The Disability from My Broken Left Foot Sets in

Lesson #4: You will hit bottom – maybe more than once.

The first morning after the break, everything hurt.

As I inventoried, most of the pain was a result of the fall. Angry bruises were emerging on my left knee, left thigh and left shoulder blade. I rubbed them with the homeopathic salve that I remembered having in the cabinet. It felt good to massage the aching muscles.

Other pains were not from the fall. The constant rubbing of the crutches under my armpits made my skin red and sore. My palms looked slightly blue from grasping the handles. The aching radiated from my shoulders, not used to carrying my weight. But most of all, my right hip was on fire. Standing, moving, balancing on that right leg, the muscles constantly contracted to support for my entire frame.

I spent the day (and many more to come) on my butt, foot elevated. I was served tea and breakfast and watched the clouds roll by through the window as Steve busied himself around the house. I found some distraction in work, but when I tired of that, I closed the laptop and contemplated the clouds again.

I wondered how my father has managed for 12 years when a stroke left him without the use of his right arm and leg. His mobility continues to wane, but his spirit never seems to flag. How does he do that?

I was embarrassed about all of the times that I was impatient with others who were slow. I was angry that I couldn’t enjoy the day out doors in the garden.  I was bored.

Steve had been doing everything for me all day. He cooked, vacuumed, made the bed, and cleaned the car as I looked on from the couch. It had been a long 24 hours for him too. When I clopped over to assume my regular job of loading the dishwasher, he snapped, “Just leave it, I’ll do it”.  I protested to no avail, and clip-clopped down the hall and climbed into bed.

And then the tears began. Quietly sobbing under the full weight of my disability – minor compared to others. Would every day be like this? How long would I be dependent for almost everything? Would I be able to adjust? Would the pain go away? Could I be gracious enough to accept help?  Would Steve get tired of me?

At last I fell asleep.

Kathleen Cody, Executive Director, loves advocacy and education, and believes prevention is the key to a long healthy life. She sorts through the latest scientific and research data for information that can help people make good decisions about their bone health and is focused on providing easy to use and understandable tools and resources for the public. Kathleen is a Tarheel at heart from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an honors graduate of the University of San Francisco’s MBA program.

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