Monday, December 12, 2011

My Plan- Too Bad

I do better when I have a plan.  I like to know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there.  Change my plan and watch the steam come out of my ears..... unless I'm crying and my tears distract you.  I love the anticipation, living the plan,  almost more than I love the actual event - no matter what the event might be.

I've spent the past 11 months expecting to be limp-less on January 8.  Really, it was more of a firm belief than an actual plan.  I just knew that after a year I'd be recovered..... fine..... moving on...... unstuck.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men ......

I'm definitely the mouse in that equation.

After 11 months of physical therapy, weight training, stationary cycling, acupuncture, massage and pilates, the only thing I know for certain is that my right leg is shorter than my left leg.  It took me 10 months to accept that fact, 10 months to decide to have the cobbler put lifts in my cowboy boots because velcro-and-the-movable- lift didn't work and my leg wasn't getting any longer.

As the cobbler reminded me, I can always have him take it out.  Until then, leg length won't be the reason I'm listing and lurching.  Reluctant as I was to admit that some of the damage might be permanent, acting on the facts was bizarrely relaxing.  Of course, a piece of that might be the fact that wearing my boots always makes me happy.

But the undeniable, unequivocal, absolutely without a doubt fact of the matter is that when there's a wedge under my right heel my hips rest more evenly, approximating a parallel line to the ground beneath me.  This was not the plan.  Nope, definitely not the plan. It's been hard to absorb.

I was assured that my legs would be of equal length after the hip surgery.  I don't remember much from those early days in the hospital, but I have a clear memory of discussing this issue with the surgeon.  I told him that I did not want to lurch like my father did, that I did not want to have lifts put in all my shoes, that I wanted my legs to be the same length.  He heard me and said I needn't worry. He held to that ideal until my 6 month check up when he measured them, sighed, and agreed that there is a half inch differential.

I know that medicine is more of an art than a science.  I'm not angry with the doctor.  I know that this was not his plan, either.  He's an extraordinarily precise man.  I know he did his best.

All that knowledge did not keep me from slipping down the slippery slope of my recovery, landing me harshly and painfully at the intersection of despair and disgust. I was shorter.  I hurt.  I had no stamina.  I was still limping.  This was not my plan.

I had told everyone I met that I would get better, that I would heal, that their sympathy was better directed to those who lost loved ones.  That would never get better.  I expected that by now, 3 weeks away from the one year anniversary of my encounter with weaponry, 300plus days of recuperation later, by now I would be fine.  I'm not fine.

My plan has been blown up.

Too bad, kiddo. 

That's what I've come to....resigned myself to....reluctantly accepted.... NO!  It is too bad that this is still going on.  It is too bad that I limp.  It is too bad that my recovery requires constant vigilance and will never truly end.  But too bad is the reality and it's not really that bad at all.

My children have their mother.  My husband has his wife.  Yesterday, Elizabeth sounded just like the Cuters as she shhh'ed me and hustled me out the door of a store where I was, apparently, behaving in an embarrassing manner.  I smiled to myself, and was consciously grateful that I could walk and talk and humiliate a teenager with my personality and my words, all of which flowed freely.

I'm a lucky girl, even if it's too bad that I'm not perfectly healed by now.

So, denizens, I have formed a new plan.  At TBG's suggestion, I am no longer announcing that I will be limp-free on January 8th.  It may take me a few more weeks, or months, but I will get there.  And if I don't get there, if arthritis interferes, if I need a bigger lift or a cane to keep me even, well then, I'll adjust to that, too.

My plan?
My lot in life is not bad; it is too bad.
I will accept the "too" and embrace it.     
Too bad equates to a fixable state.
I am here to make a plan.  That, in and of itself, is something that has begun to dawn on me as a truly remarkable thing.  Ever since that drive down Ina Road when I said aloud "I've been shot" and felt the reality course through my body like a living thing, ever since then I have marveled at the fact of my existence.

And it occurs to me that the rest of the world might be feeling the same way, too.  As I've noted before, this story has legs.  It does not go away.  People care, no matter if I think they should or not.  They do and that's a fact.

In the beginning, I welcomed the warmth and the attention.  Lately, it's been feeling intrusive.  That's counter-productive.  My plan also includes the following reminder to myself:
Allow myself to accept the love.... to be healed by the love.
That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.


  1. I'm not a planner. I fly by the seat of my pants. I used to be a planner and I always felt let down when things didn't go according to plan. I'm glad you are accepting that your plans have changed and you are adapting to them.

    We are all glad you are here and we are going to continue to send you love and hugs because it's our way of healing too.

    Megan xxx

  2. From one frustrated planner mouse to another--hang in there. xo

  3. It sounds like a beautiful plan!

  4. Allowing oneself to accept... love, help, good wishes, compliments; it's all hard and you have given me inspiration to do more of it. Thanks.

  5. I've never been a planner which has sometimes led to having things not work out. I like to go with whatever happens along with a general idea of direction I want. Life so often doesn't cooperate with my plans anyway.


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