The past couple of days I’ve been wanting to do more.
I’ve been anxious to try to walk without the scooter or walker. I got a bit excited about the idea and imagined the freedom of just walking unencumbered.
Yesterday my physical therapist was here. I had my right sneaker and sock ready and I told him I wanted to try to walk without the boot.
My hands are still hurting from putting the chairs together. So I wanted to see if I could eliminate having to grip the handles of the knee scooter and walker.
He looked at me and said: “Why don’t you put on the sneaker and just stand?”
Wanting To Do More:
So I did. I still had two Ace bandages on the inside of the sneaker, walked about 10 feet, and had no more stamina. He was right beside me.
Of course, I had pushed past just standing. Because I wanted to walk freely. But yesterday afternoon I paid dearly for that impulse.
I put ice on the outside of my ankle and took a couple of Tylenol capsules. It took about 2 hours to get any relief. I watched a movie and tried to distract myself.
I’ll be the first one to say that I like to skip steps. I get impatient and want to venture forward. To move and keep moving.
But I can’t skip any steps in this process. Because even if I go through all the steps required, it still might not mean success.
Maybe I won’t ever be able to walk on my right foot without pain. I have to come to terms with that. This walking boot may end up being my constant companion from here on out.
But I just had to try.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
– Michael Jordan
Two Months Since Surgery:
It’s been 8 weeks since I had ankle surgery. I’ve done pretty well up to this point. But Friday night I grew weepy. And I don’t like to cry because it upsets Ivy.
I watch other people walk with so little effort that I want to try as well.
Steve comes over to get my trash and he looks so healthy and walks so well. He’s 13 years older than I am. He also works out at the YMCA 3 times a week. I’m envious of the way he can stay in motion and do things that I can’t.
Most everyone I see around here walks about. And I’m still in a walking boot with a scooter, and it’s a bit depressing. I guess I thought I’d have made more progress by now.
I think back to when I was a kid and could run and run.
Of course, I could no more do that now than fly to the moon.
I remember running with the wind blowing against my face, and my hair loose and flowing behind me.
There is something so liberating about pushing your legs to go farther and faster. It’s something a child does without thinking. They run when they could just as well walk.
I know the surgeon told me that the surgery might not make any difference at all. But I have to think that repairing the tendons was necessary. And taking out some of the shin bone surely didn’t hurt since it was where it shouldn’t be.
I know all this, but still I get anxious and want to accelerate things.
Reining Myself In:
Today I have 4 Ace bandages instead of 2 wrapped around my foot inside the boot to form thick padding around my ankle. I’m still hurting a bit in that same area but at least the pain is transient and not constant.
Living with constant pain is so debilitating physically and emotionally. The thought of going back to that dark place horrifies me.
“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
― Jack Kerouac
So I will wear the boot, and if I don’t have pain, I will be thankful. I will be grateful for that gift. Because I truly know what a gift it is to live without constant pain.
I guess one shouldn’t look at what they can’t do. But instead, count all the things they can do. I can enjoy a movie and read a book and be with Ivy. And feel comforted inside my cozy home.
I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
There are still lots of things I can do to pass the time. To be happy.
So I will do my strengthening exercises and try to restrain myself from wanting more, more, more. No one is promised more.
Greg, my physical therapist, warned me. He told me not to push things because going slow was not going to hinder any progress.
And he reminded me of the setback I had after I saw the first physical therapist who pushed me more than Greg thought was necessary.
But I thought I was ready, and I wasn’t.
He asked me to rein in my impulsive nature because it could lead to something I truly do not want.
No one is promised more. I shall repeat that to myself over and over again. And be grateful for what I can do instead of worrying about what I can’t do.
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
– Coco Chanel