Monday, March 26, 2012

The First Outing

$10.00  The price of a parking ticket that allowed me to have one hour of freedom from home confinement.  A bowl of soup savored  in a corner of the restaurant where my walker could be tucked away from public view.  I’ve become a public spectacle as people watch me struggle with a walker through doors of the doctors’ offices, up an elevator and down a hallway.  Maneuvering around  my town proves next to impossible as the town  grew before the era of ADA so steps sandwich both front and back doors of stores.
I finally screamed “no more” to struggling with the walker, navigating through tight doorways, steps, and long hallways after a 20 minute walk from the waiting room to the CT scanner dragging the cast and my broken body down this never ending hallway.  Quite simply refusing to leave the scanner room, the technician sent my son to find a wheelchair.  Being the last appointment on a beautiful Friday afternoon does yield some power.  It’s just as well that I cannot maneuver about town as I still have not been granted any non-bedrest time by the doctor.  Absolutely no weight on the foot constitute my doctor’s orders.  That’s asking almost the impossible.
Three weeks have passed since “the incident” resulting in a shattered linzfranc joint during a quick adventure in Costa Rica.  I’m now sporting cast  number two; this time Barney purple but just as uncomfortable as the
original cast. Not liking what the x-ray showed during last week’s appointment, the doctor sawed off the original blue cast to take an actual look at my foot.  “It won’t cut you” does not sound very believable when you feel the saw blade against your skin.  Apparently, he needed the strength of Samson to pry a cast off of my foot as he kept cracking it open and tugging.  Each tug sent a pain jolt through my foot.
During the past three weeks, I’ve experienced many firsts:  MRI, CT scan and moving to total dependence. I’ve regressed from crutches to a walker as I kept falling; falling in the bathroom; falling in the bedroom; falling down stairs. The most troubling first is that my son has to lift me up from the floor.  When did he gain the strength to carry me?  No longer a bi-ped, I have learned to crawl, crab walk up and down stairs and pull myself to standing.  At this point in my recovery, I have reached  total exhaustion.   Healing takes  more energy than I ever thought possible, especially since I consider myself fit due to years of yoga and hiking.  Apparently, my body requires more resources now than I have tucked into reserve.
Now at my third week, a decision still remains concerning surgery.  Are my bones healing?  Can they heal?  What happens to the shards from the shattered bones?  Do any ligaments work?  I don’t know yet.  What I do know is that I have no control over any of my toes.  My toes, the only part of my leg I can actually see, are still blue and cold to the touch.   Something in my foot twitches uncontrollably.  I can feel that vibration almost constantly and sometimes even see its effect when my middle toe twitches feverishly.  The pain has receded to a constant throb centered at my arch.  I try to ignore it.  Or if it becomes too much, I just pile bed pillows on top of the cast and bury the pain under feathers.
I joke about an awesome shoe sale as my Jimmy Choos will no longer fit my foot.  My days of sexy heels and sassy sandals are over and it’s time to start browsing  the flats and clogs pages of Zappos.  I’ve got time before shoe shopping so there is no rush to find the perfect flats.  Sometime this week, I get the results of the latest CT scan; perhaps a new cast and hopefully a decision about surgery.  Mobility…that is what I want more than anything else.  After that, not to feel so utterly helpless.  Those two things matter more than anything else at this point.  More than even a new pair of shoes.  My how priorities have changed in three short weeks.
Cheryl Stahle

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