Breakfast with old friends just may be my favorite thing in the world. An omelette at Yolk and two hours of conversation with people I've known since my 20's was the perfect start to a long and stressful day. We covered hip replacements and politics and John Corzine as we devoured Eggs Benedict and english muffins and green tea. It was wonderful.
I spent the afternoon at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, being evaluated and examined and pronounced perfectly healed and in need of continued exercise and massage and pilates. I must stop referring to my injured leg pejoratively. Apparently, there is research showing that thinking bad thoughts increases inflammation. Seriously.
Nance asked yesterday if I had any suggestions to make traveling while damaged more palatable. I have none. I am slower than anyone with whom I walk. I am achy and sweaty and every step is a major event. Everyone walks faster than I do. Uphill is worse than downhill, but the difference is marginal. Asking those with two working legs and hips that swivel freely to slow down or to wait while I recover is part and parcel of going anyplace with me.
I fork over cash to cabs without hesitation. I sit on every bench. If there is something to read along the way I read it.... slowly... carefully... as my muscles relax and my body temperature returns to normal. It isn't the way I normally traveled, but it's my new reality and I've come to embrace it.
I really have no choice. No matter how much I wish my quads weren't frozen and my glutes weren't screaming the reality is that they are. I have to take a moment and nothing can change that.
The key is to remember that those you love are willing to adjust their pace to your needs. They are glad that you are on the planet to share the joy of the adventure, even if the adventure is somewhat circumscribed by your limitations.
Kelly, PT extraordinaire, taught me to evaluate the threat level of the pain I feel. The clicking that's been driving me nutty is ligaments moving over a protuberance and is neither dangerous nor destructive. It's just noisy. I've been imagining it as bone scraping on bone, further destroying the joint. My imagination is creating anxiety which creates pain which creates anxiety which... well, you get the picture. I spent the walk from the hospital clicking and ignoring. It was a struggle, but one that I anticipate will become easier with time. At least, that's the plan.
My legs are the same length and my gait needs reorganizing and I'm on an onward-and-upward trajectory. Touring with my family isn't as peaceful or as speedy or the same as it used to be but I'm there to enjoy it.
So, Nance, that's my suggestion. Redefine your disability as an opportunity to stop and smell the roses. If you have to rest on the bench while your grandson frolics on ahead, so be it. You'll catch up eventually. Being too pooped to pop doesn't mean that you can't take some joy from the fact that you are there at all. After all, you have a grandson..... JEALOUS!