I have a touch of the dramatic in me. As I anticipated what it would feel like to have foot reconstructive surgery and be restricted in my activities for months, I began to call it “The Dark Night of the Sole.” In this season, I will be challenged and stretched. In this season, I will be acquainted with pain and struggle. In this season, I will experience love in a new way, if I let myself!
I enjoy being productive and getting things done and my primary job currently is to sit, elevate my foot, and let my osteoblasts do their job. One week out from surgery, I am finding this trying. I have already begun setting out intentions or goals for each day of healing, though they are modified from typical. My goals in the past few days have included: get prescription, take shower, change clothes, and find new grippy socks. I am learning that I can accomplish about one thing a day in addition to all the necessary normal day things like trips to the toilet (now and aerobic activity) or eating meals (now requiring seven pillows to align my trunk and leg appropriately!) I need help for the simplest of tasks like filling up my water bottle or remembering if I’ve taken my vitamins or not.
I feel like a burden, although my family has expressly said that I am not. It feels strange to call for help getting out of bed in the middle of the night or text one’s mom at 1 am because, “I dropped the towel behind the door and can’t reach it.” I am the baby again and my parents are on round the clock duty.
It also feels strange to be the patient when I am so used to being the helper. How many times have I explained how to use a tub transfer bench or hand held shower to a patient? How many times have I gotten miffed that a patient mishandled the spray of water, wetting me when I already had a shower that day? And yet, I too accidentally sprayed the stream of water outside the shower curtain yesterday requiring a “clean up on aisle 5”.
It is strange to feel dependent. Strange to feel pain. Strange to feel not like myself at all. I enjoy that I am a driven and active person and it has been a complete shift in perspective to have to believe that, for the time being, rest is best. Rest is purposeful. Rest is future-thinking. Rest is valuing myself. I am not loved because of what I can do, though sometimes I can fool myself into believing that. In this season, I will be shown again and again, that I am loved and valued because of who I am, swollen, broken, painful, useless and all.
It may be a dark night for my sole, but may it also shine a bright light on my soul.