How important is a foot? Very. How do I know? I’ve temporarily lost the full use of one when I sprained my ankle the other day. How did it happen? I would love to say that I was saving a kid from being hit by a car or chasing after a burglar, the truth - I slipped off a curb chasing after a few run away apples. I know, very heroic.
I remember the bag of apples falling from my hands and me rushing and slipping (painfully) to the ground. Then my daughter cried, “Mommy, are you okay?” I called back “Of course, I’m okay,” swallowing the groans in my throat. I couldn’t possibly have hurt myself falling off a curb, I thought to myself.
I went about my day as if nothing had happened, but by the afternoon I could no longer ignore the discomfort and swelling in my foot. I went to the doctor hoping they would tell me that it was simply a bruise, place some ice on it and take an Aspirin. Instead the doctor prescribed a leg brace and advised me to keep off my feet. Not the diagnosis I was hoping for.
The first day was a struggle as I tried unloading the dishwasher without bending my knees. Then there was the ban from aerobics my doctor had placed on me. Now, I’m usually good at following directions and toeing the line, but this one I crossed. Well, not exactly crossed, but stretched. I got a chair and found workouts that I could do from a seated position. It’s amazing how much of a sweat I can workup without my feet ever touching the ground.
When I first learned about my movement restrictions, my first worry was about how it would impact my ability to get my kids to camp, make meals, clean up, do the washing, and all the other activities that come with raising children and running a household. How was I going to do it all? The answer is that I can’t, and my daughters rose to the occasion valiantly. When I ask them to help with chores around the house, they pitch in.
I’m not going to say my sprained ankle is a blessing in disguise, I’m not there yet. But it hasn’t been the sentence of doom that I was expecting. Yes, I wish I could hurry about like I could a week ago. Yes, it’s a pain to have to ask for help and yes, the brace does get hot and I’d rather not have to wear it. But I can be grateful. Grateful that it’s not broken, grateful that my recovery will be (hopefully) short.
I also know it could be worse. I have a friend who also hurt her leg recently, but unlike me, it hasn’t been a simple recovery. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for her to have multiple surgeries, multiple trips to the hospital, and very intensive therapy. And even from a hospital bed, she manages to coordinate and organize the care for her own family. Seeing my friend struggle and succeed through these trials helps keep my situation in perspective.
Whenever I see my brace, I think of her and all she has been through. Her courage, strength and determination to keep pushing forward, even though the road to healing has thrown many curves and roadblocks in her way, are an inspiration to me.