Monday, November 11, 2013
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.