As the promise of warm weather and long days commenced, I missed a step, fell down a couple of stairs and shattered my ankle. I had no idea exactly what that meant, except that I’d probably have to rethink most, if not all, of my summer plans! Shit!
Surgery followed 8 days later and I wasn’t sure what that meant either, exactly, except that now I’d definitely have to cancel my summer plans. Shit and shit, again!
Whenever I see someone approaching a step and maybe not fully paying attention, I freak a bit, internally, of course, and caution, “Watch the step!” So here’s what I learned from the Fall:
- You can be one mis-step away from complete dependency. Ugh!
- Kindness from others brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I was taken aback by kind gestures and words from others. The CVS staff were beyond accommodating; the woman at the RiteAid drive through who “shopped” for me while I waited at the window, even though this was “against” policy; the stranger in the market who said she would pray for my healing; and another Starbucks patron who got out of his seat to offer an assist. My stories are endless.
- Emotionally – it’s a roller coaster! It was a grieving process – who knew? I went through denial, anger, frustration, depression, very unexpectedly. Hope that you have a therapist already in place.
- Communication – acknowledgements, visits, texts, voice messages, cards, FB messages, gifts, flowers – is always welcome. It reminded me that I wasn’t alone.
- Drugs – even non-narcotics – can wreak havoc in your head. Double check all of your “great” ideas before implementing them. Forgive yourself for not being sharp!
- Jealousy and envy show up as well. I was envious of people who could walk, run, ride a bike, and/or WEAR two shoes. I often hummed Part of Your World from Disney’s Little Mermaid.
- Become an advocate for yourself. If you need something, ask. If you don’t know something, ask. And don’t expect full answers from anyone. Assumptions of knowledge are made by the professionals who have suddenly entered your life. But if you don’t ask, you can’t receive!
- Your support system – family and friends – is priceless. Your focus is healing; and sleep, nutrition, basic needs can be daunting tasks. The help of loved ones is truly priceless.
- Know that others are dealing with far worse life situations and count your blessings. I was so thankful it was summer and I didn’t have to deal with ice, sleet, wind, coats, boots, or a cold left foot.
- Be grateful and gracious. I’m changed forever or until I take walking for granted, again.