GratiTuesday: It’s the little things (and some big things too)

One step at a time.
One step at a time.

Gardening, making meals, climbing stairs, grocery shopping… just getting from Point A to Point B without assistance. It’s the little things that we don’t think much about until we lose our ability to do them.

It’s been almost exactly two months since I executed a rather inelegant dismount from a ladder and fractured my hip on our concrete patio. Some of you have asked how I am doing and I’m please to say that I’m doing much, much better. About three weeks after my surgery, I graduated from a walker to a cane and for the last two weeks or so I have been walking completely under my own power. Although I still have a bit of a limp, it gets better every day. I’m not back power-walking or dancing yet, but I’m confident that it’s only a matter of time.

Today, I am grateful for many things, including modern surgical procedures and the remarkable healing ability of the human body. It amazes me that two months after having my broken bone screwed back together, I am almost completely mobile and pain-free.

I am grateful for patient people: those who were behind me as I limped forward with my cane and didn’t angrily push their way around me. My balance wasn’t always great and I found myself close to being tripped several times as some people brushed by me to get ahead. I appreciated those who understood my limitations and didn’t try to shave off a few seconds by zipping around and risk toppling me over. I hope that lesson stays with me when I’m the one who needs to be patient.

I am grateful that I can again putter in the yard, drive myself where I want, walk up and down stairs, and pretty much do all the little things I took for granted before my accident. My accident gave me a brief glimpse of what it could be like when I’m much older. Maintaining my health and taking good care of my body is even more important to me now.

Finally, I am grateful to my husband for taking such good care of me, encouraging my progress, and keeping my spirits up when I was struggling. “For better” is the easy part, “For worse” is what matters.

56 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: It’s the little things (and some big things too)”

  1. I’m glad you are doing so much better! We do take many things for granted. I try to be aware of those little things as well and still thoroughly enjoy my hot, pressurized showers and unlimited internet and electricity. I do realize I am getting used to them, though, and even get annoyed when there are blips. I hope the healing process keeps on going steady. My hand was doing well, getting better with heaps and bounds in the beginning, but months later, it slowed down. While I can do most things again, it is still not 100% yet, after five months.

  2. You nailed it on everything!! It’s so true that we don’t fully appreciate the miracle that is our bodies until something goes wrong … and then it tries to repair itself. Rather remarkably too.

    So glad to hear you have bounced back (figuratively speaking 🙂 ) and are almost 100% again. You’ll be tripping the light fantastic again before long!

      1. Yes, no literal tripping would be highly desirable!!

        The odd thing I found, Janis, is that I lost my core strength .. or maybe it’s just that our shoulder provides considerably more stability in our balance than I would have imagined. I had to hold on to go up and down stairs, I couldn’t get out of a chair without using my arms for leverage, I couldn’t balance on one leg eg to put on shoes. These things really alarmed me.
        I’ve been really working on those things the past month and I’m happy to say they’ve made a comeback 🙂

        With a hip injury of course, you would expect to encounter these challenges!

        1. It did surprise me how quickly my muscles started to atrophy… not a lot, but enough to notice. Exercise has helped but I still have a ways to go. I’ll probably always hold on a bit tighter going up and down stairs – I don’t want to fall again because I’m not paying enough attention.

  3. So glad you are doing better! Yes, it is easy to take our good health for granted until something unexpected (like your hip fracture) happens to us. Life is full of little surprises, and sometimes all of our very best planning doesn’t quite prepare us for what happens.

    My elderly mother uses a walker and is pretty unsteady on her feet. I have observed that white hair, a sweet smile and good attitude has served her well as she navigates this challenging part of her life.

  4. Great post! It’s so easy to forget and take for granted the little things we’re able to do each day. I’ve had both my knees replaced within the last ten years and it’s wonderful to walk pain free again once I recovered from the surgery. But your post reminded me once again to be grateful and thankful to walk without pain and without a cane.

    1. My roommate in the hospital had just had both of her knees replaced. She decided to get it all done at once but I think it must have been very hard for her. Hopefully she is now doing as well – and feeling as well – as you obviously are.

  5. I understand completely. About 10 years ago I fell (on a sunny day on perfectly flat macadam) and fractured my patella (kneecap). You can’t walk because that’s the glue that holds the upper leg and lower leg together. I was in an immobilizer (removable cast) for 4 weeks. I couldn’t drive. I had to keep my leg up. My husband had to do everything from cleaning the cat litter to grocery shopping but the worst was putting up with me. I would get so frustrated and cranky. I was lucky in that it only took 4 weeks to heat. I thought that was good for a 50 something woman on the brink of osteoporosis. I learned that I am not a good patient and when someone else is sick I need to be patient. I learned how important mobility and independence is to me. I am very grateful for my health! I am glad you are healing so well. Fracturing a hip is a middle-aged woman’s nightmare. I too am grateful for medical advances that allowed me to take the immobilizer off and take a shower (even though I was terrified of falling). A few decades earlier and it would have been even harder.

