Each of my toes feels like a large bag of cement, weighty and swollen, as if they’re on the verge of bursting inside my shoes. My steps are strained as I struggle to place one foot in front of the other, forcing my reluctant body to keep up with the other pair of moving legs in front of me.

The soft, barely audible sound of the nurse’s shoes pressing into the built-in carpeting registers in my ears, and I realize the only reason I can hear her footsteps is because I’m trying my damnedest to focus on her feet instead of mine.

She forgoes the elevator in favor of the open stairwell. She’s probably as healthy as a newborn if this is her routine every day.

At least that makes one of us.

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