When was the last time you thought of peeking into someone else’s diary or the seemingly mature version, the journal? A page or two perhaps -- not the stuff that makes you cringe -- just enough to get a sense of what another suffering soul is thinking first thing in the morning, last thing at night, to help you feel you’re not crazy about the stuff that goes through your head.
So here you go -- a few pages from mine -- to show how the human brain works when faced with a sudden, irrevocable, boneheaded event that tips its precarious balance. Bottom line: The mind can be a pretty kooky place to live.
Day One: Ha! How lucky was that slip! Wow! This is just a tiny twisty sprain. Beat the odds again. I can walk on this ankle great, maybe with a wince and a wiggle but hobbling counts. I’ll put some spit on it and go on with my V.I.P. business. Ouch! Well, OK, maybe I’ll take a short break (don’t say break!) -- Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation or R.I.C.E. as they say, preferably brown rice -- and that’ll be it. I’m fine, I’m absolutely fine. That was close. Whew!
Day Two: So it’s swollen. What isn’t swollen? My eyes when I get up in the morning, my feet at the end of the day, my ego when I decide I’m stronger, smarter and way better looking than the person next to me until the next one shatters (don’t say shatter!) my cool. This is not ego talking. This is my body saying you’re indestructible, even if it hurts, especially if it hurts. But it doesn’t so long as I don’t move it or move myself or try to move anything else. Or stand up or sit or lie down. I know what -- for a while I’ll just lean.
Day Three: Alright already, maybe I’ll pay the orthopedist a visit, just so people will leave me alone. Nothing worse than so-called friends and family saying denial may be a river in Egypt but deranged is way closer to home. I guess I better get on it before they stage an intervention. I’ll coddle that annoying cast of characters (don’t say cast!) so I can crack the whip (don’t say crack!) sometime in the future.
Day Four: It’s broken Dear Diary, I have a hairline fracture on the skinny fibula, a Robocop boot and scary crutches. And it hurts. H-E-L-P Dear Diary H-E-L-P. . .
I call feisty 96-year-old Aunt Wanda who’s had at least a dozen surgeries over the years and multiple broken bones.
“Let me tell you,” she advises in one of her rare subdued tones, “if there’s one thing I’ve learned about how to handle this kind of thing, it’s to enjoy it.”
Me: You mean like fun?
Wanda: I’m serious. This is one of those rare times you can rest, don’t push, pretend you’re at the beach, and keep yourself entertained the best way you can -- read, watch Netflix, eat good food, let people take care of you. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my life of injuries it’s to enjoy this time of leisure. I don’t mean accept it, I don’t mean tolerate it, I don’t mean grin and bear it, I mean enjoy it. It can really be quite wonderful.
Day Five: OK Dear Diary, we have our marching orders (yes, think march!), so let’s try to act a bit more mature and get ready to Rock-and-R.I.C.E. the new way. Relax, Incubate new ideas, Cook (with help, take-out included), and most of all, listen to your elders and Enjoy.
Aunt Wanda says . . . “Could it hurt?”
November 4, 2018