselves and try to arrange our lives to prepare for the unexpected. You will beat this, you ARE “unsinkable!”

  11. I’m so sorry to hear this. Best wishes in successful treatment and/or slowing the activity causing the problem.

  12. Elsa, I have compassion for you as you go through this, and admiration for you – your strength, determination and educating yourself on your condition/dx. You know what you’re dealing with, and seems you have a good partnership with your physicians. As to your last two paragraphs, I can relate, and yes it is a help! It’s my/our turn to help in the ways we can. Time for negotiation on my end . . . here I come again, St. Pio of Pietrelcina!!! (so many cases have been documented)

  13. Elsa, I’m so sorry to hear of this. But you’re right. This last week has been an eye opener in the walking department. No, I don’t have any potential crippling diseases that I know of, but I hurt my back. I haven’t walked bent over before, but, this, this had me a little bent and I started thinking “Oh my god! This is what it’s like and I don’t like it!” So, my back is starting to feel better ( I went to the chiropractor) and then it’s just a matter of inflammation going away. I still have tweeks of pain or soreness, but not like I did before and I realized I have to do something to make myself stronger so it doesn’t happen again. I can only imagine what you are dealing with.

  14. Hi Elsa,

    I am currently in the hospital helping to care for my best friend who was recently diagnosed with a rare inflammatory neurological disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and she, too, lost the ability to walk and became bed-ridden within only a couple of weeks. She was being treated for an entirely different disease when the brilliant doctor caring for her thought to have her tested for this syndrome, as well (which can masquerade as other diseases, apparently) and also for Lyme disease. Lo and behold, it turned out she did not have Lyme disease but she did, in fact, have Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a disease of the peripheral nervous system that affects maybe 1 in 100,000 people, but there you have it. Fortunately, it is treatable and the doctors are fairly confident she will regain her ability to walk, although she will have to undergo intensive physical therapy and continue to receive periodic IV infusions of the drug that treats the syndrome. I mention this in case you want to ask your doctor to have you checked for this disease. Because it is so rare, not every doctor may think to check for it, but the symptoms sound similar to what you describe so you may at least want to ask about it so they can rule it out, in any case. I recommend that you consider seeing a good neurologist and having the MRI. My friend did, and it probably saved her life–and her legs–although she has a long road to recovery before she will walk again. I hope this is helpful information. Wishing you all the best.

    1. I know someone with this disease too. It flares up from time to time with her and she told me that she can be holding a cup of coffee one second and the next, her arm spasms and the mug is across the room. It bothers her a lot since she makes her living as an artist, and a very good one at that. It is definitely sad when the body decides, “Hey! I am going to mal-function.”

  15. Sending good thoughts to you Elsa!! I admire your curious attitude to your situation. Hopefully it is temporary and you will be able to break though this. You have a great support group here!

  16. Adding my very best to you Elsa, so sorry that you are having to go through this just when everything is straightening out. My mother has stenosis also, and is a constant source of inspiration despite her lack of mobility now. Not feeling sorry for oneself is a gift not everyone has!

  17. May the spirit be with you, Elsa. I understand the chock! Like many others here, I admire your perspective. All good thoughts your way!

  18. Oh no! Not more health problems!
    I hope this turns out to be a temporary condition and can be controlled and “fixed”.
    I’m always impressed by your courage and positive attitude!!!

  19. Oh, no!!! But we know your mind and your heart can soar no matter the physical confines and pray you will soon be able to walk again. Several friends are using canes and they get around. One is going back on her 2nd safari in Africa.
    (Wearing sneakers due to horrible bunion/flat feet – a reminder not to despair because I can no longer wear pretty shoes).

  20. Hi Elsa, I’m so sorry to hear this……perhaps you have to slow down a little, I know you’re very busy and things are coming together… the patio furniture is still fresh in my mind, I can see you cleaning, scrubbing those cushions so that you will have a welcoming place for your guests who will love coming over to you…..take it easy, Elsa, we’re all with you. Thank you for sharing such personal difficulty with us, limitation (Saturn)is going to touch all of us, good you made us all aware of this – especially with the venus square saturn almost upon us. Best wishes Elsa

  21. dear Elsa…I agree that some of your recent activities may have irritated yr discs…can you slow down your workload??? and live at a slower pace for a while? See if this helps…also you (and I) could benefit from some simple yoga stretches!

  22. Hi, Elsa!
    It’s great that you are open to using a cane if needed. I have post-polio syndrome, and sometimes (difficult to explain), I suddenly find myself on the ground. I was too proud to wear a brace or use a cane, and as a result, had several very bad falls last December (Saturn conjunct Ascendant). Finally, I got both the brace and the cane out of the closet, and there is such security and peace in just doing what you have to do to stay mobile. I find people are very kind and helpful, too.

