Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I almost named this blog entry "what a frustrating day!" but realized that only part of it was frustrating.
I should be at Water Aerobics right now. I was really looking forward to tonight's class. Monday's was cancelled because of Veteran's Day.
Let me take you back to this afternoon. I had a 4:30 doctor's appointment. I didn't even get shown to a room until 5 p.m. My doctor, who I really like, came in at 5:15 and got me out as quickly as possible, probably by 5:35. I'm thinking, I have plenty of time! Class is at 6:45.
The bus doesn't come, doesn't come, doesn't come. Finally comes, and I walk in my house at 6:10. Pee, wash my face, eat a wrap with peanut butter, drink some water, put on my swimsuit and then wrap myself up in layers because it's cold out, put on my shoes, and head out the door at 6:25. I think I could walk to the pool because really it's just down the hill. but the quickest way isn't that safe after dark, partly because of potentially dangerous elements and partly because it's a windy road without many streetlights. The other walking route would be longer. In retrospect, I should have walked the second route.
So I go back to the bus stop and wait and wait and wait. Bus never comes. I finally came back to my house because I figured even if the bus comes like right now, I won't be there for 10 minutes and there'll only be 20 minutes left of class. So I'm disappointed. Could I still exercise? Yeah, I could put at DVD in but frankly, I'm tired, I've been running around like a crazy lady all day, and so I put my PJs on and decided to spark a while.
My doctor's appointment went well. She had me do bloodwork and was very pleased with the results, which made me very happy. My blood pressure is usually on the low side because I take a migraine med that keeps it that way. But today it was lower than usual even though I was stressed out. My liver function is great. She was worried about fatty liver but there are no signs of it. Blood sugar was good. I think she was surprised how good it all looked. My big issue is my weight, big surprise. She knows I'm actively working on it, so that was great.
Also good but first some background. I live in Pittsburgh, which is a very hilly city. There are sets of city steps all over the place that back in the day were the routes the steelworkers took from their little homes on the hills down to the steel mills. And back up at the end of the day. I live on the top of one of those hills and take a set of city steps every morning. I probably haven't walked *up* those stairs in five years. Tonight I was so frustrated that I did. I took them set by set, fully anticipating I'd need to rest in between. But I didn't, really. I rested for a few seconds in between but made it up the steps in very good time and not really out of breath at the top.
This is a long blog entry, I know!
So 8 years ago Monday, I had what they call a catastrophic accident. I fell down a portion of my basement steps and landed squarely on my left knee on the edge of another step. My patella shattered into 14 pieces. I live alone and was alone that day. I didn't have a cell phone, and it took me 90 minutes to somehow propel myself up my stairs to my telephone. I had emergency surgery that night. I was in the hospital for seven days. I had blood clots during my hospital stay. My surgeon wired my knee back together and put screwed in my calf and thigh bones to hold a steel bar over my leg so that I couldn't bend my knee and damage the knee further.
I couldn't take care of myself after I was released. My best friend and her mom took me in for a month. A woman in my book group fostered my cats while I was away. I was off work for four months. When I went back I walked with crutches and my life had changed.
Today, I have two incredible scars on my knee and matching scars on knee and calf where the screws were.
The 8th anniversary of all that was on Monday. I had battled my weight before the fall, and I continue to battle it. But I'm making progress. The fact that I didn't hit my head that night, that I lived through it and lived through the blood clots, that was I think my guardian angel at work. The fact that I can go out and walk, fast, for 100 minutes, as I did a couple of weeks ago? That's my work. My success. The fact that I walked up those city steps tonight? That's my success. I've been working hard, and it is paying off.
I remember being in my hospital bed eight years ago, weeping in anger and frustration. I felt that I was all alone in the world and I blamed myself for what was a freak accident that I couldn't have prevented. I remember not knowing what was going to happen to me.
Tonight, I'm frustrated because I didn't make it to the class that I willingly signed up for and really enjoy even though it's damn hard work. Even typing those words seems strange to me.
Eight years ago I would never have imagined where I am tonight. In the same house, yes, but a very different situation.