I saw my podiatrist on Saturday and have been in a really deep blue funk ever since.
We are making plans to go forward with the second surgery to clear out the scar tissue in my foot that was surgically rebuilt almost two years ago, leaving me in chronic pain. This surgery shouldn't be nearly the ordeal the first one was.
It was not a good day. (This despite the fact that Coop and I took our daughters to see Mary Poppins on Broadway and it was AMAZING.)
Just to recap: I had my foot surgically rebuilt in 2007 after discovering that I was born with all of these deformed bones in it. Years of running and dance did a tremendous amount of damage and the only option was to fuse the bones in the middle part of my foot. Trying to come back from that has been a long, depressing saga. In addition to never running again, I can barely WALK. We've discovered that I produce scar tissue at an alarming rate and the next step is another surgery to clean out the scar tissue in my sinus tarsi cavity and cauterize it in hopes that it won't grow back and also, in hopes that it is the source of my pain.
Because I haven't taken a step without pain in almost two years and the effect on my life has been somewhat catastrophic. I'm looking into alternative treatment since the doctor said that the best he could tell me was that the latest proposed surgery wouldn't leave me any WORSE than I am today but there are no real options to alleviate the pain if it doesn't work. He thinks I will have to have my entire ankle fused at some point down the road.
I think what hit me on Saturday is the idea that this isn't going to go away, you know? That we can maybe manage the pain aspect (which is no small thing) but that I'm not going to be whole again.
This may be as good as it gets.
And this, my friends, sucks.
I'm very sad and frankly, not a little bit angry. I loved my body when I was strong and active and I hate this one that makes me think about every single step I take. I feel trapped inside this 80-year-old person. I don't WANT a handicapped parking sticker. I don't WANT to never ski again. I miss running so much that you know how some people have flying dreams? I have RUNNING dreams--dreams where I'm running flat out with my heart pounding as if it will burst forth from my chest.
I need to find some hope that I can develop a way to get strong and fit and active again WITHOUT my foot. I mean, the world is full of stories of athletes who train for amazing physical feats while missing limbs or dealing with illness. Right now, I am in so much pain and so despondent, I am having a very hard time thinking of anything positive at all, though. Family and friends have offered many platitudes and much advice but honestly? I'm not ready to hear them. I just am not there yet.
(I'm more in that, "Take your Pollyanna, happy-assed self over to the counter and drop the toaster oven on your foot thirty times a day for two years and THEN talk to me" kind of place.)
(Not that I am bitter.)
My husband showed me this scooter thing that a woman he worked with used. I took a good look at it and took a deep breath. "I would rather die," I said.
I need an overhaul on my attitude, I guess.
The funny thing is that while we were waiting to see the doctor, I read this Newsweek article about how people sort of make their own luck. I really buy into that idea. Almost every bad thing that's ever happened to me has resulted in something good --something I wouldn't have had or done if the bad thing hadn't happened.
Right now, I can't see the way out of this situation. I know it's there, though, because that's just the way things in my life have always worked. Maybe I'll write a book about it and get to be on Oprah. Maybe I'll become a spokesperson for people with FULFs everywhere. Maybe I'll develop some new sort of exercise that will sweep the nation.
Right now, though, I would settle for getting off of this couch and having a life again.