  23. I’m sorry to hear that, Elsa; I have arthritis to my knees and had to give up the very thing I loved the most, running; walking is also painful. One thing that did help, after one op to one of the knees was Hyaluronic Acid injections into the bone: It was like getting up from a wheel chair after a year of limping around in pain! Another thing I frequently do is to apply bags of ice (the ones one gets in supermarkets in the summer), to both of my knees for a couple of hours while I rest listening to meditation music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFECwmhg4UU&list=RDzFECwmhg4UU#t=4
    Benjamin Bernstain from AstroShaman.com is worth checking out for his shamanic healing technique (I can testify its worth): http://astroshaman.com/invocations-for-healing-awakening/
    Lastly, I checked out Padre Pio’s website as suggested from one of your followers/friends. I’m not particularly religious, certainly not in the Catholic sense of the word, but I have strong spiritual beliefs. There’s a statue of Padre Pio (St. Pio of Pietrelcina),in my native town (Milan, Italy), I often went by and curiously gazed at anyway, copy and paste of a little prayer I found on the website that I particularly liked:
    Prayer To Your Guardian Angel
    Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
    To whom God’s love commits me here,
    Ever this day be at my side
    To light and guard, to rule and guide.
    Sending you gentle, healing and loving light,
    Alecs xox

  24. Elsa, You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope this is temporary for you. Back in early 1999 I had sudden onset of pain and couldn’t walk. My new boyfriend would pick me up and carry me if we were together. Later
    I could walk with two canes. I was diagnosed with both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. I did my research and did natural anti – inflammatories and glucosamine and chondroitin and msm and six months later was able to walk without the canes. I had a relapse again a few years back and with the above and added acupuncture, was Walking again within three months without the canes. A year ago it started in my fingers. I was under so much stress and turmoil in my life and I have looked into my diet and I am eating things my body reacts to so need to get back on the natural anti – inflammatories.

  25. Sorry Elsa. I, too, have a disk problem on the left side and sometimes that leg doesn’t feel 100% strong, but I’m thankful I’ve never fallen. I also have repetitive injuries from working on the computer full time for the last 30 years with pulled muscles, etc. I got some physical therapy and chiropractic care about 13 years ago and now take Aleve if I have pain, but I like to garden — so that aggravates my disk sometimes. I’ve started doing a little yoga on my own and I really think that helps b/c with yoga you do what you can and what feels right for your body but thanks for your story and everyone else’s and I hope everyone gets well!! 🙂

  26. Elsa, you are a very tough broad. I’ve read your posts for a long time. You have been very powerful in making me see what’s real.

    This “move” was more than a move. It was a push in many ways, from the Mercury retrograde home purchase (correct me if I’m wrong but I do recall this scenario with the first contract), and you performed like a gladiator, against all odds, you moved mountains to get the next house by hook or by crook.

    As a realtor, I know shit will hit the fan at a retrograde Mercury.
    I also know that clients will wind up in ICU if they get stretched.
    I also know they will die on the last day if they get stretched.
    Yes, suicide! And, YES, murder.

    You took so many personal hits and forced the wheels to stay on.
    Now, your wheels are coming off.

    Time to payback your body. It did it’s job. I’ve had clients with Lupus and if they overdo activities or are in heat, they pay for it. They know their limits.

    I’m quite confident you’ll be fine so I’m not going to smother you with oh, poor you, hope you’ll be fine…..no, you are not a gladiator.

    1. And you don’t know the half of it. 🙂

      But really, this is from a specific activity that I am doing now that I was not doing before…and if I quit or modify, I’m pretty confident this will recede.

      But I’ve definitely met a limitation and I probably will wind up crippled, eventually, no matter what I do.

  27. It’s all been said here, you are such a powerful woman, and I’m so thankful for your website, blog and the wonderful things you do here. I love the way you always seem to know what to do next when random strikes. I had a similar difficulty, which wasn’t random, more chronic, when Saturn passed my Ascendant, my legs became weaker and weaker, I could hardly walk some days and for a number of years afterwards. I even needed help walking down stairs of any kind for years. It took me 3 plus years to rebuild the leg muscles up again. I even lost my butt muscles at the time.

    Wishing you all the best in your self management of these present limitations.

  28. You are arming yourself with knowledge. You are learning to adapt in new ways to a new reality. Your strength in making changes determines the outcome to a large degree. You have got what it takes and you always have had. Thanks for the warning in an effort to prepare the rest of us. (((((Elsa))))) We all wish you the very best.

  29. That sounds frightening and frustrating! But I can’t help picturing you zipping around on a scooter, if all else fails.

    1. I sold my scooter to my neighbor, right as we were moving. Good thing, it would not have fit in the truck and would not be useful here. But my husband told me of men who had their legs blown off in war, skating on skateboards…to work, no less.

      You just have to deal with what you’ve got. It takes something like this for a person to really how lucky they’ve been.

      My plan is to (continue to) develop myself. See where it takes me. 🙂

  30. May you have the strength to deal with this new problem and the wisdom to decide the best course of action to get you back on your feet again. Hugs and blessings Elsa.

  31. Elsa,
    This is an off the wall question and if you choose not to answer it that’s okay.

    Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked (blood work)?

    If not, then please do so. I had a severe deficit and am taking the pills now. I have a couple of friends with Lupus and/or MS and they all had severe Vitamin D deficits. They’ve seen slow improvement with some of their symptoms by correcting it.

    I know that sounds crazy but I just wanted to share that with you.

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