Posted by: onhiatus | June 13, 2012

One week Surgiversary: So this is commuting

I had planned to make Tuesday my first day back to work… but then rain interceded. As I googled “how to keep a cast dry” I pondered the various choices. Would it be sexy garbage bag fringed with duct tape or instead, perhaps the always elegant saran wrap variety? I then also realized rain means super slippery metro platforms. Eeeek. As enticing as that sounded I decided to wait a day.

Early Wednesday, June 16th (my one week “surgiversary”), all focused, I set off to park in what I thought would be the multitude of handicapped parking spaces available at the metro lot. Not so much. I usually walk to the metro from my house so this drive commute thing was all new territory. Pulled in and all spots taken.. all other spots taken except for those reserved till 10 am, too. What to do? Drove around considering some options when my leg started throbbing so I threw in the towel on attempting my first metro commute and decided just to drive into work.

I’ve driven in with neighbors and friends before but with your left leg throbbing & stinging like a fiend you find your patience with all the other cars thinning and ready to snap just like your Achilles. Slowly inched my way in across the river and through the streets and at one point I remember being so frustrated at the new am commute traffic patterns I gripped my crutches balancing across the passenger seat. I was ready to slam them down saying “But I just want to make this left” or something to that effect when what comes on the radio? “You Can’t Always Get What you Want” by the Rolling Stones. Ha! Seriously hilarious timing so I absolutely lost it in a round of giggles . Thanks for the reminder. This whole process has definitely taught me a lot in less than two weeks so maybe the Stones are right…. It may not be what I wanted, but maybe it’s a lesson I needed.

Felt good to be back at my desk catching up on stuff and to be back among people again but the first day back also brought lots of new tips learned, too.

1)You still have to keep your foot elevated to help alleviate the pressure & keep it from turning that nasty deep purple. That works fine when you’re at home and in shorts but not so much when you’re in a skirt & trying to balance one leg on your desk while typing on your keyboard. Resume alert: new skills added

2) Don’t assume every entrance has those helpful push this button the doors will open option. Also remember heavy doors are not only a beast to open, those suckers like to sadistically grab the bottom rubber tips of your crutches & keep the crutch there while trying to send you flying.

3) You know how it’s always chilly in the summer in the office and you need that sweater? Consider an extra sock for your casted foot’s toes too.  Keep your poor guys from freezing like mine did.

By late afternoon though, all the exertion was wearing on me and I could feel the leg just throbbing and stinging more & more. Couldn’t wait to just get home, relax and keep it elevated. Waited out all the HOV restrictions thinking if I left later, I’d make it home sooner. Guess again. Not even 15 minutes out of the parking garage, my leg felt like a python either had itself gripped around my leg smothering it or had its jaw gripped around my leg just under the knee and wouldn’t let go. Either way, this is where all that yoga, inhale/exhale, training came in handy. Drive. Brake. Breathe.

The other interesting takeaway from the day was experiencing the various reactions people had to seeing me injured & on crutches. Most annoying were definitely those individuals who use YOUR injury as an excuse for why they can’t/won’t be active themselves.

I summed it up in my facebook status that day: “Haters… As a coworker first sees my cast today: “so NOW have you learned anything with all your crazy adventures?” My response: “Absolutely. a whole new level of respect for the disabled.” I know what response they wanted to hear… but nope. My buddy Charlie P, the blind runner, put it best during our call this am “Do I want to hit every single rock going down the stream? No. But do I want to sit on the riverbank instead & watch it all go by? Absolutely not.”

So I am encouraging by all the awesome stories of recovery here.. and particularly by GottRunKZO’s “recent What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Faster” post.   Bring it on.. I’m not slowing down once I’m mobile again. Sure I may be more cautious on wall running but I’m definitely still going to stay active. That’s what I love about this ATR group. You guys get right back up and swinging too.  Thanks for the continued inspiration.

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