It's been two years since I walked anywhere without pain. Two years since I walked without weakness. Two years since I walked without pain. Two years since I walked without fear.
Two years since I walked more than 20m at a time. Two years since I didn't have to worry about where the next seat was. Two years since I wasn't scared that I'd fall over when I walked. Two years since I went anywhere without worrying "what if?".
Two years of concentrating on every breath so I didn't panic or pass out from pain. Two years since I walked into the playground without worrying about needing the toilet. Two years since I felt my age.
Two years without shops. Two years without freedom. Two years without just wondering around. Two years without a walk in the woods. Two years of a smaller life. Two years trapped.
It's been two years of pain, inside and out, both dull constant and sharp occasional; it's both and neither and too complicated to try to describe. It's pain of the bones and joints, muscles and tendons, brain and heart, eyes and head.
It's hard for anyone to understand if they haven't lived through something like this. It hasn't happened because I'm lazy, although I think you all think that. It hasn't happened because I'm overweight, although I know that doesn't help. It hasn't happened because I've given up, although sometimes I start to question myself.
It's taken two years for anyone to really take it seriously; and only because another symptom which couldn't be ignored came about. But that's all in the past because now the pain is being accepted and treated I can finally start to deal with it.
I doubt I'll be walking much further than 20m any time soon; but at least it won't consume my every waking moment. I can move on from the fear of walking and start living; one step at a time on my wobbly legs.