I went in to the doctor’s appointment hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I figured I’d made it 3 months, and if he said it was still more time on one leg, I could handle it.
The x-ray tech led me down the hall. I noted the difference between now and the first visit back in June. Then: wheeled down the hall in a wheelchair, needing help getting on the table. Now: walking with crutches, able to sit down on the table and swing my legs up.
The doctor looked at the x-rays and showed me the difference between then and now, pointing out the bone growth. It looked good, he said. The plan: over the next 2 weeks work up to 100% weight bearing, still using crutches. After 2 weeks, try going without. OK to drive at that point.
This was what I was hoping to hear.
Here’s the strange thing though: I’ve been like this now for long enough that this is what feels like normal. This is my life, on crutches. And using crutches is like … having a crutch to lean on. It’s like I have an excuse — for needing help, for moving slowly, for not doing what I am normally able to do.
Without the crutches, I’ll just be slow and lazy with no visible excuse. I was feeling like I didn’t want to give them up. And that was a weird feeling — and quite unexpected. I can see first hand how we adapt to things that happen to us, and how the inertia and comfort in the familiar makes us resistant to change. Even if that change will likely be for the better.
Leaving the doctor’s office I tentatively tried putting some weight on my right leg for the first time in 3 months. It felt like this:
In 24 hours it’s already gotten a bit better. The leg is still pretty wobbly, but it is a “first step”.
The other piece of good news: I asked, can I ride a stationary bike? Sure, he said. I didn’t explain that it is a time trial bike on a fluid trainer. I figured he didn’t need to know that.