Not a very long one, though... between homeschooling my kids and caring for a mobile eight-month old while being short one leg, I don't have much time for introspection, let alone time to write it down. Plus I kinda loathe the whole idea of blogging my thoughts publicly .. I used to write daily in a journal, but when I had kids I stopped because I barely had time to think my own thoughts, let alone write them down. In this case though, I feel like maybe someone else in the vast interwebs might benefit, on some lonely, difficult night, the way I did from all the broken ankle blogs out there...
Today, I found this really awesome article that seems to fit me well in 2013. You see, I suffered a catastrophic dislocation and fracture of my ankle two months ago from this Friday. (It is called Trimalleolar.) The day after I had major surgery called an Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) during which 13+ screws and a band were used to repair all the damage and rebuild my ankle. How did this happen? Oh, I just fell off a ladder while hanging Christmas lights alone except for my six-month old daughter (at the time) in her walker in the driveway.
Yes, I broke that fundamental rule not to climb up a ladder without a spotter. We all have done it, you say? True, but I'm the only one I know who fell six feet, fucked up her ankle forever, and put a damper on her family's holidays. (Yes, husband, I know everyone had a great Christmas anyway, but STILL it was DIFFERENT and not in the best way!) And so I'm the only one, watching from the couch, as the people in my life scramble to pick up my slack and adjust to life with one less functional parent. After a few weeks, my mind was much more capable than my body. And I found that an idle mind is a dangerous weapon against self-worth and general attitude towards life.
I'm an active person. I ran three miles a day well into the third trimester of my last pregnancy and jumped back into it when my baby was just a few months old. I'm not used to sitting by while things need to be accomplished and volunteers are needed. I- I- I... so much of this became about me and how I was coping, even as I claimed to be concerned about my family's adjustments. I was constantly stressing about how *I* would keep from getting out of shape as I sat on my butt for three months, how *I* was missing out on my baby's milestones because I couldn't hold her or walk with her, and how *I* would manage to do all the things I used to do to keep our house running.
And while I fretted, I missed what was actually happening. My oldest daughter was gaining an incredible sense of self-confidence helping with the actual daily care of her baby sister. My middle daughter was becoming more empathetic, learning to to ask "Do you need anything?" instead of whining about being hungry or bored. My husband was getting to take care of all of us, something that he loves. And the baby was deepening her bond with all of them and her grandparents because she knew she needed all of us to care for her, not just me!
This situation is still an extreme exercise in patience. I am still dependent on people to bring me things that I need because I can't carry them on crutches. The baby is either carried by someone else or pushed around the house in a stroller. I can't walk for four more weeks (from tomorrow.) Meal preparation is difficult because I can only stand for so long on one leg before it cramps. When we go somewhere with lots of walking, I have to take my wheelchair because (again) my good leg can only go for so long before I need to sit. And even as I take back many of my household management responsibilities, I'm mostly telling people what to do instead of actually doing it myself. This can be awkward. And the bills are rolling in to our mailbox. Which fills me with an incredible sense of guilt that my dumb mistake is costing my family our summer plans and leaves us with years of medical debt ahead.
But if I choose to dwell on the frustration, awkwardness, and guilt, I'm not enjoying the good in the people around me. I'm not celebrating the love that they have given me and their growth into the challenge that we have faced together. And I'm not acknowledging that others have faced worse and survived. In the long run, this *will* be just a small bump.
So, from this point on, I am going to try, at least once a day to make a list of what I'm doing right (even if it is just one thing!) It will most often be a mental list (mentalist... haha) but maybe I will get around to blogging it eventually.