Sometime in the late 1980's, when I was working a free-lance gig as a ring announcer for the NWA (which subsequently folded into the WWF, which then became the WWE), Ric Flair flipped up, in all of his marvelous acrobatic ability, off the ring corner post into the air and landed cross-wise on my lap.
The folding chair on which I had been sitting collapsed under our combined weight and we went directly and immediately to the cement floor of the Richmond Coliseum. Flair was unhurt and, at the time, so was I. I thought so, at any rate.
Shortly thereafter I began experiencing shooting pains down my legs. It was diagnosed as sciatica. I was offered no healing by doctors, just painkillers, and that seemed more disabling than the pain.
Over the past 20 years, the "sciatica" has evolved into knee-down numbness. I have no feeling in my legs from just below my knees down to my feet. I've had all the tests: the BP is way down, indicating limited blood circulation in my legs; there is no indication of diabetes, which could cause such infirmity; my legs are just numb.
The word for my condition is "neuropathy". And no doctor has been able to discern a reason for it. My older brother has the same condition, by the way. He's also never been able to get a diagnosis.
Since I cannot feel the floor when I walk, I have to use a cane or some other support (a shopping cart) when I walk so I don't fall down. When I drive, I have to rely on memory to know where the relevant pedals are. Walking up and down stairs in my house is a challenge. Of all the things I've lost over the years, I miss my balance the most.
I live in abject fear of the day when the State will tell me that they have joined my medical and driving records and have decided that I can no longer be allowed to drive an automobile.
When I was a kid, I walked everywhere, miles and miles at a time. I can't do that anymore, and maybe someday soon I won't even be able to drive to the grocery store.
The idea of losing mobility terrifies me.