Monday, November 11, 2013

The Forgetting


I am officially healed.  My orthopedist told me this morning.  She put me down for "as needed" for follow-ups.  I walked out of that office feeling like a star.

She also told me I have to stop limping.  Which I do.  To better and worser degrees.  If it's cold, or it's the morning, or I'm especially worn out, I limp fairly badly.  I mentioned to her that I have pain in my hip at the end of the day, and she said if I keep it up I'll feel it in my back, too.

I asked her if my ankle was always going to be a problem for me.  I want to know if it will always feel stiff when I wake up in the morning?  Or, after a day of walking in New York, or at Disneyland, if it will ache when I get into bed?  Will I be able to comfortably sit cross-legged on the floor?  Will the pain help me predict the weather?  I worry about long term consequences because I dislike the permanent--it's enough that difficult things happen at all: where she burned it, Edie's lip is a slightly different color.  It's one half of her mouth, perfectly divided at her cupid's bow.  It's lovely, really--plum next to berry red.  But I never look at it without a slight sinking feeling.

When I asked her, my physical therapist said she didn't know.  That if I were ten years younger, no way.  Twenty years older, yeah, probably.  But, right now, I could go either way.  My doctor told me that, long term, it wouldn't bother me.  She says that, after about a year, I would forget which ankle it was.

I hope so.  Well, I kind of hope so.  I half want to forget this ever happened, and half not.  Flying back from California after my sister's wedding, two weeks after I broke it, I sat in the airport watching people walk by.  James had taken Edie for a walk, and as people passed me I stared at their shoes, frustration making my heart pound as they strode along.  I watched people with babies, and I thought that, given how difficult my life with Edie had become, having the use of two feet would, from then on, make life a breeze.  I don't want to forget that--how clear it all seemed--how easy my life could be when I could walk again.

On the other hand, I do want to forget what it felt like to open my little black moleskine daily planner and cross out all my plans: running (x5), beach/tide pools, hike in the Fells, library story time.  It felt so stark, so shocking, so weirdly betraying.  I want to forget that.

But I don't want to forget the slow realization that, as together as I ever feel, it's all so fragile.  All it takes is one good shake to the structure of my life and all those balls I keep in the air just crash down.  Normality doesn't feel so susceptible, but it really, really is.  There's a lesson in that realization, but I'm barely sure what it is.  I'm sure there is one, though.

I can feel it in my bones.

1 comment:

  1. Now, did you put on sandals in the freezing cold to stage this pic? or had you happened to already have it? Also, which foot is it? Because i called it "Lefty," but only because that's the name that felt right, regardless of if it was the left or right. Just so you know.

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