Fine. It's an interesting concept, the notion of fine. I am fine right now, ensconced on the bed with comfy pillows supporting me and the fan stirring the over-heated air above me. I don't hurt too much and I have a post all ready to write for you and the dinner ingredients are in the 'fridge and I feel fine.
Of course, I didn't go to Pilates Mat class today because I can't get down on the ground without grunting. I didn't take the shovel and scratch out the beginnings of an irrigation trench outside the pony wall early this morning because digging is still beyond my abilities. I didn't run in to see how G'ma is doing with her new electric chair because getting into and out of the car was more than I was interested in doing after running an errand or two. None of that is fine.
I'm not invited on hiking trips I couldn't manage anyway - I suppose it's fine that I wasn't asked along, I suppose they were trying to spare my feelings by not tantalizing me with something just out of reach, but it's not fine to feel excluded. I walk past my hiking poles as I enter the garage and I sigh. I'm fine if it means going to the grocery store; anything more strenuous is a mental struggle. My definition of fine includes more than errands. The fact that I am upright at all is wonderful, but it's not fine.
Just being alive isn't enough any more. I am still grateful, thankful, surprised and amazed that I am here to see the sunrise - no way that feeling is ever going to dissipate. But I am not obsessed with the fact of my survival anymore. In that sense, then, I am certainly fine. But accepting that I am alive seems to have given me permission to consider the quality of the body I am bringing back to this life and for some reason I want it to be perfect. Just the way I remember it was before I became perforated.
Was it really perfect before January 8th? Hardly. But both my legs were the same length. I could clamber up and down and over and through just about anything. I was always ready to go another mile, to lift another set, to keep going. I was fine.
I know that I'm on my way back there. I am more motivated to try harder as my pain lessens and my progress becomes more obvious. I can do a small squat standing on my damaged leg - a very small squat and only one of them at that but a squat nonetheless. I can turn around while cooking dinner and open the oven door without thinking about the body mechanics and whether I am up to it. I'm fine in the kitchen these days.
But the pantry is still suffering from the effects of 10 different women putting things away while they were Suzi-Sitting. My desk top is messier than ever and my closet has three baskets of items which need to be carried elsewhere and dealt with appropriately. I have neither the energy nor the stamina nor the tolerance for the pain I'll feel when I tackle that project, or the desk, or the pantry. Fine? Sure. Back to normal? Not hardly.
But one day last week I realized that I was gliding across the living room, pain-free and shoulders perfectly parallel to the floor. I'd gotten up from the couch and maneuvered around the coffee table and there I was, walking like a regular person, in my own house, not even 6 months after being shot... 3 times... and then, right then and there, I did feel fine. Very fine, indeed.