Just a few days ago, I woke up on a glorious blue sky Sunday morning, and did what I never do. I threw myself a little pity party.
Just a teeny-tiny baby one. Just a quick little, “Woe is me.”
Because, well, you know—I love my Sunday mornings. I’m addicted to Sunday mornings. I live to get up early and seize my Sunday mornings, to get out and make the most of them, while the rest of the world is sleeping in. I love being out in the cool and in the quiet, by the dawn’s early light. I love it like nobody’s business.
But I would not be seizing the day, not this particular Sunday morning. Because, sure as spring had sprung, it would take all my power to get myself up off my mattress, get my butt unstuck from the zip-lock bag full of last night’s melted ice supply, get my crutches under my armpits, and get myself to the bathroom.
Now, here’s the thing: even as I was lolling about in my little funk, I knew better than to let that emotion stick. I was, after all, exactly where I knew I’d be, rehab-wise. No, let me rephrase that: I was already ahead of where I thought I’d be. I’d already kicked the hi-test pain meds, and I’d made my way up and down the stairs, with ease. Things that had been impossible just a few days before were now a piece of cake—things like lifting my leg up off the bed, and doing a set of quad isometrics. I knew, even as I sulked for that nano-funk, that one lovely Sunday morning, or even a dozen or more, would be a small measure to offer up to the rehab gods. I was on the road to recovery, and I’d be back at it, soon enough.
All that being said, it’s still hard to not feel debilitated. Just yesterday, as I crutched around the neighborhood, a woman who passed me on the sidewalk stopped and offered me her prayers. Crutches signal something primal and biblical, and make the whole pity reflex bubble up, bidden or not. It’s hard to see past the infirmity that crutches broadcast, the same way my lack of hair post-chemo fast-forwarded friends and strangers alike to sentiments of the “Oh, You Poor Thing!” ilk. It’s what we all do. It’s nearly impossible not to. I get that. But still, I want to be beyond it, ASAP.
* * * * *
Here I am, a week later, now more mobile than before. I just got the ok from my physical therapist, bless his heart, to ditch one of my two crutches and just cruise around single-crutching, with one appendage available to carry that coffee cup, that laptop, that frying pan. One crutch is huge. One crutch looks and feels so much more temporary than two. One crutch feels like I’m way more than halfway there.
My objective, after all, was to fix what needed fixing. After more than two decades of favoring my right side, the joint that took the brunt of my unbalanced gait couldn’t be jollied back with cortisone shots or PT or anything else. My hip was a mess, and new hip joints are relatively easy procedures. Now was the time. Well, truthfully, last summer might have been the time. No matter—I’m on the road to getting back the me who loves nothing more than a long, brisk walk, or an early morning bikeride or a few fast ski runs. I’m no longer wondering why we just fixed up a townhouse with the master bedroom on the third floor. I’m anxious to get back on track. A handful of Sunday mornings, I already know, will prove to have been a very small price to pay.