Thursday, September 29, 2016

Excitement, an old friend, and seven hats

September 29, 2016

Jacob, wearing seven hats--I have no idea why,
but he remind me of something out of Dr. Seuss
I’m excited, anxious, nervous, and full of anticipation tonight. Tomorrow I get a foot-and-ankle brace and theoretically say goodbye to the walking boot. I’ve been in that boot since May, and it’s getting tiresome to put it on in the middle of the night when I need the restroom. It’s also gotten tiresome long ago to think of clothes that would easily fit over it.

I was measured for the brace a couple of weeks ago. It apparently comes up as high as the boot—almost to the knee—and fits down into the shoe. The certified technician who made the cast said I would need a bigger shoe to accommodate the brace, so I ordered a pair of OrthoFeet shoes in a Mary Jane style and, at Megan’s insistence, a pair of pink Crock fuzzy-lined slippers.

I’ve never been a fan of Crocs. Their hard plastic cuts into my feet at all the wrong places. But tonight I am wearing the left one, and the lining makes all the difference. I must wear shoes anytime I wear the brace, so these will be great in the night. I have lots of questions—is this a permanent brace or do I move on? Can I bear weight without it briefly? Will it be easier to walk on it than the boot? Apparently I’ll have to do some walking on the parallel bars tomorrow—no, no, not on the bars but holding on to them.

Today my cottage got a small wall built around a most ugly gas meter right outside the French doors—can’t move the meter so the contractor improvised.  Lewis and Jim also built a step by my front door and installed a hand railing—much better than the ramp that scared me. After our Chicago trip, I do not like inclines, don’t like having my world tilted, though for a while the ramp was necessary. Now I may be moving on to a whole new phase of this recovery business, and I find that exciting. I have to work on strength recovery and gaining self-confidence, and I am loathe to admit it but I am reluctant in both areas.

My good friend Fred Erisman came for lunch today, bringing the egg salad sandwich I had suggested. Almost fifty years ago, Fred hand-carried or pushed me through TCU’s doctoral program in English. We have remained friends, colleagues, and lunch buddies all these years. He still reads and gives me an honest appraisal on almost everything I write.

Today we caught up with each other and our projects, and I arrived at the conclusion that the two of us, both pushing eighty—he a bit closer than I am—are at a point of contemplating our careers, reassessing what we’ve done and what we want t do in the future. We talked of families and travel and food and Chicago. I find such long-term relationships reassuring. So thank you, Fred, for an egg salad sandwich, a house call, and good company.

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