Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Acts of Independence

I expected a feeling of elation, a big moment, a revelation, an ephiphany when I finally got the cast off. I was nervous about standing up my own two feet once again, but I did it anyway; slipped the foam slipper I'd worn for months back on my newly naked left foot and walked out of the Orthopedic surgeon's office under my my own power. There were no bugles sounding no fireworks--only an intense feeling of relief. I had finally made it to the last leg, in a manner of speaking, of my recovery. My leg didn't even look that different, (my leg muscles are atrophied anyway). Somehow the muscle tone around my knee seemed a little, I don't know, deflated but nothing shocking considering 4 months of hibernation.

For all of the anticpated excitement for my first shower in eons, I didn't go into the Y as planned but managed to climb into my own shower without to my surprise any assistance. As the water shushed down my back I thanked various higher powers for the opportunity to once again wash all of my body parts AT THE SAME TIME.

Rediscovering a favorite pair of jeans that previously could not make past a thickly casted leg is a simple pleasure not to be underestimated. Dressing by myself in something other than sweat pants goes a long way to restoring a familiar sense of self. Shed the dressings and layers of injury if only to put on a favorite pair of jeans and a clean tee-shirt.

How much of life is made up of these moments, small acts of independence, most of which are private, taken for granted and yearned for when even temporarily absent? More than I expected to be sure but I'm happy to reclaim all of them one by one even if the fanfare is only in my head.

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