As most of you know, since last August I have been beset with a variety of fun and exciting medical problems. I fractured my tailbone last August (on a slide! at burning man! not even joking!) which set off a chain reaction all along the back side of my body. My hamstrings and calves tightened, and I had difficulty sitting for long periods. Then I worked in the field for almost two months in September and October, primarily on my feet, in work boots with insufficient arch support. This all led to a vicious and deep-seated case of plantars fasciitis, or soft tissue damage in my heels and arches.
Because I'm stubborn, I didn't take my doctors very seriously at the first diagnosis in December, nor the follow up in January. It wasn't until I saw a podiatrist in February that I started taking things seriously. I bought new podiatrist-approved shoes, I started stretching and icing daily, and I gradually began scaling back my on-my-feet time. Over the following two months I didn't improve (though at least it stopped getting worse) so in April my podiatrist gave me cortisone injections in both feet. Since mid-April I've been working primarily from home, staying off my feet, continuing my stretching/icing/shoes/etc. routine, and using a wheelchair when I am out and about.
To top things off, I was plagued with inexplicable vertigo from January through March, which led to many days of being unable to leave the house, or even my bed. And in March I was in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver, and suffered some nasty whiplash in my shoulder and neck. The vertigo disappeared as suddenly and randomly as it arrived, and I'm mostly healed from the whiplash, but while struggling with all of the above I became increasingly frustrated with myself and my health.
Healing takes time. Healing takes patience. Anyone who knows me at all understands those two virtues are not exactly core to my existence. I am impatient and stubborn, I don't like asking for help, I am active and busy as a rule. So these past nine months have been a struggle for me. I have gained weight, I have been battling the fringes of clinical depression again, and I'm nervous about James' and my plans to start a family soon. How can I be a parent when I'm unable to even take care of myself?
I struggle daily with the feeling that I am stagnating, resting on my laurels, slipping into early retirement, and otherwise withdrawing from the person I used to be, the person I want to be. In my previous post I quoted "dreaming of" writings from 5 to 10 years ago. Re-reading those writings was jarring. I recognize that voice, I remember those moments, but I have not been that person for the past nine months. I have been a shell, a shadow, a facsimile of that person, coasting along on the momentum of years of growth and challenge. Cruise control is an ugly, ugly thing when recognized in the story of my own life.
Some of this taps deeper than just the past nine months of physical problems with my body. Some of the desaturation of my personality happened through the pain and exhaustion of building Syzygryd. Some of my cynicism comes from finally pulling the ripcord and ending my deep, and deeply flawed, relationship with Colin. Some of it comes from age and a natural easing back on the throttle that was wide open in my 20s.
But I'm only 34. I am young, I am vibrant, and with another few months of healing under my belt I will be active again.
One of my fears right now is that I'll get to the end of this healing process and I won't have anywhere to go. I won't have adventures lined up, I won't have art waiting in the wings to be built. I'll just be... healthy and boring.
My body is healing. Very, very slowly. It will take several more months for me to get fully back on my feet, possibly longer. But the jury's still out on how long it will take for me to feel whole in my heart and spirit. I hope that returning to writing here is a good first step on that path.