The Year I Spent Limping,
in a Wheelchair and on Crutches.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A few days ago, on October 1st, it hit me that it had been one year since my knee surgery. You see, several months prior to that, I re-injured what I did not realize at the time was a fractured kneecap. A fractured kneecap I walked on for two years that later resulted in the need for knee surgery and two subsequent ankle surgeries.

This post is not about rehashing all of that, however. There are things I learned in the last 12-16 months that I don't care to go into here. (Although I will say that a second or even third opinion should always be considered before putting your body through the trauma of surgery and the long process of recovery.) What is this post about? I'm glad you asked. This is about gratitude.

It's been four months since my last surgery and at least a good month and half since I've limped on a regular basis. Most of the time, nobody knows anything happened and - honestly - I wasn't sure that would ever be the case again. Forgive me if this sounds overly dramatic, but I have recently begun to feel like I've been given my life back. For far too long, I couldn't do the things I wanted because I either physically couldn't or because it was simply too painful. I truly felt like my (relatively) young self had been replaced by an elderly, crotchety old woman. Let me tell you, it was pretty attractive.

And now? Now I'm back and I have a new found sense of gratitude for my resilient, capable body. It's been a long year, but I'm a better person for having gone though it and am so damn happy it's over. And I learned some valuable lessons while on crutches. For example, even though you can't admit it, sometimes it's nice to be pushed around in a wheelchair by your friends. Also, and this one really surprised me, you get a lot of attention from the opposite sex when you're crippled. So, to my single friends, I want to suggest renting a wheelchair sometime. Seriously. Kind of. Last, but not least, I learned to appreciate movement. In fact, I think I'll go for a walk now. Why? Because I can, folks, and that's a beautiful thing.