Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sorry to be going on and on about the ankle, folks, but since it’s been so hard to get around, there’s not a lot I can “do.”

Maybe it’s the lengthening days, or that the weather’s warmed up so dramatically, and all that damned ice melted, but I’m surprisingly not in the sour or depressed mood I would have expected with this second round of having a foot in a cast.

But more than that, I chalk it up to the knowledge that this situation isn’t anywhere near as problematic as when I had that Jones fracture, which by definition means “takes an eternity to heal.” Nope, once it was clear this wasn’t any kind of messy ankle-bones fracture, or a horrific tendon injury, the prognosis has been comfortingly “routine.”

Lord, here it is, not even a week after the surgery to fix the lower portion of my fibula with a mending plate, and except for some incision ouchiness and the fact I’m effectively casted up, I feel like I could walk around on the damn thing.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I’m extremely gratified to discover that my hard-won talents for getting around on crutches hadn’t disappeared. Perhaps this is one good thing about posttraumatic stress—having lived through a trauma once before, you realize you can handle it again: I know this scene; I don’t like it at all, but I know I can do it.

Indeed, three years ago after three months in crutches, when I was crying about the hopelessness of my situation, someone much more knowledgeable about human nature than I suggested that someday in the future, I would be completely recovered, and that I may even be grateful that I had gone through this difficult time. I didn’t laugh at that suggestion (outright), but I couldn’t take it very seriously, either.

But perhaps I’m starting to see the truth of her statement.

There is another gift I’ve received from these experiences, too. This gift takes the form of the many friends and family who have offered supportive and comforting words, Facebook notes, phone calls, and food. During the time of the surgery, my Facebook peeps offered a steady stream of stuff like “we’re thinking of you” and “stupid ice! I sure hope you recover quickly!”

Within only a few minutes of my mentioning my injury on Facebook, my sister-in-law had told my brother of it, and he was on the phone to me immediately. What a nice thing, huh?

I’ve already told you my folks brought over pumpkin bread on Valentine’s Day; they also spent the day after the surgery with me (wow, that must have been boring), so that Sue could go to Columbia for work. They bought some groceries for us, and fed me lunch. My uncle and aunt, on Valentine’s Day, brought a rose and candy, a container of the best split pea soup I’ve ever had (outside of Grandma’s), and (hooray!) some much-needed bran muffins.

And then, too, soon after the surgery, we got a call from Sue’s family up in Ohio—the whole Berlin Heights gang, her mom and dad, and her sister’s whole family. They had positioned their speaker phone in the center of the room, and we all had a great chat. Yes, it was Sue’s dad’s birthday, but they stressed that they were calling to find out about me. I was genuinely touched by this.

And then there’s Sue, who was going, “Oh, no, not again!” as much as I was. You couldn’t ask for a more thoughtful or attentive partner in the world. I won’t bother to list the hundreds of ways she has patiently helped me this past week, ranging from “can you come outside and help pick me up off the sidewalk” to “can you bring me my [book-coffee-mountain of pillows-icepack-briefcase-telephone-lotion-etc.-etc.]” to doing all the chores, to being The One to sit waiting for me at the hospital, to drive me home, and help me up the steps.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s not like I’ve been thinking of this injury as a way of gaining people’s attention and sympathy—not at all! Instead, all this support has given me an opportunity to be reminded that there are so many people in my life who love me. This accident has put all my loved ones in the spotlight; it’s reminded me how brightly my true treasures shine, and for that gift of awareness, I feel the most gratitude.


Shelda said...

By the time you can get to the gratitude part, you're probably well on the way to recovery! This was a treat to read, and reminds me how connected we all are to one another.

Hang in there!

and hey, damn ice...

Julianna Schroeder said...

Hey, I'm sick of my life sucking. Thankfully, this setback, this time, is something that seems doable. Now, I need to convince myself, somehow, to have enough optimism to move forward with some new career.