During my wonderful 25th anniversary trip to Europe, I reaffirmed what a klutz I am by dropping a scooter on my foot. That’s not an easy task to accomplish but as my friends and family will tell you, I’m a pro at awkward accidents.
Amazingly, the only bones I’ve ever broken in my body up to now are my nose and both small toes. I can now add four hairline fractures and a torn ligament to the list. Unfortunately, that’s all on one foot, and they don’t give you a cast for this—just a huge boot and a warning that much patience will be required.
I’ve been unable to drive a car for months now, reliant on others to do the grocery shopping, pick up medicine, run errands, carry stuff up and down stairs, cook, clean, get my ma to the doctor—you get the idea. I hobble along for a day or two thinking the foot is getting better only to have it flare up again and put me back in my chair, the foot propped up, alternating ice and heat.
My fatalistic friends would say: everything happens for a reason. That’s hard to take when you’re in pain, but I have learned a few things from this experience:
- Before this happened, I was getting more exercise than I realized. A couple years ago, I got a fitbit and while it only lasted a few months, the lesson it taught stayed with me, which is: the biggest advantage of living in a three-level house is that you have to go up or down the stairs many times a day. That’s a lot of steps I’m not getting right now, and believe it or not, I miss the freedom of being able to run up the stairs to get a hoodie when I’m cold.
- Animals do not understand humans with deficiencies. The look in my dogs’ eyes at the time I’d normally be taking them for a walk breaks my heart. Even though it’s been two months, they do not understand that one of their “gods” has weaknesses. They just sniff my boot and run from those mean evil metal crutches I brought into this house.
- My mom has more patience than I realized. My co author has been physically limited for most of the time we’ve been writing. She’s also blind and now unable to do any writing on the computer. I realize now the depth of the challenges she faces every day.
But the most important take-away of all:
- I married the right man. Who do you think’s been making those trips up and down the steps and to the store and taking the dogs for their walks and feeding me these many days? My daughter helps when she’s here, but that’s rare. It’s my man doing it all. And when he brings me a cup of warm delicious coffee he learned to make just the way I like it, and when he balls me out for doing too much while my foot is trying to heal … I realize again how much I love him.
Genilee Swope Parente