    1. Wow, that must have been so frustrating for you! Your comment reminded me that at one time early on I was also terrified of getting in the shower. After a while, I got more comfortable and, now, I no longer think about it. Not only are our bodies remarkable for healing, our minds help us by forgetting the struggles. I just hope my mind doesn’t forget to take extra care while doing something that requires safety measures (ladders, stairs, etc.). As we know, one moment we can be fine, the next moment we are writhing in pain.

  6. It’s a long journey back to normal balance and mobility. You are making great strides. I agree, we must be thankful for what we have when we have it. Best wishes and strength to you as you recover.

    Rin

  7. This is a very important reminder to all of us. I am glad to hear that you are recovering well. I am confident that your positive attitude was also a factor in your healing. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  8. Wow, that sounds like a speedy recovery. I was still struggling at two months after shattering one of my lower legs and ankle. Keep up the progress.

  9. Glad you are recovering well. I have spent time on crutches too, and after that I seemed to see people on crutches everywhere. Obviously I just hadn’t noticed them before, so it has made me much more aware. And like you, I am so grateful to my husband for the way he helped me through it. I can tell you he was far more patient and tolerant than I would have been!

    1. I started to see other people using a cane as part of my tribe. Now that I’ve moved on, I try to give them the space and patience I appreciated from others. I was hoping that my husband would discover how much he enjoyed cooking and take over that task, but no such luck.

  10. Oh, dear. That post was written when I was away. I’m so sorry to hear about your hip, but I’m glad t know you’re getting better. Please continue to heal because I like the posts you do when you go on walks with your camera.

  11. After your “inelegant dismount”, you have recovered with the grace of an Olympic gymnast. You may not have stuck the landing, but you deserve a gold medal for your positive attitude. Just be careful stepping off the podium.

  12. I’m glad to see you are recovering nicely! You remind me that I cracked my pelvis when I was 15 and what it took to recover at that young age. I hope we all remember to be patient with others who may not be in the best of shape, physically or mentally. Thanks for the reminder. K

    1. I’m not patient by nature, but this was a good reminder for me to just take a deep breath when I can’t move as fast as I’d like. Losing a few seconds isn’t going to make much difference in my life, and it can mean the world to someone else.

  13. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate what we have; to be grateful for each stair we climb up, each path we walk on spritely; and to be more aware of those who need to move more slowly. What a dramatic accident – great news that you’re recovering so well. So hard to be stopped when we don’t want to be, to be awarded this hard lesson to slow down a bit, to breathe in, and to enjoy each minute. Happy Healing to you.

  14. Glad you’re doing better! I broke my right foot TWICE (first at age 50 and then AGAIN two years later). In both cases I couldn’t drive for a couple of months and then had to go through PT. The whole experience was an eye-opener. Being dependent on my husband and others, appreciating all that my foot does for me, how hard it is to live and work as a disabled person. I, too, hope I have more patience with others!

    1. Your poor right foot! Fortunately, because it was my left hip, I was able to drive soon after I replaced my walker with a cane. It’s too bad that sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way but maybe that way they stay with us longer. Please be careful of your feet!

  15. Hope you continue to make good progress. It is very true that we often take our bodies and health for granted and don’t appreciate just feeling normal, until something happens to impact us pr we lose the ability to do basic stuff.
    Peta

    1. You are so right! We don’t think about “normal” until it goes away. I hope that soon my old “normal” will return and I will no longer need to focus on walking correctly… because that’s just what I do. Overall, though, I’m pretty lucky to have had a fairly quick recovery path.

      1. How wonderful that your husband has been so supportive and there for you… Sometimes after a surgery or injury we have to find a new “normal”.. never easy, but adjusting to our new reality sometimes is very necessary.

        Feel good!!!

        1. I am still wondering – after nearly three months – whether I’ll get back to 100%. I know it hasn’t been very long but I may not bounce back like my younger self would have. Fortunately, my husband has been supportive and we both hope that we’ll be on the dance floor again sometime soon! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  16. I do feel for you! And I understand that for better or for worse and in sickness and in health vow. It’s my husband who has been ill and I have been the one to take care of him but I know he would do the same for me.

      1. Yes – it was wonderful to be able to be spend all day with my husband and to have the hospital hotel just 500m away at a very reasonable rate. He is much better now – climbing up on the roof as we speak!

  17. I’m hoping to learn from others so I don’t have similar experiences…I started Yoga this month (twice a week) to work on balance, flexibility and core strength. Looking at you – it made me think if I ever had a fall and broken bone, I need to be in better shape (physically and mentally) to heal fast. You inspired me! So glad your recovery continues to be progress. Dancing for new years perhaps?

    1. I was told over and over how much my good physical condition would help me mend more quickly. Now, not even four months later, I’d say that I am about 85% there. I don’t do yoga regularly, but I think I’d like to add that to my routine. Dancing on New Years Eve sounds delightful… that would be a great way to end one year and start another.

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