I’ve gone “back to spiritual basics” in recent weeks since our trip to Georgia. Being aware of breath and body. Breathe in, breathe out. Paying attention to this body, this shin, that shoulder, this pelvis, this skull. Doing long body-based meditations. Simply being aware of what is and noticing all the thoughts, emotions and sensations arising and falling away.
Noticing how easy it can be to forget this mindfulness intention on a certain Saturday morning in early April. Noticing how very easy it can be to run barefoot pell-mell fast and hard into the coffee table in front of the couch and SMASH the foot against the uncompromising unforgiving wooden leg.
Remembering how easy it is to yelp, cry, curse, sniffle, moan and chastise myself for forgetting to be mindful. Letting that self-judgment be as it is and noticing the quivering lower lip and the OWWWW of the painful toe.
Limping, limping, limping. Trying to decide: should I go to the doctor? The medical internet advises all sorts of things. If the toe is broken–it will heal on its own. If the toe is broken–get ye to a doctor right away. But what if it’s not simply a wee toe? What if it’s a broken foot bone?
Warning, warning, do not click over to the rest of the story unless you want to see a picture of said foot.
Watching all the indecisive thoughts arise. Wondering whether to travel to Marquette with Barry as planned on Tuesday. Deciding to go. Noticing there was NO WAY I’d be able to walk through the big box stores like Menards and Meijer. Listening to his advice about driving one of those electric carts throughout the store. Watching self-judgments and embarrassing scenarios form in my mind.
Deciding what the heck–let’s make it an adventure and drive the electric carts around the stores. Having a ball! This is how you make lemonade out of lemons, right? What fun! Get out of the way, all ye walkers! I nod to ladies with canes and gentlemen with walkers. You’re my peeps today. It’s a handicapped love fest.
Watching thoughts arise: You are not handicapped, you are only inconvenienced. Shame on you for having fun! What if a woman in Ukraine stubbed her toe? This is such a minor thing. Stiff upper lip. Don’t ever write a blog about this.
Noticing pain arising in yonder wee toe.
By Wednesday morning I call the doctor’s office. Let’s just see what is happening with the injured toe. Maybe it’s a sprain, but maybe it’s broken. Let’s see what the doctor says.
I wait in the office, breathing in, breathing out. Noticing toe. Watching thoughts. Feeling nervousness in chest. Also noticing field of peace surrounding all the comings and goings.
Sweet male PA appears and recommends an x-ray. Sweet female nurse asks if I need wheelchair. No, no, no thanks, I say and hobble toward radiology department. Notice steps. Up goes the insole, down goes the heel.
Noticing radiology-lady isn’t too talkative. Very business-like. Lay here, foot this way, don’t move. Okay, thank you, back to the doctor’s office.
Sweet male PA sits down with me and shows x-rays. The bones all lie beautifully to my untrained eyes.
“Oh good, nothing’s broken!” I think.
He points out a fracture in wee little toe.
“But it’s probably the best break you could have had–if you had to break your toe,” says he.
“I think you need a boot to immobilize the toe and help it heal,” he continues.
I don’t notice anything for awhile because I am suddenly upset. Darn it, we’re planning a trip to visit our son and daughter-in-law in New Jersey later this spring. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo, this can’t be happening. I want to walk around New York City! Noooooooooooooooooo, fusses the mind and fights what is for a long annoyed moment or two hours.
Remember, you are not in Ukraine right now, another thought appears. I frown at that thought, because I am suddenly feeling sorry for myself. I notice that and allow it to be.
The sweet PA and nurse now insist upon a wheelchair and off we zip to the emergency room where Ambulatory Care will fit me with a large black immobilizing boot.
Time to drive home. I call Barry, my mom, and both kids to boot. Sniff, sniff, sniff.
It’s total mud in our driveway, so Mr. Barry brings tape and plastic bag to car so I can maneuver the boot into the house without ruining it in the first moment. It feels cumbersome to limp along in the boot, but gosh, it does cradle the poor broken toe.
We are reaching the end of this toe saga. I am vowing to be more mindful instead of running pell-mell around the house. Step, step, step. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel your buttocks on the seat. Notice yourself smiling. If nothing else–it was fun to write this story.
Anyone else ever break a bone? Anyone else practicing mindfulness these days? Doing a better job than me? 🙂