One giant leap for Delaney Rhea!
Today is three months exactly since my accident and shattered ankle. Three months is merely a drop in the bucket compared to a lifetime but it has gone by so very slowly for me.
Progress is a fickle thing. Some days it is obvious and other days it seems to tuck tail and retreat. It turns out that the anesthesiologist who took care of me during my surgery is also a client of my husband. They had a jolly time of shaking hands and catching up over my morphine-laden, shock stricken, belly-aching pre-surgery self. In fact, I think they knocked me out sooner so they could compare the latest sports scores in peaceful quiet. Last week my husband was at this doctor’s office to do his tax-magic-stuff (numbers and math… eyeroll.) My hubby told him that I am making progress in my recovery. The doctor confessed to my husband that because of the complexity of my break he assumed it would be about three months before I’d see much in the way of progress. Then… get this… they laughed! Yes, caring doctor and doting husband laughed. In my husband’s words they laughed in mutual agreement because, “Progress sucks!”
Truer words have never been spoken. Progress sucks! If you are doing it right it hurts. Only in the last couple weeks have I not had to take painkillers and muscle relaxers to be able to sleep on a nightly basis. Now only after a particularly long day or hard session of physical therapy do I need them. It doesn’t feel like progress when I’m in pain but I know that I’m pushing myself harder and doing more so pain is going to go hand in hand with healing.
Now I am weaning out of the boot into an ankle brace that I wear with a regular shoe. It sure looks like progress. I can even get around with only one crutch now on most days. But in the evening, or on a rough day, I still need my boot and I still need two crutches. Then the progress seems lost. That’s where it is so important to remember that, indeed, progress sucks!
My husband works crazy stupid hours this time of year and has always depended on me to carry more than my share of home/parenting duties during tax season. This year I’m not up holding my end of the load. I asked him if he’s stressed out and frustrated. He laughed again. He reminded me that he saw my foot immediately after the accident. He sat in the E.R. with me before it was set in place to face the right direction (apparently it was black/green) and he was with me everyday in the hospital. He took me to my first post-op appointment when the cast was removed and we first saw my swollen, bruised, patched back together Franken-foot. He laughed because he has always had realistic expectations for my recovery. He said I’m exactly where he imagined I’d be three months out. Apparently I’m the frustrated and stressed out one with unrealistic expectations.
I’m really hoping that in another week I will be walking in small increments without a crutch at all. I might even be able to do short errands without them. But when the pain and exhaustion set in I have to remember that returning to the boot or crutch isn’t a setback in progress, it’s proof of progress and proof that I pushed myself.
Go make progress. Even if it sucks. Find what you need to use as your crutch and push through the pain. Set realistic expectations and surround yourself with people that love and accept you every step of the way.
And just for honesty’s sake, yes, I will absolutely miss using the motorized carts! They are the slowest yet most fun way to grocery shop!