My ankle is fused. It’s totally amazing and awesome. Over the last few months I’ve done all sorts of cool things:
- Walked up and down the stairs without hanging on the the rail.
- Traversed the sand at our annual Olson Get Together at the Lake
- Started a workout program: PiYo
- MOUNTAIN BIKED!
- Started a Couch to 5K program (AS IN RUNNING!)¹
- Walked over 6 hours at the State Fair
- Gotten back to doing most of my “normal” routine
I’d love to tell you that everything is peaches and cream, and life has been blissfully floating by while I rejoice in every minute of every day…
But it hasn’t been exactly like that.
As much as I’ve been enjoying the miracle of my second surgery, I’m struggling with my competence as a mom (again). I don’t understand how being a parent of adult children works. I especially don’t understand the dynamics of when one of them moves back home…but I’m doing my best and that’s all I can really do. Oh, and I’m re-navigating the waters of being a parent of a teenager again too. <sarcastic font> Good times. </sarcastic font>
And it would be great if I could say that having an adult child and newly hormonal teen in the house were my only struggles this summer (because I’m pretty sure I could figure that out). But while I’ve been doing awesome activities that I haven’t been able to do in YEARS, I’ve also found out that I’m allergic to my own sweat and tears. Oh, and the sun. Let’s not forget about my major allergic reaction to the sun. I saw a doctor and words like auto-immune and lupus were tossed around. Are you freakin’ kidding me? I *just* got done healing from ankle fusion number two. I don’t *need* this right now. Fuck.
Then last week, Tiara, The Rescue Dog, was having a bad day and I started to bend down to pick up her Thunder Coat and BAM! My back went out. Srsly….What the fuck? I’ve never had my back go out before and I can tell you that it’s not something I’d wish upon anyone. Apparently, I might have a bulging disk (I go for a MRI tomorrow) and the doctor put me on steroids and pain meds. I asked my chiropractor if he thought I’d be okay to go camping over the weekend. He said, “Um, maybe a 50/50 shot, but I don’t recommend it because you just might end up hurting it again.”
There’s a huge part of me that wanted to wallow in The Deep Dark Hole and never come out, because I don’t think life shouldn’t be so difficult². But as I meandered around Target last weekend, looking for a book to keep me company while most of my family went on a mountain bike race/camping weekend, I came across The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, The Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz
I thought, “What the hell. Maybe super-adorable Cameron Diaz can teach me how to love my stupid, sick, broken body. I really don’t have much to lose and I need *something* to do over the long, lonely weekend, so I might as well buy this book.”
The book turned out to be just the thing I needed to read. She went on and on about how cool my body is and how it does all this awesome stuff, plus she gave me insights on how to take better care of it.
But right in the beginning Diaz says, “As women in today’s society, we are encouraged to compare ourselves to other women when what we need to do is focus on our own strengths, our own capabilities, our own beauty.”
Those are the words that sat with me for the weekend and I slowly started focusing on my strengths, capabilities, and my beauty. I felt the darkness lift and I thanked God for my body. Even though my body wasn’t in “perfect” working condition, it was still working, and that’s enough to be thankful for.
¹I had to stop my Couch to 5K program until the reaction on my face cleared up. Then I tweaked my back, so I haven’t gotten back to it yet, but it’s totally cool that I was even able to start a C25K program because all the internet says is, “No running after ankle fusion.” Fuck the internet.
²I know…there are so many people who have lives that are tougher, more painful, or going through so much worse than I am and I really need to learn how to focus on the positive. I think the depression has a large part in the “downer” type thinking. I’m working on it. *pinky promise*