The N Word
Goodness, not Paula Deen's N word. Neuropathy. It's a bad, bad thing. I didn't have much of it after my first chemo two years ago, but it gradually built up over this set of chemo treatments and really walloped me the last several weeks. Now I see why my doctor counseled me not to plan too much after chemo ended: recovery will take a bit longer than I expected.
It's not my hands giving me the most problems with neuropathy. The tops and bottoms of my feet are sensitive to the touch, and my legs hurt most of the time. For extra fun, occasionally it feels as though someone jabbed a needle into a foot, and I haven't quite learned to control the involuntary jerk; it looks a bit like a facial tic gone south.
Oddly enough, the only thing which makes me feel better and seems to hold the neuropathy at bay is walking. I also really need to get active again as the only exercise I had for several weeks was lifting my head off the pillow. But with our temperature in the 100s now, I am wilting before the end of the first block, not to mention completely out of breath from the Respiratory Infection Which Will Not Die. Once I had to call my husband to come pick me up, and another time I got our neighborhood security patrol to take me home. I really need to walk somewhere where I can stop and rest every half-mile when I've having a bad day. So how am I going to get in my walking?
Tiffany's to the rescue
I never thought I'd become one, but I have, at least for now: I'm a mallwalker.
One of the malls near me actually encourages mallwalking, and there are usually about fifty people walking in the morning before the stores open. I don't so much walk as stroll right now, so it takes me a while to get all my laps in. I can pass the seventy-year-olds and anyone with a cane, but good golly Miss Molly, watch out for the focused 60-year-olds going at a fast-clipped pace - they'll run you over. Apparently there's a mallwalker protocol, which doesn't include my habit of abruptly braking for good store window displays.
I was also delighted to find that I tend to run out of breath on every lap just as I reach Tiffany's. Mere coincidence, of course. But isn't it nice that there's a seating area right in front of the store so I can watch them bring out their newest pieces to set up the window displays? (And what a shame my birthday has already come and gone this year.)
Walking is always more efficient as an exercise when you have weights in your hands. So a loaded shopping bag in each hand would increase the health benefits, right? I'm willing to step up to the plate and make that sacrifice in the interests of getting healthier.
Today I did three laps on the bottom level and two on the top level, and made purchases at several stores with great summer sales. I can't measure how much the walking is helping me get physically fit, but my wallet is definitely always slimmer when I leave.
Next week: mud-slinging! No, I'm not going to talk about Rick Perry or the other interesting characters in Texas politics; I start pottery classes. I promise I'll post a picture as I've received requests for more pics. I wonder what one wears to sling mud?