These are the 3 things I have achieved in the past year or so and I am celebrating it!
Ankle Ligament Surgery Recovery Was a Success:
In an attempt to shorten a complex story that dovetails into another achievement here goes nothing. 5 years ago I learned the hard way that my parents 30+ year old house was not designed to safety codes. The front door had unsafe steps leading to and from it. So after a trip to the grocery store on my departure to close and lock my mom’s SUV I slipped and fell.
I was upright one minute and the next thing my brain processed was seeing the front yard coming at my face or head. The instinctual body does what it knows best even if this is wrong. Fight or flight! So my hands go out to brace for the impact so my head does not nose dive into grass. I do not want a concussion. Meanwhile the waist down has slammed into a cement sidewalk and inverted my left foot hair line fracturing not just my heel or calcaneus, but also my first two metatarsals and dislocated my cuboid. Yes, you just got a brief lesson in anatomy!
I prepare to stand up clueless my foot is fractured and realize I can not stand up. I am in horrible pain if I put weight on this foot. So I somehow manage to use my good leg to stand and hop to the front door of the house and open it sitting on a step to inform family of a terrible accident. It took 6 months non weight bearing on crutches and knee scooter to heal this foot, and then physical therapy as well as going through muscle atrophy after the fact which is very painful. I never recommend this life path, but it is survivable! And I am a little woman. I may be average height, but I am otherwise petite.
This was when I was forced to close and shutter my aesthetics business. That was a blow I was so miserable with. During recovery I could not work in the same capacity as a spa owner self employed on my own. It felt like I lost a child. I became a personal grocery shopper after this injury instead and actually loved it. I worked for Instacart first then switched to a Texas area grocery store in the same capacity. It was going great, but my particular store had a design flaw also. First in this tale I need to define we worked different than Instacart. We were responsible for 12 shops at once by department (grocery, frozen, dry/general merchandise, and cold items including meat market, produce, and dairy) on specialized carts. I wish I had a photo of these carts to show you.
This store we had to go through their receiving department which meant we used an incline ramp to enter the store. Imagine you have this cart of cold items with say an order of 16 gallons of milk, produce, and other groceries to bring back down this same steep incline ramp and gravity is going to take over. Now imagine doing this in the rain. It gets slippery and even in the best of shoes you may lose your footing. So one day your foot slips and in the process you hear a snap. And it is that moment of “Oh fudge!” Literally chocolate would have been better than this! Can we say ouch?!
Well an MRI later I learned my left foot which had previous injuries had a 75% tear in the ligament, and I needed surgery ASAP. And to make it worse Covid is beginning and elective surgeries are being shut down. Without this surgery I can not walk! Oh, and I am without insurance. That dovetails to the next accomplishment so we will get there I promise.
One surgery center closes the day of my surgery due to Covid, and I am referred to a hospital. I could legitimately be filing for bankruptcy at this point. Surgery is a sticker shock of $11,000 plus anesthesiology fees and later physical therapy. But surgery goes well as does physical therapy, and 6 months later times round two in the boxing match against a seemingly cursed fate I am back! I even took a temporary job again as a personal grocery shopper at another store for three months post surgery.
I Am Debt Free and That is A Huge Relief:
Thank goodness for family and friends extended and at home. Without family I would have been homeless or would not have had financial help to cover medical bills. My step father was very wise in that when I was much younger and a wee itty one he bought US Savings Bonds and left them to mature. So I could cash them out and clear extenuating charges to my credit card from surgery and being on a medical LOA with no income.
My mom was there to get me to and from doctor appointments. An absolute must. She was also there to help with other life essentials. I was camped on the first floor of the house since it is a two story. I had a knee scooter to get around, but the house design still had hiccups like a half bath downstairs so no shower or bath tub. You have to get creative at a kitchen sink to bathe and have a chair for anyone with a disability. These challenges make you really appreciate normal life and mobility. They humble the you know what out of you and make you more compassionate than you already were for others who have lived life way less fortunate than you. Oh what I took for granted for so long and was reminded of each time I lost mobility in my left leg and foot!
Friends who texted or emailed to check up on me were always appreciated. The start of this was lockdown already and isolation is murder even for me who is more introverted by nature. I swear I had cabin fever both times I was in injury recovery.
But I would not even be where I am right now without a lot of help for which I am grateful even to the really good doctors, nurses, etc. who were there along the way towards the end of a dark tunnel where light was again shining.
If I was not debt free I would still be grinding away at who knows what for a job trying to get out from under the weight of an avalanche. I am thankful this happened while I was home with family and not living on my own as well as my car was paid off. I can not imagine if this happened any other way around. I would not be beginning my astrology business right now online. That is for sure!
A Garden After All The Struggles:
Family had a vehicle they owned for years that was taken to automobile shows. This Ford Lightning won several awards and was sold at a Mecom auction. They hoped it would have sold for more, but were grateful for what they received. Half of that money converted the lawn to a xeriscape organic garden I now use for growing my own herbs and vegetables. It was also a rather large pollinator garden for a time. Much gratitude to the little insects that keep the world going round known as bees, moths, butterflies, and wasps.
I took an interest in entomology learning about my own little biome during this time. We also have screech owls that nest here now. And those pesky dangerous steps at the front door were converted to a ramp accessible for those on knee scooters or wheel chairs.
So I have a new green thumb I never knew I had. I have grown various types of lettuce, romanesco, baby broccoli, gold potatoes, carrots, zinnias, marigolds, Italian and Thai basil, rosemary, lemon balm, borage, lavender, garlic chives, dahlias, buckwheat, flax, parsley, and green beans. And speaking of parsley I raised and released 6 swallowtail caterpillars to butterflies after their eggs were left on my parsley! I even documented their birthdays as silly as that sounds. The last butterfly was released on my late maternal grandfather’s birthday after wriggling free of it’s chrysalis. I also learned to do my own composting.
Never stop rolling with life’s punches even if it feels like someone or something has decided to alter your course into uncharted waters. And I have made it with no Covid also.