Gracie isn’t very good at adjusting to new things. Frankly, anything new just freaks the heck out of her. She likes it best when her days are predictable. So, when I came home yesterday on crutches she was—predictably—terrified.
Last Tuesday evening I stood up and felt a sharp pain in my left foot. That foot has given me trouble from time to time. I have a lot of arthritis in it and wear an orthotic in my shoe to keep my ankle straight. I got through Wednesday okay but the pain continued, unrelenting. Thursday morning I decided I probably shouldn’t be exercising and went to the doctor instead. I couldn’t get an X-ray until late in the day, then rushed through dinner so I could take Gracie to her first Puppy Kindergarten class. Yep, you guessed it. She was freaked out, and pulling desperately on her leash to visit all the other puppies who were her immediate besties. In a masterful piece of understatement, I will tell you that all this pulling did not feel good on that foot.
Friday afternoon the X-ray results showed a dislocated fracture of a long bone. I was told to stay off the foot, get crutches, elevate, ice it, and see an orthopedist next week. Of course, these are not instructions that are necessarily helpful when you have a puppy!
Still, Gracie and I are going to have to adjust. I admit that the crutches are mostly not being used and that I only elevate my leg some of the time. I am not doing my exercises and I am walking very slowly, wearing my trusty Abeo shoes. Gracie seems able to handle all of that. I am likely going to have to adjust my food intake downward a bit to balance my calories in/calories out equation.
We’re all having to adjust to a lot of things these days, aren’t we?
Once the discomfort is a little more manageable, I am hoping to resume some sort of exercise regime, keeping to things I can do lying down or in a chair. I suspect there’s a lot I can do if I just think through what can keep me strong without further irritating my foot.
Life is messy at times, and we have to learn to adjust. Things go wrong or we get off track or something unexpected shifts priorities around. One of our greatest strengths as human beings is our ability to re-evaluate and respond to that messiness in our lives; to find a new path forward that might be different but still takes us in the same general direction. If the doc next week says I absolutely need to use crutches, Gracie is going to have to learn to adjust to that new reality and accept that her human comes with some extra parts. She’s also going to need to wait a bit before we resume Puppy Kindergarten—I’m afraid we’re going to have to repeat that grade.
Marc is helping me a lot when he’s home, so he’s adjusting too. We’ll figure out a way to make it all work—even our staycation that is now unlikely to include canoeing.
I think one reason this time is so unsettling for all of us is that we are having to constantly adjust and then re-adjust the adjustments. A few months ago, the standard wisdom was that Covid would mostly go away over the summer but could come back with a bang in the fall. Well, that idea has gone to hell in a hand basket (and where did that saying come from, anyway?) In its news brief this morning, the New York Times did a review of the first six months of 2020, and it all sounded like some bizarre science fiction plot. Remember how the year started with the assassination of General Qassim Suleimani and we braced for a possible war with Iran? It’s hard to believe that was six months ago instead of a couple years. We’ve had exclamation points over every week since January 1st.
We adjust because we have to. We adjust to make things work, if not perfectly, at least the best that they can. And somehow, through it all, we find ways to make one another smile so all those adjustments aren’t quite so very hard.