I’ve been remiss in keeping you up to date on what has been going on with me these last few weeks, primarily with the outcome of my surgery. When we last spoke, I was six weeks into to my lay up. A week later, the doctor gave me the all clear to walk, perchance to drive when I could, and also I was freed to work. Physical therapy to immediately start. There are conditions, of course, the main one that I am to be kept sedentary at all times and to ice my ankle as much as possible. Thus, if I drive, the ankle gets iced after driving. If I walk, I need to take my cane with me. If I work, I have to be always sitting which means no teaching. That later is huge as teaching is a huge part of what I do. I’m on restricted work hours in order to ramp up to going back full time and I often find that driving the short distance, walking to my office, working for a few hours and then back home is always exhausting to me.
While everything professionally is neat and tidy, emotionally I’m still a giant mess. Frustration, and rage, rue most of my days. I drive for long periods, I’m laid up for days. Trips to the grocery store have to be split into multiple trips because I cannot physically handle doing it all in one go. I walked up and down three flights of stairs the other day without pain but my ankle was swollen to the size of grapefruit and I had to ice it for two days straight.
Thursday marked ten weeks since the surgery and I’m nowhere where I physically thought I would be. I asked my physical therapist about training for a 5K or even a walk-a-thon and she laughed at me. Genuinely laughed. Next spring if I’m lucky. Next fall if I’m not.
It’s interesting to me when people comment on my lack of full mobility in that they always comment as if it is an age thing; that my slowness to heal is because I’m getting older. I’m always feel like I’m on the defense about this, because no, I healed slow last time this happened, over 18 years ago. I have brittle bones. I smoked for ages. The surgery was much more intense then they thought. There is a myriad of things as to why I’m not training for Dancing With the Stars right now.
I’m always, always sensitive about my age. I succumbed a few weeks ago and bought bottle dye (forgive me divine hairdresser!) as I could not afford my regular appointment since I was off all summer. My hair was a jumble of colors, over seven hues and shades from greys, reds, browns, blondes, and whatever else lurked under its depths. I do not look my age, sure, but once the dye was applied and rinsed, I effectively created a facade to hold against time temporarily all over again. The nurses at the surgery center kept arguing with me that my band with my age was a typo – I could not have possibly been born in 1972. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. (It is as if I am Cassandra!)
But I digress.
My body’s slow progression is temporary, I know this. A year from now I will be mainly free from pain, will be running, biking, and walking with the best of them and this will all be a distant memory. I know. I choose to do this to myself. There was no accident, no repair, there was only the choice of continue living in great pain or get better.
I choose to get better.