In late December, I thought I was at the bottom of a three-step stool while packing away Christmas dishes. Barefooted, I stepped backwards from the top step to the hardwood with all my weight, breaking three bones and tearing my Lisfranc Ligament. Two weeks later I had surgery to shore up the “roman arch” those bones form and to reattach the ligament. And then… the sitting began. I’ve basically been on the couch three months.
Frankenfoot recovery provided hours of introspection. Thought I’d get some reflections down on virtual paper before the next phase starts in a few days.
- From an older couple bemoaning the uneven cobblestones they navigated while on vacation in New Orleans to the Uber driver who broke a rib while stifling a sneeze, seemingly everyone has an injury story – their own, or a friend’s – they’re anxious to share. I have enjoyed charming interactions with countless strangers! The scooter is an invitation for conversation and I need to figure out how to keep that going once I’m upright. I wish we’d all chit chat with each other more.
- People are inherently helpful. A runner saw Linus and I scooting through the neighborhood on trash day and without saying a word she moved one, two, three, four garbage cans off the narrow sidewalk for us. Folks everywhere open doors, hold elevators, or simply wish me good luck with recovery.
- A few days before the injury, I jotted down some plans for the new year, and as my Army friends say: I had to “adjust fire.” Reading goals replaced exercise goals and I hope to keep up the literary consumption pace.
- The combination of idle hours, frustration, and pain elevated every other emotion. January is always tough, and my grief was certainly amplified. (I initially typed lingering grief, but deleted lingering because: Grief! It’s here to stay!) I miss having sisters to call, and I kept wanting Marcia to come help me.
- My sister-in-law Kerry visited despite knowing I couldn’t venture out of the house much and kept me entertained for days. I am lucky, blessed, and fortunate to have friends who have jammed the scooter into the trunks of their vehicles so I could join them for meals, concerts, movies, and even a pub crawl. People sent meals and books, played Words With Friends, and constantly answered my bored texts – I promise to pay it all forward.
- On the topic of friends: they really are family you get to select. When Big D had a work commitment he absolutely could not change my BFF Angie, who is the busiest person I know, did not flinch. She drove many hours to accompany me at an Orthopedic appointment to discuss surgery. She also happens to be a genius who asked great questions on my behalf while I sat in that doctor’s office dumfounded and crying. Then she spent an unplanned night, took me to my pre-op appointment, and enlisted her boss to get a second opinion from his doctor friend, all while working with D to assure he’d be here on surgery day. I could go on and on about everything else she’s done and if you can think of an appropriate thank you gift, let me know!
- I am not good at asking for help – it is difficult and humbling. And boy, did I need a lot of it. My husband is the singular most patient man, ever. I can’t count how many times a subsequent request followed “If you do this one last thing for me, I won’t bother you again…”
Who would imagine I’d somehow be thankful for a freak injury? I really slowed down in all ways imaginable, which in turn settled my spirit. I’m measuring time, effort, and energy in a whole new way, and I am appreciative of everyday things.
Stay tuned – another surgery follows sometime later this year. I promise to be a more patient patient next time!