A friend of mine from Kentucky was recently in a bike wreck.  She broke her neck and back and sternum in several places (just writing that makes me cringe). This friend is incredibly active, an accomplished triathlete and cyclist, and this setback seriously blows.

Since she is more or less immobilized, she’s started to write (and knit).  And of course, because I am a blog whore, I am totally subscribed to her blog.

When I was 19 I was in an accident where I broke a bunch of stuff, including my back in six places, and took a good thump on the head (of which my mother is convinced I never recovered).  I was in and out of the hospital/ICU for over a month.  Reading her blog of course reminds me.

It reminds me how tough things can get once the initial shock wears off. The isolation and frustration. Being so ready for it to be over.  And time ticking by ever. so. slowly.

It reminds me how little you can do to expedite the process.  You can’t push harder or work longer or train smarter…the best thing you can do, in fact, is not rush it.  That is hard.

It reminds me of the day, about 2 months in, when I got maniacally happy because I tied my shoes by myself.  I was on the way out the door to get breakfast with some friends (who, for the record, along with my parents, had loved me and babied me and carried me through this entire episode) when I sat up and announced, arms in the air, “EVERYONE, LISTEN UP!!  I JUST TIED MY SHOE!  BY MYSELF!” expecting some sort of ovation.  Everyone was like, “Whoop…let’s go eat.”  But I smiled through breakfast, my sense of accomplishment so real that the feeling lingers 13 years later.

Because it’s not going to happen in one day, or one month, or even one year.  It will happen in baby steps.  Baby steps that nobody else will notice or care about.  But recognizing those for what they are, representative of you moving in the right direction, is important.

I try to remember these things.  That celebrating the small steps in life is important.  That setbacks are not the end.  That adjustments to your life plan is not always a bad thing.  That being forced to slow down is hard, but sometimes necessary.  That every boring, ordinary day really is a gift.

But sometimes I need a reminder.  A reminder that if today is just another boring day to take a second, tie my own shoes, and soak in the ordinary.

4 thoughts on “Immobile

  1. You are awesome. Your post actually brought tears to my eyes. While I can’t wait to be where you are now, and looking back on this as a memory, I will try to embrace my small victories from day to day. For example: I made breakfast by myself yesterday! Used the stove, eggs, bacon, sweet potato hash. I made a giant mess, but it was worth it. I’ve missed cooking. AND I will be patient… I visited work the other day which made me a little sad. Although I don’t think my patients would feel very comfortable with “Hi I’m Nikki. I will be sticking this long needle into your spinal canal…don’t worry about this whole neck/back brace I’m wearing, it’s not limiting at all”. 🙂
    Today I will be enjoying the ordinary of walking and knitting. Thank you!

    1. Remember when you couldn’t sit up by yourself? Now you’re making your own meals! You’ll make it, hang in there.

    1. what’s crazy is how long ago it was. and how awesome you guys were helping me out! you’re all the best, i miss you!

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