I had a small bit of independent adventure yesterday afternoon, and I'm still basking in the glow of it. I had a massage scheduled, and considering that no one I knew was already going to be spending time with me, and the fact that there are buses and taxis that I can easily use, I decided to get myself there all alone.
Normally I avoid buses as much as possible. Mostly this is because I don't tend toward motion sickness . . . but I do on a bus. Sometimes all I have to do is sit down on the bus and I start to feel queasy. When I'm on long-distance buses in foreign countries I mostly find that I sleep, even when the rest of the passengers are drunk Lithuanian men (this is obviously a safer practice when I'm traveling with Ian, who mostly reads. Nope, can't do that). I think this is my body's way of holding on to breakfast. Fortunately for yesterday's adventure, I managed to not feel any discomfort until about 2/3 of the way through my trip and then I needed to start really paying attention to where I was and so I was distracted from my guts. I suppose I could blame chemo for the tummy trouble, but I won't. I'll blame the bus.
Anyway, the bus I chose is a very convenient one. It stops 2 blocks from my house (up the street), winds through the UW and on to U Village (good to note—bus stop right by Anthropologie), then heads north to 75th, then west to Roosevelt, then north again. If I got off at 82nd and Roosevelt, I would be a mere two long blocks from my massage, mostly a slight downhill stroll. Of course, I don't ride the bus much, and I couldn't quite believe it would stop every two blocks up Roosevelt, so after 76th and 78th I pulled the cord. And then at 80th I felt compelled to get out (since no one else was), dragging my oxygen tank with me (someone asked me the other day if I had a name for my portable oxygen tank and I don't, but the more I get out of the house and drag it around, the more I think it'll need one. I'm open to suggestions.). Anyway, walking from 80th added a couple more blocks, and a little bit of uphill. But I told myself I was just out being independent—I was not out even trying to walk my normal pace—and I strolled slowly on the uphills, and a little more quickly on the levels and downhills, and made it with good oxygen levels, and a heart rate that proved I was working out.
After my massage, I did the same 10-block walk that I last did June 17th (note: yesterday's 10 blocks came after I'd already walked about ½ a mile—which makes it significantly better than the June walk . . . before the pneumonia), up to L&S's house. My friend who was gimpy at that time had just come home from a hugely successful major back surgery, soon to not be gimpy anymore. Ian met us there a little later and we all had a fine Mexican dinner, and at 8:30 I realized I was completely wiped out—in a very good way—and we came home.
But oh, man. This really convenient bus still meant I had to leave my house a whole hour before I would've if I'd been driving, to go a distance of about 3 ½ miles. Yes, I'm not doing too much with my time these days—a little writing, small projects around the house, reading, occasionally having an afternoon nap—but when I have the option of the car again, even if I'm still not extraordinarily busy, I know I'll struggle. The convenience and the speed of one's own car do, increasingly obviously, carry consequences. But the convenience and the speed.