On the mend
Winter weather has threatened us for quite a while now. The meteorologist says weíre going to get sleet and snow all weekend, and then Saturday comes and itís sunny as can be outside. Thatís what I expected this past weekend, when the weather forecast said weíd be getting freezing rain and snow showers Saturday and Sunday. To my surprise, we finally got that snow ĖĖ a light dusting, that is.
Gideon and I planned to stay home all weekend just in case the weather was bad, but I would have been glued to the couch regardless of how much it snowed outside. After breaking my ankle a few weeks ago, Iíve been more or less relegated to the couch with my leg elevated at heart level. I have four weeks left wearing the boot before I can walk normally again. That doesnít sound like a long time but it sure feels like it.
Throughout my recovery, Iíve learned a thing or two about living with a broken bone. Perhaps the hardest thing to do with a broken ankle is exercise. Thatís tough for me, because I love hiking and you just canít hike when one of your stompers is out of commission.
Iíve been working on my own little exercise program in the meantime, which includes the bicycle, ceiling punches and cat-lifting. All exercises must be completed while lying on your back. I start with the bicycle, moving my legs as if theyíre rotating a bike pedal. You can throw in a ceiling punch here or there. Thatís pretty self-explanatory ĖĖ†wildly punch at the ceiling until you feel the burn. Then keep punching, even when your cats sit on your chest and demand cuddles.
The most strenuous part of the exercise involves weightlifting my cats. I start with the lightest cat to warm up and then move on to our little fatty for muscle definition. This would probably work better if we had more cats, but Iím making it work. If you try cat-lifting, be sure to pet and cuddle the kitties after. Iím lucky that my kitties are easygoing and enjoy the attention. If your kitties donít like the exercise, lightly place them on the ground and give them their favorite kind of wet food. After all, theyíre not just dumbbells ĖĖ†theyíre family, too!
Besides creating an ingenious workout plan, Iíve been discovering how difficult it is for disabled people to get around. I like to think I never looked down on those who canít easily walk, but I definitely have a new understanding for what itís like to live like that. Iím fortunate. In four weeks, I can resume walking the way I used to.
I wonít have to worry about mistaking a patch of ice for a rain puddle or navigating uneven sidewalks anymore. I wonít spend the entire drive home thinking of how dreadful it will be to walk up the stairs. But Iíve been realizing thatís a reality for so many people in our community, and it has helped me understand how it feels to be trapped by your body. Like I said, Iím only temporarily trapped. I canít imagine what itís like to have to learn new ways of getting around; I can barely balance on one foot for five minutes.
It looks like Iím finally on the mend, and Iím grateful for that. Iím also grateful for the opportunity to be in someone elseís shoes for a bit. You canít understand some things until you personally experience them.
Now I understand.
ē ē ē
Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com