Last week, I finally got a long awaited surgery on my ankle to fix some of my tendons and ligaments. After a three-year process with a few different doctors and a few different methods to try and fix it, it’s finally done! As a result of this surgery, though, I am not allowed to bear any weight on my right foot at all for the next three weeks, and then have another five weeks of physical therapy to try and get me walking again to look forward to. Before the surgery I thought to myself, Three weeks on crutches won’t be that bad! Boy, was I wrong. So far it has been a week and I can’t help but rack up a list of things that I have taken for granted all of these years.
You know, I never thought that I could take something as simple as walking for granted. Almost everyone is born with the ability to walk and it really isn’t something special that only I have been privileged to be able to do. But you don’t realize how much you walk and how much you miss it once you are not able to walk anymore. I feel like something as simple as walking is something that you can’t take for granted but not being able to makes me think of all the people who permanently cannot walk anymore, like people who have to use wheel chairs for the rest of their lives and people who just have one good leg. It is miserable and I have a new appreciation for people who go through life every day like this. I have taken my legs and the ability to walk for granted and when I am able to again I will be so very thankful.
Part of having this air cast on my foot means that the cast itself and the dressing under the cast needs to stay dry and clean. I also am not allowed to take it off so I have to kiss steaming hot showers good bye for three weeks. I would say out of all the things that I miss the most it would be showering. No longer can I jump in the shower quickly or take a bath to relax. I have to announce to the whole entire household that I am going to try embark on this process that I usually need help with in the end. It drives me a little crazy but again this makes me realize that a lot of people don’t have the luxury of showering every day. I know that this only keeps up until I am able to stand on my own again, but I am just thankful that I am still able to stay clean, whereas others don’t really have that option at all.
3. Being independent
To be honest, after I got home from surgery, I was to out of it to notice that my mom was doing everything for me. Getting things to eat, getting me new clothes to wear, drinks, getting different things I needed and really anything else that you could think of needing on a daily basis. When you have to use crutches you also aren’t able to use your hands so doing anything myself was really out of the question.
By the time I knew what was going on I felt like a child again. I couldn’t be independent anymore since I couldn’t even go into the kitchen and get myself something to eat or drink anymore. I can’t be left home alone because if I fall or try to go up the stairs someone needs to be there. I feel like the little toddler trying to do everything myself again to just feel like I am an adult again. And let me tell you, it gets frustrating.
My toddler-like mentality has gotten my parents to ease off a little so that I am able to roam around a bit, but I am pumped for the day that I can do all the things by myself again. But my struggle for independence again makes me realize that I have taken something so simple as my independence for granted. There are people out there that are wheelchair-bound or have some kind of disorder that doesn’t let them ever have independence. Always having to rely on someone is kind of a drag, especially when you see the little pang of annoyance in their face when you ask them for a favor. You just stop asking because you feel like a burden and you don’t want to be. I am grateful that I am able to go back to living the independent lifestyle that I lead before but I will no longer take this part of my life for granted because once it’s taken away, you really just don’t ever feel like you again.
4. Yoga pants
You probably got to this one on the list and laughed to yourself, but I am serious. Yoga pants are easy and they’re great for when you don’t feel like wearing shorts but don’t really want to wear sweat pants. They’re actually wonderful. But, this boot no longer allows me to wear them since the elastic around the bottom doesn’t stretch around the boot and the material gets caught on the Velcro making it nearly impossible. The only things that I can wear now are sport shorts, some pairs of jean shorts, and sweat pants (which are as equally wonderful but are too hot to wear right now). I will no longer take yoga pants and their fantastic spandex convenience for granted after this experience. I just miss them so much.
5. My family
This is an interesting one. I feel as though everyone who has a family takes them for granted a few times in their life. They’re just always there and you have your differences, arguments, and bad days together but they are always there for you in the end. If I didn’t have my family around while I was going through this, to be blunt I would have been screwed. I am forever thankful that I have family around to help me with all the things that I need and it has really made me appreciate them a lot more. I have at times taken having a lot of family for granted but I am truly lucky to have this fantastic bunch of individuals that love me enough to put up with my needs and do all the little annoying things for me. It makes me wonder about the people who aren’t as fortunate as I am and have to go through a time like this alone and it just makes me want to tell everyone in my family how much I love and appreciate them. Without them, I would be a lot worse off than I am now and for that I am thankful.