As Mark Knopfler wrote and Mary Chapin Carpenter sings, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.” Just 10 weeks ago my husband had shoulder replacement surgery (a casualty of the obnoxious auto immune arthritis he has that works investment banker hours). That major surgery was a snap. No pain, and better range of motion after a few days than the he’d had in several years. Parade!
This past Tuesday, he had what seemed like a simple ankle surgery to remove a painful bone spur that would put him in a walking boot for three weeks. Easy peasy, we just aced the shoulder, we had no qualms about this routine procedure that would help him hit the pavement without pain. But unfortunately it was more extensive, with multiple bone spurs and a ligament repair, and now he’s in a non-weight-bearing boot for six weeks, which is then a walking boot for another four. Um, not the day at the beach we were expecting after the long Y E A R of Covid seclusion we all experienced.
BUT we have a spiffy new stand-up recliner, a bed in the living room and a super fun knee scooter as consolation, not to mention one of those toilet seats that raises the seat higher and makes you feel like you’re peeing into the Grand Canyon……Canyon……Canyon.
The poor guy can’t use stairs, and guess where the shower is? And while our yard is blooming with about 100,000 hydrangeas (not really, but sort of), he cannot even get down the few steps to sit and enjoy them. He is pretty much a prisoner to the first floor.
Oh yeah, and the day we came home from the surgery, we found our dishwasher didn’t work (the repair guy came and it’s still not working…..) and there was a leak in our daughter’s bathroom! It’s true what they say, when it rains, it fucking pours (I might have added the “fucking” part).
Of course we will get through this. Of course there are worse things that could happen, but damn. Not surprisingly, Mr. Positivity’s spirits are good and he is wondering if I would mind getting a sexy nurse costume. I mean, he’s bored, and certainly not thrilled, but he’s feeling better than I am. My mood has plummeted, as much because of our homebound status, as because of my mind wondering which body part this high-achieving arthritis will come for next…
And this is why gratitude is so important. Because of unexpected, super shitty events like this. Because unless we’re aware of what we have, of the good things in our midst, we will sink to the bottom of the ocean, faster than one of Tony Soprano’s enemies. Gratitude is what will get me through the caretaking and the dish washing and the constant dog walking (oh yeah, did I mention the dog is kind of not doing too well either…..). Gratitude is what will lift me back up. So, today I’m grateful for gratitude itself. (And my bed, cuz sweet baby Jesus, I’m tired.)