Annoyingly I’m still on crutches and will be until at least the early New Year, but the good news is that progress is steady and we are pushing hard during physiotherapy sessions (and exercises at home) to do the maximum possible rather than just the minimum.
It’s not the comfortable option and I’m half wishing I’d bought shares in a certain company that manufactures pain relief medication, but progress is now noticeable.
The daily problem of my foot swelling up is slowly driving me less crazy, and apart from days when I go a bit ballistic and really over-do things, my foot has progressed from looking like a large balloon to a half hearted inflated one at the end of the day.
Of course I have down days and days when the pain is just too much, or feel the frustration of still being on sticks after all this time: this usually results on me taking it all out on poor Himself or getting tetchy with the kids. On the whole I’m trying to focus on the positive and mutter less when it just hurts like stink and doesn’t quit.
My view on pain and how I handle it has changed a lot over the last year, the sharp stinging sort of pain is one thing but the constant nagging, thumping pain is often the worst because you feel like it has been going on forever and that it will never end.
I’m learning slowly that sometimes physical pain is something that you just have to get past, not that it goes away in this situation, but that you try and focus on other things and tune it out so that it becomes something in the background chorus line of life and not taking the lead role on centre stage.
There have been times when I’ve asked about stronger pain relief, but that’s not possible because we would then mask the bodies natural limits and take away vital “Stop” signs that I need to feel to know when you’ve reached the edge of safe limits.
Never before have I so keenly felt the truth of the maxim “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” (even if I do sometimes wonder just how close to death you might have to go to get tougher).
I am reminded daily that Character building comes in many forms and that it isn’t a question of the size of the difficulties being thrown at you that matters (after all being pelted with 1000 marbles will probably hurt just as much as getting hit by a bolder as big as a bus) , but it’s how you deal with the onslaught that matters.
It’s not just physical pain that we fight daily, it’s also other things in various parts of our lives: the way you respond when your kids won’t stop fighting, how you handle anger or when someone who is always asking for a favour or help comes with yet another request, facing up to the truths about yourself, your insecurities or fears, the deeper motivations about why you want to eat too much junk food or spend to much (or maybe inversely, not enough).
Apart from the issue of pain, my nemesis at the moment is I’m having a small emotional rebellion about the weight I’ve gained during my last year on crutches… some months ago I cut my sugar intake by 95%, drastically reduced the amount of of white carbs (rice, pasta, bread, potatoes) and started watching portion sizes.
Himself has commented (without me even asking) several times that he can really see a difference as the weight is falling off, but I’ve been a bit despondent because I don’t feel any different in my clothes at all yet. (I haven’t attempted to get on scales in the last year because I can’t figure out how to get a scale to work when I need to still put my weight on the crutches…. balance on one leg? Yes, it’s a possible solution but remembering that I’m accident prone: maybe not).
Staying positive, upbeat and motivated when you are really working hard at something and not seeing any result is just as difficult as dealing with an issue like pain. I’m sure all of us have physical, emotional, physiological or mental hurdles that we confront daily… maybe a bad habit, confidence, loneliness, body issues or character trait.
I am a perfectionist who is keenly aware of my own imperfections, and the seemingly “lesser” problem of plodding onwards with just faith in the goal rather than on tangible evidence turns out to be every bit as difficult as overcoming a seemingly “greater” problem like pain.
We all have our 1000 marble problems and in our lifetime we will be in a tiny minority if we don’t hit a few obstacles the size of buses.
I suppose the trick is to use the love and support of those around us to turn those marbles into wheels, then take the wheel and then take charge and drive that bus away.