Saturday, September 27, 2008

In the year 5768

The first big thing I did this past year was break my leg walking out my front door around 8/8:30 on the morning before Thanksgiving. No I was not drunk.

My parents had taken A's car to Orlando for a heart-breaking family errand & we were taking my truck to campus, where I would leave A & pick him up later. He had turned around in the yard (we have no driveway) & was zooming towards the gate when I stepped out, turned to pull the door shut behind me, felt & heard a *pop* & hit the ground.

I had planned on shopping for last minute Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. A had planned on reviewing a grad student's thesis & finalizing an exam to be given the following Monday.

Instead, we went to the ER. & then to my own GP. & then back to the ER because somehow, they had given me crutches for a person shorter than me (I was like a dolphin with crutches, just sort of flopping around).

The orthopedist was not available until the following week (there was one in the hospital, but as it was not a life-threatening break he was not called) so I went home with an elastic bandage & a splint for five long days. Although some family members filed strenuous objections, this turned out to be a good thing. If they had to decide what to do while I was still swollen, I probably would not have been given a walking boot.

This one event has more or less defined the year. When I have not been in recovery: no walking, no feeding the animals, no carrying anything, no nothing but sitting around, climbing the walls-in my mind of course. In reality, no climbing.

Although the bone was declared "mostly healed" (I swear, that is what the man said) in late March, I find I am still living with the fallout: I rarely sleep through a night - this was never a problem before, but now I wake up when it would be time to take a pain pill. Which I am not still taking & did not take after the first 48 hours. Me & pain pills & crutches even of the correct size were just not a good idea; I lose my balance every day several times a day, just standing there & when my muscle tighten, they lock for several seconds in panic. This whole physical-panic-thing is new for me. & I am not enjoying this window into my life when I am in my 80s.

The reality is that with discipline I will be my same physical self again. After the break, I never had to cope with the loss of my income because of this injury. No animals went unfed & if chores did not get done it is entirely possible I would not have done them even if I could have. & still, I look back on this as a disruptive, destructive, year-changing (if not truly life-changing) event.

I am sure other things happened, even to me, this year, but right now I am having trouble remembering any of them. I broke the small tip off of a small bone. It was not fun. It slowly got better.

Shana Tova Umetukah

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