Yesterday I had what I’d consider a “good” day as far as my legs were concerned. I overcame a little grogginess in the morning fairly quickly, and managed to have both energy and be pain-free for most of the day. I had a little residual soreness from Friday night, when a leg cramp woke me up screaming in the middle of the night, but that was more an echo of pain than real pain. The stairs at my apartment complex gave me no trouble, and I managed to navigate the day fairly easily.
After lunch, I had another bout of grogginess, but I pushed through to get chores done. However, by early evening, I ran plum out of energy. I was almost done with laundry and had just started a baking project; I had to ask Kae to carry the laundry back into the apartment and refrigerate the dough to finish baking another day. I just could not bring myself to get up. After dinner, I managed to hurt myself getting up from our low-slung couch (I was carrying my laptop, so I didn’t brace on anything), and eventually went to bed a little late after Kae promised to do the dishes and I gave up on putting laundry away.
Today is more typical. I woke up exhausted (Chaos got back from his trip around 1am last night, and his snoring was worse than usual) but still managed to bring myself to alertness fairly rapidly. After concluding my morning routine, I sat down for a moment on the bed and a wave of achiness hit both knees. Then I remembered I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet. A few moments later, I forced myself back up to take care of that, then my tea was ready and it was time to leave. I drove to work okay, worried more about my eyes being tired than my legs being sore, but when I got out of the car each step brought fresh aches to my knees. I took the lift down to my floor instead of the stairs, and now as I write this my right knee aches a muted, quiet ache, like a small child still grumbling about getting a smaller cookie than her brother got. At my desk I’ll stretch it as best I can, shifting positions every so often (ick straight is worse, let’s go back to bent leg for now), and probably (judging by the pain) experience pain and discomfort when getting up. If this worsens I might subconsciously drink less of my water so I won’t have to pee as often. I probably won’t microwave my lunch because that means standing at the microwave for a few extra minutes. Actually, since I don’t need a fork (I packed a sandwich), I might not go to the cafeteria at all until after I finish my lunch and realize I’m still hungry.
Chronic pain is more than pain. It’s about changing everything, every day, to adapt to what my knees have in store for me. It’s about cramming chores into the day I can walk and trying to forgive myself for the sink full of dishes when I can’t.