With my disability, each day is entirely new. I cannot predict how my body or mind will feel the next morning, nor do I know how I will feel in the afternoon or evening. This is one aspect of my life I have come to accept, and one of the ways I have learnt to “live in the now”. While I could write every day about what I am experiencing, and each one would be different, I would like to share a specific story today.
After celebrating a friend and fellow teacher’s birthday, I woke up early Sunday morning in excruciating pain in my left leg. In the crash, my left ankle was severely damaged. While I have received five surgeries on that area alone, undergo weekly physiotherapy and massage, as well as daily physical activity and treatments, the talus (large bone in the ankle) is necrotic. The blood flow is limited, the bone is dying, and I am extremely arthritic. While I feel the ankle pain every second of each day, with the pain increasing in the evenings, Sunday morning was different. I could no longer feel my toes or the front joint of my ankle, and had pins and needles throughout the entire leg. The colour of my foot was off, and the veins were enlarged. I was having a circulation issue. My partner Kyle, who acts as a nurse most days (thank you my love), was there to help; however, when we attempted to get myself on my feet, I was unable. I could not get myself to weight bear or even move my ankle out of the relaxed position. I was stuck like this for most of the day, needing pain medications and Kyle’s help to do my daily routine.
When waking up yesterday morning, I was new. While walking in the mornings is never easy for myself, I was pleasantly surprised that the pain and swelling had reduced, and my foot was back to its normal colour. Not only was I able to complete my morning routine, I was also able to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach with amazing friends, and have decent mobility for most of the afternoon. In 24 hours, I went from having one of my worst days, to having the most incredible day. While there are times that I have several bad days in a row, and even weeks after surgeries, each day has something positive to offer. I felt as though my independence was stripped from me on Sunday, and with the combination of this and the physical pain, I was feeling mentally exhausted and quite low about myself. However, having days like yesterday, where I was feeling utter joy, reminds me that I am not in control of what tomorrow holds, and that is okay. Those negative days can make the positive ones even brighter, we just have to recognize those positive aspects and celebrate them. Attempting to see the progress, positive changes (no matter how small they may be), or the simple beauty the day has to offer, can truly make a world of difference. Additionally, allowing yourself to have a bad day, whether you need to take the entire day off or just allow your emotions to flow, is an extremely positive step. Take the day, and when you wake up the next morning allow that negative day to stay in the past, and enjoy the present.