The world needs more good news. So here’s my contribution. A year ago today, I had a surgery. The surgery went well. Recovery didn’t. In the time since, I’ve had 7 more surgeries, spent about 6 months in bed most of the day, 3.5 weeks in the hospital, and done about 40-50 physical therapy sessions. I’ll probably have another 50-100 before I plateau. My doctors are all impressed by what I’m capable of doing, and one even candidly said that I’m already way past the best that she had thought I’d ever be able to achieve without surgery.
Until recently, I’ve only shown people pictures if they explicitly asked, because, well, there was a huge hole in the top of my foot, and not everyone is good with that kind of thing. A year feels like a good time for a checkpoint. The large piece of tissue on my left foot is a free flap from my thigh. It’s covering up what used to be a hole in my foot where you could see tendons. And bone. It’s significantly better these days.
(The photo’s really not bad, but I didn’t want to force folks to look at a picture of my feet, so if you’re curious here’s what my foot currently looks like.)
Along with my foot healing, good things are happening. We’re able to go out and eat. We’ve gone to the zoo. (I had to rent a motorized scooter, but still.) We get to go to the park again regularly. I can even go swimming now and am strong enough to toss Bella in the air. We can “dance” around the living room. And, of course, we’re expecting Bella’s little sister in October. Things are returning to normal, and, in some ways, even better than normal.
A year in, and word on the street is that it will be this time next year before I’m as good as I’m going to get. Physical therapy has worked wonders, and I can walk. But I’m not out of the woods yet. The latest prognosis is that I might get by without any more significant surgeries. But I’ve still lost two tendons, and the doctors aren’t very encouraging about my chances of playing basketball again. Snowboarding is still a good possibility, though. Maybe as soon as this season. (And despite the lack of encouragement, I’m not giving up on basketball just yet either.)
For the most part, I’m thankful, but I’m not going to lie and say that it’s always easy. Every day I encounter something that I want to do but physically can’t. These days, though, those things are fewer. I’m healing, and progress is good. Things have changed. It’s tough, but these days, progress is outweighing setbacks. I suppose that’s what really matters.