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Constant Companion

by Chris Sorrenti

many miles these legs have carried me
over 48 years

some days
the sensation a steady low intensity throb
between second last and bottom vertebrae
cartilage gradually worn away
from two decades of lifting…moving boxes
in a records office

my current condition not enough
to roll out the soothing anti-inflammatory
treatment of symptom
or on occasion
the heavy artillery of added codeine
when it feels like someone has plunged
a butcher knife into my back
and to walk...run...cycle
with the ease I once took for granted
is but an illusion of lost youth

soldiering on between the two extremes
uncertain which is worse
wading neck deep in anxiety
not knowing when it will happen again
relatively fine one moment
then bending over
to put a glass in the dishwasher
a muscle lock later
unable to stand up straight

the bi-weekly adjustments at the chiropractor help
though my constant companion
is never very far away
with the numbness gone in left leg…right arm
the visits no doubt will buy me
a few more years
atop these legs still carrying
this walker...runner...cyclist
in defiance of deterioration
I will continue to enjoy the autumn years
of my mobility
contemplating the someday of
which make of walker...wheelchair
will look best on me

© 2005

350 hits as of May 2021


Author's Note: I spent most of 2006 going to a local chiropractor, at a cost of around $2,600. It helped immensely, and although my back still occasionally gets achy, nowhere near as bad as in the early-mid 2000s. I would have kept going, preferring to pay as I go, but this chiro wanted a years’ worth of treatment payments in advance, so I stopped going.

Posted on 05/18/2019
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 05/19/19 at 11:50 PM

Wading neck deep in anxiety... constant companion... both of these I can relate to. I am glad my brain has the capability to ignore my constant companion most of the time but with each passing year getting up from a sitting position if more of a temptation to pitying myself for this poor old body. Maybe I should spend more time in the reminiscing room reviewing clips of cycling and running. Or will that make me depressed? So many dead ends as the decades pile up! Thanks buddy for your reflection on the process...

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