Always there were more questions than answers. What do I have, I’d ask the doctor. Well, I’m not sure he’d replied. It doesn’t have a name he’d added. If this was happening ten years from now, he mused, the tests would be better, we’d know so much more. Okay was the only response I could think of.
Eighteen months ago, in the middle of the night, a big mystery began in my left thigh. I woke from a deep sleep in pain, my left leg spasming. By morning, I could barely put weight on that leg.
Fast forward to today. I’m on the other side of that mystery that took eight months to diagnose. I’m past the hours long treatments in an infusion center where the cocktail dripping into my veins was far less potent than what patients all around me were receiving. The constant burning is gone. I’m still numb, but I’m used to that now. My leg is still a little unreliable, but I’m used to that too.
All along I said to my doctors that there were things I’d willingly give up… downhill skiing, high heels, certain exercises in the strength training classes I love to attend. But… not tennis. Getting back onto the court has been a goal from the moment my leg became a problem.
I’m not an athlete. But I can play tennis well enough to have an enjoyable game with friends, to get a good workout, and to work up a good sweat. For me there has always been something deeply satisfying about getting out and whacking the ball at the end of a long work day. And yesterday, eighteen months later that is just what I did. Was I scared? Yup. I wondered if I would be able to move with any confidence. (I also wondered if I’d even remember how to hit the ball!)
It was a perfect afternoon. The sun was shining. The air was warm but not hot. The tennis pro who’s known me for years was not just patient, he was encouraging and even happily surprised at times by what I could do. I spent an hour on the court hitting balls over the net and sometimes into the net. I moved side to side on the base line practicing forehands and backhands. There was lots I didn’t attempt on this first time back on the court, but I was sweaty and tired and totally exhilarated at the end of that hour. My leg and I did it and this morning I’m still smiling.