The Journey

I had ankle surgery just a few days after the summer season began. Summer has now ended. We are now more than a month into fall.

I’ve watched the leaves in all their green brilliance begin to burgeon out onto the tree branches. And now I’m watching them change colors in shades of yellow, orange, and red.

They’ve begun falling gently to the ground.

Relaxing in nature is part of my journey of life.

The Day Begins:

I get up each morning and put my clothes and my walking boot on. During the night I no longer sleep in the boot. I now have the luxury of feeling the softness of the sheets with both my feet. That was progress.

When I need to go to the bathroom during the night, I wear slip-on sturdy shoes and walk slowly. My hands are stretched out to lessen the impact should I fall.

Lately, my big treat of the day is the trek from the kitchen to my recliner with my cup of decaf coffee.

I like to sit in my recliner to drink it, the way I’m accustomed to. And that’s when I begin writing to you.

I listen to piano music on YouTube because it’s easier than getting up and changing CDs.

When my post and cup of coffee are finished, I head back to the kitchen to get my knee scooter. And I’m dependent on it for the rest of the day.

Grateful For Small Steps In My Journey:

I’m very grateful to now be able to leave the knee scooter in order to do a few things in the kitchen and bathroom. A few steps here, a few steps there.

I walk sideways around my bed to make it in the morning, holding onto the mattress top as I go.

The other day I stood and ironed a new shower curtain for the guest bathroom. But standing up for the time it took to iron it set me back a bit once again.

Greg told me that this is still progress. Though I was in pain for over 24 hours afterward.

It took me quite a while to get around to thinking much about that bathroom. And I have yet to decorate my own bathroom.

During the journey, you go down many paths in your lifetime.

In the old days, I would have had all these things done within two weeks. Maybe a month.

But that was then. And this is now.

Like the leaves on the trees all around me, things have a way of changing.

I’ve stopped letting myself get too excited about things. Now I temper that excitement with trepidation. So I don’t feel disappointment so acutely.

In-Home Therapy:

In a few weeks, my in-home therapy will end with this rehabilitation company. Greg also works for another rehabilitation organization that’s set up for long-term care patients. He said he will be looking into that for me next.

You learn to hold hope gently and try not to crush it with expectations.

Instead, you let it sit in the palm of your hand like you’re coddling a baby bird. Until the baby bird has the inclination to learn to fly.

Hope is ladled out with a spoon of small proportions.

You walk around trying not to spill any of it, your fingers closed around it in order to protect it. Just like you did with the baby bird.

You balance the spoonfuls of hope cupped within your hands. And you move slowly forward as though your life depends on not spilling any of it.

It seems that life is one continuous journey of peaks and valleys.

“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.”

Chanda Kochhar

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22 Comments

  1. I’m always glad to hear about your progress, Brenda. Your journey reminds me of a book I used to read to my son, called the Berenstain Bears Big Road Race. Little Red is the slowest car in the race. All of the others are fast, but each encounters a problem along the way that takes them out of the race. Little Red, being slow and steady, surprises everyone and wins the race. The last line is “Putt, putt, putt, went Little Red.” So I guess I’m saying, hang in there, Brenda – slow and steady wins the race!It may take longer, but you will win! Putt, putt, putt!

  2. So very true, Brenda!! After a very bad day for Hubby on Tuesday, today we were able to make it for his treatment on his neck at the doc, then out to eat, then he drove to the grocery so I could go shop a bit. We consider that a very good day. Plenty of days we simply just cannot leave the house. One learns to be grateful for very small things. It sounds like you are improving, in spite of your very difficult surgery!! Hang in there!!

  3. Hi Brenda,
    When you said that in the night your hands are stretched out to lessen the impact should you fall, I wanted to share what happened to me when I did that.
    I fell and put my arms out to catch myself and I dislocated my right shoulder.
    I spent seven hours in the ER and it was the most excruciating thing that ever happened to me. I then had to have rotator cuff surgery which took months to recover from and my shoulder will probably never be the same. I think if there is any possibility that we could fall in the night going to the bathroom,
    we should maybe keep our walker near the bed. I don’t have far to go, so I hang onto the wall. Be safe!

    1. I’m just a step or two from the bed to the wall of the bathroom. So in the dark, I put my hands out until I can take those couple of steps and reach the wall for support. Thanks for telling me this!

  4. Life is really all about the journey…. small steps take us along the way! I love that quote! It is so true. I’m glad to you you making very small improvements, week to week.. and I do hope you get more long term P.T. Greg does sound like a gem! Marilyn

  5. I’m sorry about your minor setback. A steamer might be a good idea for in the future. I hope Greg can get you into long term physical therapy with his other company, once this current company ifs finished. I’m looking forward to seeing your Christmas decorations!

  6. I have a small tabletop tree that belonged to my late mother. It is probably 40 years old. The tree is quite petite and I load it with beautiful and colorful ornaments. It is by far my favorite Christmas decoration in my home. Your heartfelt post spoke to me today. Hope is indeed a very powerful emotion and, if I may add, gratitude makes an excellent companion (to hope). Hope you have a wonderful day:)

  7. Just one step at a time thru this journey. I know how frustrating it has been for you. I’ve got to give 5 stars to Greg, your therapist, as he sounds like such a nice guy who truly cares about his patients.

    1. Yes Brenda.
      Was thinking the same regarding Greg.
      You’ve been fortunate to have had him.
      A kind and very thoughtful guy.
      I sure hope he can be with you long term.

  8. I’m sooo glad you’re making more progress Brenda! Remember everything takes time! One of my Mom’s saying is “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
    Instead of ironing something u should buy a steamer. It would be faster and still get great results in whatever your trying to get the wrinkles out of.
    Have a great day!

  9. Happy to hear that you are making progress Brenda. Slowly you will get there, easy for me to say when I know it must be very frustrating at times. It is wonderful that you have a lovely neighbor that helps you out and that you are good friends.
    There are a lot of people on here that are really urging you on and wishing for the day you will be able to walk again without pain.

    1. I’m so grateful to have a friend in my next-door neighbor, Steve. I don’t know what on earth I’d have done without him helping out. Yes, it is frustrating, but I’m happy. As long as I don’t have pain, I’m happy.

  10. Powerful words, Brenda! Thank you so much. Often when we ‘reach for the sky’ we want to immediately grab it, forgetting about the journey. I’m in the process of making some small changes in my life so I can enjoy the journey in everything I truly enjoy.

    1. I’ve settled into a place of acceptance if I can only walk to my car in the parking lot and run errands where I don’t have to get out. Greg’s hope for me is to be able one day to walk without the boot and without pain to the parking lot. I’ll take that.

  11. You sound happier!
    It is good to hear of your progress. When you had your surgery I wrote that you would be dancing around your Christmas tree. With your progress I still think you will.

    1. I’ll be happy if I can just get the ornaments on the tree. I’ve been thinking about that lately. Probably won’t be able to stand, so thinking about where I could decorate the tabletop tree.

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