A Gimpy Knee and Opiate Addiction


I am miserable.  Rums slept on my left knee about two weeks ago.  I’ve been limping ever since then.  It takes several weeks to get over one of these lovely moments.  At least I’m not dealing with 24 steps like I did in the condo, and don’t have that horrible thick carpet in my parents’ house.  It hurts to walk.  I think one of the problems is the way I’m sitting when I work.  As usual, I’ve not gone to a doctor.  I have no insurance and can’t afford it.  The other day I realized that a couple Advil help control the pain.

After limping through a local grocery store, by the time I reached check-out I was ready to pass out, I felt that bad.  I also felt so lousy, I left most of my stuff in the car.  I hope I brought in all the cold things. I was just exhausted.  The knee felt better after doing a heck of a lot of walking, but I used muscles a different way, and ouch!

Have you noticed how the world had changed?  I had been living in small town, New Mexico where nothing had changed in nineteen years I lived there.  But – in the outside world, it is different.  I’ve noticed that there is now a tremendous amount of walking, just to get into a store.  Even the handicapped parking spaces, in many locations, are outlandishly far from a store entrance.  I’ve truly begun to believe this brave new world belongs only to the physically fit among us.  It is designed to prevent those of us who are limping, or may not be strong enough to walk in what amounts to several blocks, through a large food star. If you can’t navigate through a basic food store, then you can’t get the supplies you need – unless you are fortunate enough to be able to rely on someone to help you.

I now understand why there is such a problem with opiates in this country.  I have a problem with medication.  The only thing I can take is Advil.  But – I can see how someone would reach for something stronger, just to go about normal living.  The obscene distances required to navigate a ‘normal’ size food store is daunting.  We once thought Target was huge, but it is far easier to deal with than the local grocery stores.

This morning, I was very upset.  I wasn’t sure if I could make it through the store.  Last week, I could not have done so.  Because I have no health insurance, I have no parking permit.  I’m only taking Advil – but what if I were taking an opiate?  What if I can’t make it through the huge store with monster parking distances?

My gosh this is discriminatory.  I watched my mother go from someone who could make it through life, to almost an invalid, because of her back.  She came to rely on opiates until we were able to access medical marijuana.  When a person needs pain medication just to traverse the growing distances between parking and a store, something is wrong.

This has left me with a feeling of isolation.  I need to go to Home Depot, but really can’t walk the distance.  Two weeks ago I had to trek through Lowes, twice.  It was agony.  The employee helping me kept pulling the cart, forcing me to almost run to keep up with him.  I could barely walk, let alone run.

I also understand why we have vets taking their own lives.  How can someone injured, trying to survive, cope with this brave new physically fit world, where if you aren’t perfect and fast, you are pushed aside. It is troubling.  In this so-called compassionate world, we should be able to accommodate everyone.  But, even mention the distances a person must now walk just to get into a store, and you are looked at like some sort of a freak.

Our world is about those who are physically fit and perfect.  The rest of us, are,  I gather, to just roll over and die.  Basic foraging for food in a store should not be a miserable effort that it is for some people.  Sure, stores offer those carts, but when you are dealing with a knee that hurts every time you twist it, moving a certain way, forget about the cart. They don’t have personal shoppers.  I guess, those of us who aren’t perfect are to just disappear and let the physically perfect show off heir perfection while we live less that optimal lives.

My knee will be better in a week or so.  But – what about a friend who is disabled?  What about the vet who is in pain with every step?  Do they count?

Evidently, they don’t.

So – they start taking opiate based pain meds, which doctors have no problem proscribing.

I remember when handicapped parking spots were near a public entry.

Forget that.