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Hats Off    |    by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 06/12/2006

Hat’s Off.. . my foot

By staff writer

The term “laid up” is not in the dictionary but refers to the condition of being in the state of rest for a period of time. As I write this I am beginning the sixth day of recovering from a fall, which culminated in breaking my foot.

First of all, I slipped on the second to bottom step of the basement stairs early one morning. It happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to brace myself or try stopping the fall. This was good, I’m told. My first thought was shock that within an instant I went from standing to sitting on the basement floor. Then I feared I couldn’t get up and would be stranded there until someone missed me. I assessed the damage and realized that the bump protruding out the side of my foot was the only problem and at once decided to crawl up the stairs to get help.

A trip to the doctor and x-rays concluded my suspicions that I had broken my foot, a non-invasive fracture. “Take ibuprofen and stay off your feet for three weeks.” THREE WEEKS!!!

My life passed in front of me. Who’s going to take care of the grandbaby, work at the store, and get articles for the paper ready for the deadline? (Never mind the usual things, cooking, cleaning, etc.) THREE WEEKS!!

And so I reconciled myself to the fact that I was going to be laid up for a while. Like a queen on her throne I positioned myself in a chair, elevated my foot as prescribed and made the conscious decision to take advantage of the time to catch up on reading and writing and quiet time. My husband rallied to prepare meals for us and re-schedule employees at the store to cover me and our son, who stayed home to take care of his daughter since I wasn’t able to do it. (Did I mention the other grandmother and grandbaby’s caregiver was also out of pocket due to some minor surgery?) THREE WEEKS!

Then on the fourth day, I hit a low period realizing that I had not been elevating the foot above my heart and still could not put pressure on it. Depressed and feeling sorry myself, the cards started coming and a meal from a new friend. I reminded myself that I did not do anything to cause the fall. It was purely and simply an accident. I also realized that I couldn’t make it go away and so it was my responsibility to handle the situation in a positive affirming manner.

Today is Mother’s Day and my family is preparing a meal for me to share with them at a family gathering. I plan to venture outside the house for the first time in six days. I thought I would be using a borrowed walker, hopping from room to room, but I awoke this morning and most of the swelling was gone and the pain with it. Each night I have gone to bed with the foot propped high above my heart visualizing it to be the perfect foot that it is. And each morning I have awakened to a stronger healthier foot. I could not have done that without the support of my friends and family and co-workers at the paper giving me the time to heal all of whom I am so grateful.

I am well aware that the foot is not healed and that it will take weeks for a complete recovery, but I’m not worried. I am reminded that it is not what happens to us that matters; it is how we respond. I choose to respond as Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s little book taught us about the power of positive thinking. I may be laid up, but I can still go on with life and continue to picture my foot perfect knowing that all will be well in the right time.