Today marks exactly a year since I first developed a mysterious complication on my knee that has seen me subjected to either a limp or walking sticks for the greater part of that year. It saddens me that it remains mysterious even to the nine doctors who I have been to. This day was also supposed to mark exactly two months since I last used the walking stick, but unfortunately the limp recurred this morning. It has been a year with lots of ups and equal downs and if I haven’t learnt anything within that year then I have no purpose living on earth coz that would mean there has been no growth. Therefore today I choose to do a postmortem of the limp year one.
Through the year I have seen a lot and what has interested me most is the feelings people have, or at least the way people express their feelings. I’ve come to know of the people who really care, some that I didn’t even expect to feel a thing for me. And through this there are incidences that have really touched me. I remember once I got into a banking hall to pay my school fees. I’d always waited for the day I’d jump the queue, but this day the same thing I’d always longed for almost drove me to tears. I really did not need sympathy and when the security guard came to me at the end of the queue and asked me to walk to the teller and everyone else in the hall watched me sympathetically as I supported my body on my two walking sticks, I felt like throwing them down and longed for my normal feet again.
I will never forget the day I was going to work early in the morning and on reaching Bunyala Road/Uhuru Highway round about the “matatu” I had boarded got arrested and the traffic cop on seeing me on crutches did all he could to find me a vehicle that could drop me in town. That very day I got into another “matatu” and a random man just got off his seat next to the door to save me the pain of having to walk all the way to the back. I was most touched when one day while with grandma my knee suddenly started acting up and the ol’lady offered me her walking stick. I really don’t know what I’d ever do to thank my grandmother.
I am not saying that this were the only cases that I experienced sympathy through the year, I wish it was empathy though. I would name the many cases of touts whom I have known to be very rude softening up on seeing me. My family has been the greatest through all this, my caring parents, my loving sisters, my concerned brother and my ever sympathetic niece and nephews. But in all I can’t forget my selfless uncle who has taken it upon himself to ensure I get the best treatment we could ever find in the country and even helps my parents with footing the huge bill that has always come with it. If it wasn’t for him my right foot would have been amputated by now (thank God for the doctor he is). So many care but he has been the best through and through and to date still calls everyday to find out how I’m doing (I wonder how I’ll tell him about the limp this evening). My friends (the few I have, leave out the “friends”), have been there and if anything some have been great, taking time off their schedule to visit me whenever in hospital.
If I said it has all been rosy I would be lying; what of the painful moments, the sleepless nights, the realization that some people have only been there because they needed me and not vice versa, the painful insensitive people I’ve come to see in some of those I choose to call friends and those who have out rightly decided to make fun/jokes out of this (I smile at them but deep inside it hurts me). Most of all the fact that at 23 years of age I could have such a mysterious complication, one that not even the doctors understand.
I was most scared when one day I was hurriedly recalled to hospital for a CT scan, and all the while as I waited for the results I hoped it wasn’t cancer (Now I think I’m prepared enough even if it later turned out to be). I remember one night when the pain became too much and I woke up and said to myself “I guess this is the way people feel just before they die”. It would never get erased from my mind that on a certain morning my doctor looked me into the eye and told me he was considering amputation. I won’t dwell on the negatives, coz that is not what I live for, I believe that the positive is what God meant for me.
And a year later though still limping I believe I am a stronger person, not only have I been able to sieve my friends but I have also learnt a lot about me as a person. I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things in life and also learnt that it is the small things that we do for and to others that really count. I have quit the bad habit I had started- SMOKING, and today I don’t understand how I could stand putting those cigarette sticks into my mouth. Thanks to the pictures on my doctors reception room wall.
And therefore as I crutch to the front of the lecture room tomorrow to make my presentation, I do so with a brave face because I know that even as the limp year two begins it does so with me on a wiser footing and with more to learn from this limp. I also hope that before the end of this year the doctors will be able to find out what this mysterious complication is.
ABOVE ALL I THANK GOD FOR THE PROTECTION, FOR THE GREAT PEOPLE HE HAS GIVEN ME, AND I BELIEVE SOON HE WILL GIVE ME A BREAKTHROUGH…..AMEN!