a person holding a crutch and walking cane
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Just when I thought the light was the end of the tunnel it turned out to be a train

The last several weeks have been interesting to say the least. For a while there I really believed that I was past all the braces and the scooter. Nope. Recovery was anything but a smooth path forward, as I found out recently. I've been having a lot of pain in my feet, not neuropathy but apparently something else. We still don't know.

What we do know is that I can't walk. Yesterday, after putting my boot back on for the first time in a long time, I saw my foot surgeon for what was supposed to be a cortisone shot in my right toe joint. Unfortunately (I hate that word sometimes) it turns out that awkward walking patterns that you develop when you are recovering from foot surgery have consequences.

In hindsight, well of course. Knees and hips are affected because your gait is off. Combine that with the thousands of steps and hiking that I've been doing to regain my fitness- all well-intentioned, mind you, but apparently damaging, and we have trouble.

The footbeds are swollen, worse on the right, and I'm back on the scooter and boot for six weeks. I can only walk balanced on my heels, which would be funny except, well, it's kinda not.

There are lots of ways to respond to this. At one level I'm disappointed, as the balance work I've been doing and all the hard labor to roll back the osteopenia have to stop. You can't treat osteopenia with swimming, and I can't even bike because of the pressure on the balls of my feet.

All this exactly a year after I had surgery on the right foot, right about the time I was really hoping I was past all that. Nope. It's spring, I want to bloody well be outside. I want to ride horses and hike and get on my bike.


On the other hand, look. I rush healing, I rush workouts, and I rush recovery. This time around, if I don't get my feet to heal properly I will not be able to do much of anything for far longer. I have several adventures planned this year and the first is in early June. I have time.

But if I want to do that adventure I have to stay off my feet and give them time to heal.

That's the price.

The other day I found an article that I've shared a few times. The one line that came out of that piece which has stuck hard with me is this:

And the next time you feel something difficult, ask yourself: what if this is a beautiful problem? What if you came to earth just to experience this?

Precisely. So where in this is the teacher? What's the lesson? What do I get to learn from having to sit out part of the spring, lurching around in my boot while my house continues to undergo more changes and fixes and upgrades?

Patience, for one thing. The stakes are higher this time around. If I crack or damage the sesamoid bone, that is a whole other kind of hard to recover from. I may already have. We don't know yet and only time will tell.

Either way, look. I'm working on a book. A speech, too. Both are terribly important and the latter has a deadline, and that requires that I sit my resistant butt down and get it done. Given that the weather invites me out to play right about the time I really need to focus on the speech, this is a gift.

So I'll take this as offered: a gift with teeth, and one which underscores the importance of real self-care, so that I can return to what I love. My habit of pushing the envelope gets to take a back seat.

It is really hard to complain, because I can still drive to the Coast, still enjoy the sand and surf and waves. No dune hiking, but really, that's not the point. The point is getting away for a day, and being surrounded by beauty.

That's right here at home, too. Plenty of beauty in all directions. At some point I can gimp out to the gazebo and read for a few hours. Hard duty, I know.

What on earth is so hard about rest and recuperation? Protestant work ethic, that's what.

The message that we are worthless unless we are slaving away at something.

My body is slaving away at trying to heal itself. Perhaps it's time I gave it more support.

And with that, I'm going to find a good book and put my poor sore feet up for a while.

person wearing yellow and black slip on shoes
Photo by mahabis footwear / Unsplash

Dear Walkabout Saga Reader:

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your life to read my work. WalkaboutSaga  is an act of love and devotion, and I hope that you found value in it.

If my work appeals to you, may I kindly invite you to consider joining those supporters whose generosity keeps the gas in my tank as it were.

At this juncture, I am getting ready to
move Walkabout over to Substack sometime later this year. You can find my work
at https://toooldforthis.substack.com/ .

Meanwhile, hearty thanks for reading.