I’m going to do something today which I don’t normally do: write spontaneously.
Because I want to capture this moment, today, which doesn’t happen all the time. It’s a day where, yes, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, I was sweet as soon as I got up, and I’m feeling like I can actually walk someday soon. Soon may still be 3 months away but somehow today – magic today – 3 months feels like it’s around the corner.
I don’t always feel this way. In the last 3 weeks that I’ve been bedridden I’ve swung from one extreme personality to another, usually in the space of just days. Seeing my son jump over my bad leg instead of saying ‘excuse me’ will have me snapping at him for the rest of the evening. Hearing a friend tell me that the time will fly can bring me to tears. Those days – like just 18 hours ago – are days where the road to walking seems impossibly long. And I’ll tell myself that I have never experienced physical hardship, and I don’t know if I have what it takes to be this patient, to push my atrophied leg and foot to move beyond an inch, let alone ever walk like a normal human being again.
Today was good because school opening was delayed and we didn’t have to rush in the morning. Today Fred “slept in” until 7:05 and scampered downstairs to read. Not turn on Cartoon Network or a videogame but actually read (and then proceed to clip his nails).
Grooming becomes a chore when you’ve got an anvil dragging on your leg. But today I took a shower. I took a shower! Used conditioner! Put my contact lenses in. Got out of my pajamas. Let my past-shoulder length hair cascade out of my usual ratty pony tail holder. A few minutes before all this took place I had woken up to an email from my friend Kathryn who told me (from having seen recent Facebook uploads) I was PRETTY – caps by Kathryn – and this told her I seemed well. Who even tells a friend that any more, especially when she’s in her 40s? Mostly I feel gross these days, and my mummy-like leg doesn’t help one bit, but this sweet message, and getting rid of that pony tail holder, helped.
And since I finished my work early, I moved to the couch to write and opened the door to our veranda. We never do this, paranoid about mosquitoes and flies and bees as we are, but Max said he wouldn’t mind, even after an unidentifiable bug flew in. From where I’m typing I can see blue and green and smell and hear a beautiful early fall (yes, now I can hear seasons) that is just out of reach for me right now…but not completely taken away.
And after this I’m going to get myself a snack – something with sugar and heavy in carbohydrates – and I’m going to continue with part 2 of Gone Girl. (Has anyone read this??)
Then there’s school pick up (I will tag along), an evening meeting at school (I will attend), dinner (I will eat), homework nagging (or not, if my day continues on its current roll), and my now daily good night hugs and kisses done downstairs, before everyone turns off the lights and marches up and away to their bedrooms on a separate floor.
And finally sleep. Fitful sleep, sleep where I sometimes wake up with an all-over pin and needle feeling from not having moved all night, or from dreams where I have use of both legs and yet can barely move. The IKEA sofa bed in our dark home office will forever remind me of the taste of pain killers and filtered water, my isolation from my family at night, and the excruciation of minutes and hours that no longer pass quickly enough.
And I will wake up – 5 or 6 hours later – and start another day again…wondering to which heights I will fly or to which depths I will plumment this time.
How do you make it through difficult times?