Fret nary a bit, Lauridians. This post will NOT be some long ass, existential drone about my shift-shaping emotional state. It’s about my arthritic left foot.
Sounds like a perfect cinematic vehicle for Daniel Day Lewis, does it not?
But it ain’t. It’s actually about my left foot.
The late Dr. Martin Luther King once said that unearned suffering is redemptive. In that case, color me redeemed.
I was involved in a nasty automobile accident 21 years ago this month. The truck I was riding in was driven off the freeway and over an overpass into this marshy creek like estuary…home, I swear, to every biting and stinging bug known in entomology.
Upon impact some 22 feet below, I did a perfectly executed header out the front windshield–butt first–and slammed into the upsurge in the hood created when the truck hit the creek bed. In the process, 11 major bones were broken; four of them were within my right leg, all below the knee. We’re talking serious breaks people; what the medics call “comminuted” which basically means, the portions of the bones which hit the dashboard on my way out the windshield were sanded down. Pulverized. Just for grins, investigators say I was travelling that short distance the same speed as the truck was going, which was set on 65 MPH on the cruise control. Oh, and just so ya know, a former boyfriend was driving. He fell asleep at the wheel.
Once again, please note–he is a former boyfriend.
This was a lonely stretch of road about 30 miles east of San Antonio. I was taken to a hospital in the city which would serve as my home away from home for the next three months. Ah, that summer of ’91 is an opioid blur.
Delaudid…..Uh, I mean delightful.
I meant to say, I took nothing for the pain. I merely bit down on a bullet the entire time. Opiates are for wimps.
In total, I’ve had five surgeries to correct all that was rendered incorrect by the accident. By nature of the breaks, their severity and where they’re located, I am in constant pain. A doctor once told me that I’d learn to live with the pain.
I told him he could live with my ass.
But in the end (pun intended) he was right. I’ve done exactly what everyone in the world has done: I’ve learned to live with the hand I’ve been dealt, whether I willingly played in the card game or not. It’s only when the pain is intense that I’m even aware of it. By the way, I can predict inclement weather better than Doppler radar. I can tell you within 15 hours if a cold front is coming in or rain is headed my way.
My Lakota Sioux name is “She Who Predicts Weather With Amazing Accuracy Because of Numerous Broken Bones”.
I chose that one because “Stands With A Fistula” was already taken.
I walk with a limp on bad days and plus, I’m known for fashion over function and I know I’ve worn all the wrong shoes. All of this has resulted in a nasty stress fracture in my left foot, which bears most of the post-menopausal weight with which I schlep around the days. It’s painful. I’ve only made things worse by trying to do aerobics with the other crones of my village. One woman, close to my age, was on the other side of the gym gyrating as best she could to the Miami Sound Machine. I didn’t have my glasses on and my almost 54-year-old eyes were convinced she was doing all these moves with a papoose on her back. Had I had my specs on, I would have seen that was her dowager’s hump, NOT a papoose.
But I digress.
Earlier this morning, the UPS man in all his mocha uniformed glory, delivered another pair of shoes that will surely add further damage to my feet. I won’t bore you with details, other than to say they are designer platform sandals made by–well, the designer’s name rhymes with “Tory Burch”.
I put them on to walk down the 100 yards or so to my mail box, fully intending to scuff up the bottoms to give them more traction. Fifteen feet a away from my mailbox, I fell off of my shoes. It had to have been a gravitational phenomenon because fortunately for me, I still possess enough endolymph within my cochlear labyrinth that balance wasn’t an issue. I stumbled though…and it wasn’t pretty. A construction crew working on a nearby house actually laughed out loud in unison at my misstep A few additional things were mentioned, too and lucky for me, I speak enough Spanish to know that what they said wasn’t very complimentary. Something about a portly ballerina and vertigo, as best I could tell. I ignored them verbally, but thought silent, nasty things about a certain country whose principal export is giardia-fueled diarrhea.
But the amazing thing is that I did in fact, both the landing, but when I took the final step with my left foot, it twisted and I heard a pop. It hurt for a second or two, then I decided to go butch and walk it off. When the pain subsided, THE PAIN SUBSIDED!!!!
As in my left foot didn’t hurt any more. It was as if the stress fracture that had me snorting pharmaceutical grade Naproxen on an hourly basis, had self corrected!!!! I don’t know if that’s what happened medically, but I can feel a whale of a difference in my foot, therefore, I am living proof that what is done, can be undone.
Except for the menopause thing….and I assure you that as the 54th circle has almost completed its growing cycle in my trunk of life, I could not, WOULD NOT ever want to relive that process or the years that led up to it…..PERIOD.