De-feet-ed

October 19, 2006 at 11:50 am (Uncategorized)

I have another injury/ailment to report. I’m sure by now you’re wondering whether I’m either a pathological liar or if I self-inflict these things. There are days when I’m not so sure myself.

At least this time, it’s a very minor problem. I broke my foot, but not in a smashing-the-bone-hobbling-around-in-a cast kind of way. Instead, I have a stress fracture on a small bone underneath my big toe that the emergency doctor described as “not essential for foot function.” So he didn’t cast it, and referred me to a podiatrist who will either make some type of orthotic device or put me in an immobilizing boot.

What really stinks is that this new injury occurred when Jay and Andrew and I had finally all managed to be relatively healthy on the same weekend day. We had blasted ourselves out of the house and hiked up Mount Ascension – one of the mountains that surround our little city. I am grievously out of shape, but since Jay had to carry our forty pound boy on his back, we were almost evenly-matched. It was thrilling to be outside. The sky was a surreal shade of blue, the air was crisp, and once I got over my initial desire to fall over on the steepest part of the climb, I reveled in still having the capacity to propel myself into a calmer and more beautiful place. Andrew played in a patch of snow mid-way up, and we startled a herd of deer in an upper meadow.

“We need to do this more often,” Jay said, as we descended back home in pre-twilight. Andrew seemed to concur. “I like hiking,” he said later that evening, though this could simply be because we shamelessly bribed him to not fuss or fidget by promising him a large Dairy Queen ice cream cone as soon as we were done. We also distracted him by singing several verses of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” on the steepest part of the climb – which killed a few of our brain cells with oxygen deprivation, but gave Andrew an opportunity to showcase his version of the tune. In Andrew’s iteration of “Old MacDonald,” the farmer didn’t have pigs, cows, or sheep, but rather “giant red tractors,” “huge excavators,” and many pick-up trucks, all of which said, “VROOOM.”

There is no quicker way to doom an activity than to remark on how much you’ve missed it and how much more of it you are planning on doing. Jay and I decided to head for the hills the next afternoon, even though my foot was aching. The ache turned into a throb, which kept me up all night. Instead of hiking the next day, I limped into the doctor, who ordered me off the foot. And that was that.

Stress fractures like this one are fairly common in people who take high doses of corticosteroids for a while, or so said the doctor. I’m beginning to find these reassurances more troubling than calming. I know it’s normal to have a disease that makes me feel like shit, gives me trouble breathing, and causes my heart to flutter; I also know it’s normal to take a medicine that makes me fat, thins my bones, gives me a hump, and makes me moody. Knowing that it’s normal to have thinned my bones to the point that they break when I walk on them for a couple of miles doesn’t make me any less angry or feel any less helpless. Instead, it seems as though my body has been burdened with so many challenges and ailments that it is literally cracking under the pressure. Or as W. B. Yeats said much more eloquently in “The Second Coming,” “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”

1 Comment

  1. Paul said,

    hi rebecca

    Sounds like you’ve fallen into Sarcoidosis Trap No. 2

    If you’re having a good day – take it easy – if you do too much you’ll pay for it later.

    Anyway – try and keep smiling

    Paul

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