…and that’s just what I’ll do….
This is more or less a part 2 to the post
Pinestraw, the drainage hole, the ER and the broken Cookie
For anyone who has ever been stopped in his or her tracks due to injury or illness, there will no doubt be some sort of understanding to my words regarding my own “time on the sidelines.” Anytime something traumatic happens to us and our routine is suddenly disrupted, or our life is suddenly turned upside down, it can be a time of great frustration and angst. We tend to take our daily routine for granted. We often complain that our “day to day” life is boring, just ho hum. It’s all just a matter of fact. We don’t realize how much that ho hum day-to-day sort of life means to us until it’s altered.
You’ve heard/ read me say it before; I am a huge creature of habit. Being such seems almost necessary for me to simply make it through each day of my life. I don’t know why that is. It, too, must go back to the adoption, as everything goes back to the adoption! When all answers fail—it’s the adoption! Works for me. But routine and habit have always been the order of the day. Order and routine, always, all comforting.
So Tuesday when I stepped into the drainage hole, that order, that routine, that habit of life, suddenly fractured along with the ankle. A lateral malleolus fracture—at the bottom of the fibula. You know the fib and the tib?– that’s how I memorized them for anatomy class, those two bones that make up the lower leg below the knee—that’s the area of contention today. The ankle violently flipped outward as the bottom of the foot flipped inward, a loud audible POP, down I fall… next the pain.
I got up hoping it would “go away”, tying to do what I was intent on doing before I fell, as if that would make it all normal again…. there goes that necessary routine mode. When I realized it wasn’t going away and I was still really hurting I went about being as normal as I could by taking a shower, cleaning up, as I knew in the back of my mind a trip to the ER was inevitable. I kept fighting back the tears. “Don’t give in, keep doing things as normal as possible,” I kept telling myself. And as I often do in these painful moments, be it a physical or emotional pain—-I just wanted my mom. It doesn’t help she’s been gone now for 27 years. Why is it, in such times, no matter how old we become, we just always want our mom?
So I suppose the idea of routine may be a survival skill for me. As long as I can go about with some sort of normal flow of pace and routine, bad things won’t be as bad. If I can maintain my control of the situation, I can make it through anything. Oh dear, does that now mean I have control issues as well?! I fear my son and my students may say a big fat YES to that, but I dirgress. Good Lord.
This is a busy time of year around the house. Living on 5 acres, there is a lot of work to be done in the yard. The garden has just been plowed; it’s now time to plant. There is pressure-washing for parts of the house, the porch, the walkway, due in part to all the massive pollen, washing out the garage, washing the windows, pruning of the trees, cleaning those blasted gutters, washing down the deck, repainting outdoor furniture, and simply getting outside as the weather warms. That’s life at home in early Spring. This being the first Spring since retiring, I’ve really been looking forward to devoting my time outside for a change!
But for reasons, always unbeknownst to me, there has been a change in plans. I could go on and on about the whys of why this happened when it did…why didn’t I stop my work earlier, why didn’t I pay better attention when heading down the bank…but isn’t that how it always is? If I hadn’t been on that road, that day, I wouldn’t have been hit by the truck…if I hadn’t been engaged in such deep conversation at the restaurant, I wouldn’t have forgotten the I Pad…the list goes on and on….we all ask those why questions whenever things go wrong.
Simply put, I cracked my ankle and that’s that. Time to get over it and go on. Unfortunately the getting over it and going on is not always as easy as it may all sound. It’s a matter of having to learn how to use the crutches without causing more damage (they look easy but trust me, the turning radius is not that great). It’s a matter of learning how to walk with a Frankenstein foot—did you know you can’t really squat down very well, say, to pick up a dropped piece of paper as the air boot wants to flip you backwards-you’d think the first time I would have learned, but no, I had to do that twice to figure out it was not going to work. Then there is the matter of trying to sleep without twisting or turning the wrong way in the bed, because, believe me; everyone in the house will know when that happens. There is frustration for the simple routines that are now altered but I think the biggest thing for me, that is most frustrating, is the whole slowing down issue.
I’ve never been slow. Anyone who has ever walked anywhere with me will tell you, it’s not always fun trying to keep up. I don’t intentionally wish to race here and there as if my life depended on it; I just seem to have come by this speed walking thing naturally (the adoption, let’s not forget the adoption). I do try making a concerted effort at slowing down when traveling and walking with friends, but it always sneaks up on me—the pace ever quickening. Maybe I’m afraid I’ll miss something…I’m not running from something necessarily but maybe it’s more a matter of running to something…who knows?!
So now, working at slowing down is becoming imperative. I got the boot and figured I’d just go on, almost as normally as possible, boot in tow—low and slow. The problem is that the swelling seems worse. Hmmm? Maybe I need to take some time to just sit, propping up my leg. What a novel concept. Yesterday, the first full day with the boot, I headed out to run errands. I think I stayed on my foot all day until after supper. It doesn’t hurt so much in the boot; once I’m up and about, but getting up is another story…these slow older bones…. The boot is heavy, walking is tiring and laborious…and did I mention, slow.
At 53, I do have a bit of what the doctor calls osteopina (a kind of pre-osteoporosis) and some osteoarthritis—and may I just say that the opposite hip is now getting tired of doing a lot of the work. “But Julie,” you say, “you seem so active, so healthy..” yes, well remember the adoption?…. The boot makes me almost 2 inches higher on one side—talk about lopsided walking! Maybe that’s the point—–walking, and mere movement, becomes such a chore that it forces you to want to just sit and say to hell with it all. Unfortunately I kind of ignore that. Ugghhh.
I must say that I am a little concerned that my toes look like 5 little blue sausages and that there is no a visible anklebone in sight. It’s been 3 days—they say the 3rd day is always the worst—maybe my toes will be more normal and things like anklebones more visible tomorrow…and by the way who is “they”—these experts? 3 days with either a cast or boot—and they’re telling me 6 weeks. Oh good Lord!!
During these next several weeks I am certain there will be ups and the downs. There will be the “new” normals, which will mean that once I can free myself of the boot, I will have to learn how to walk without thinking one half of my body is 2 inches taller than the other half. One leg may be a little more firm, the other leg, not so much. One leg may be a little darker, the other leg, not so much. I may just have to relearn how to be quick on my feet all over again. But hopefully I can learn how to slow down a bit because that seems to be a reoccurring issue with me—one I just keep refusing to heed.
It will be interesting no doubt, one I’m certain you’ll be hearing about. Just let me be your test dummy. Learn from my mistakes, as I’m here to make it easier for you. It’s the least I could do, so you’re welcome ☺
And by the way, it just dawned on me…back in February, when I first started this blog I did so under the umbrella of transition, as that was where I was finding myself—seems this transition business just keeps morphing into more and more change….did I ever tell you how I don’t like change? We’ll save that for another day Scarlet 🙂