I had my last appointment yesterday morning with my orthopedic surgeon, the doc who operated on my broken ankle at the end of March. I must admit I didn't expect this would be my last appointment--not because I have been experiencing increased pain or recurring problems with my ankle, for that has not been the case, but because I had thought my appointment in September would be my last. This time I set aside my expectations, only hoping more healing and improvement would be recognized.
Although some healing still needs to occur, I don't have to return unless problems develop.
You know the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? Well, I felt like the Lords A-Leapin'. A sense of euphoria. I immediately felt lighter and stronger, and even more flexible. I felt as if I had graduated to a new state of ease and surety. Not that I won't continue to be extra careful. I promise you I will, but I don't feel injured any more. I don't even feel quite as old any more.
Did my bones suddenly knit together completely as I walked from my car into the medical building? Did the remaining occasional swelling melt into the atmosphere as I walked into the x-ray room? Did the slight stiffness dissipate as I took off my sock for the doc to examine my ankle? No, to all those questions, but I physically felt some mending in my mind when I was told I don't need another appointment.
Suddenly, breaking my ankle felt like an event in the past, rather than part of my current story, and that feels important. Rather than coping with a broken ankle now, I recall breaking my ankle nine months ago and moving through all the stages of healing.
That was then and this is now.
I feel a bit more whole. True, I still often need to go down steps each foot on each step, and true, I don't yet have the full stamina, the ability to stand or walk for as long as I did before the accident. Some days a limp is detected, and I am always grateful for my husband's arm as we maneuver across an icy parking lot, and I remain puzzled by inquiries about how the accident occurred that seemed to imply I could have prevented it. However, I am now living my life in an easier fashion, and I don't feel as defined by an injury as I felt in the past months.
So what did I learn? Well, there were many opportunities to learn patience and acceptance, along with lessons about receiving help and kindness of others. I learned how to be clearer in what I needed. I learned how quickly one's situation can change, and I learned to adapt to this particular change, which I hope will benefit me when faced with future changes.
I slowed my pace and became more aware of where each step took me. The ordinary became more extraordinary. The light and love in my life seemed brighter and more all-encompassing. I was more able to touch all the reasons to be grateful in my life.
Obviously, I am thrilled to be at this stage of healing, to be this many months away from the event, but it was just one event in my life. One with temporary consequences. Life has continued as I have healed, and while I have not always been able to participate in the life around me as fully as I would have liked, my life has not been on back order.
I learned to be present to each step.
May that be so.
What opportunities have entered your life --unbidden or welcomed--to learn how to be present to each step? Are there past events that need to be in the past? In what ways do you put your life on "back order" and how might you become more present to your whole life? Now. I would love to know.