One year ago today, i was back in bed, resting after my third ankle surgery. And by “resting”, i mean, sleeping with a combination of morphine, Benadryl and edibles.
One year ago today, I couldn’t get up on my own to go to the bathroom. I needed a scooter to get down the hall, and then ultimately a walker to help me for the next few weeks.
If we were to look back on the past 365 days, I really don’t have many words to describe this year.
Actually, here is a list of random words that immediately comes to my mind: bullshit, exhausting, painful, quiet, hard, long, successes, failures, frustrations, COVID, ‘rona, recovery, pt, stability, sadness, death, laughing, secrets, relief, tired, ‘rona, stuck, strength, resiliency, bullshit.
Yes, I started and finished the list with the same word, because it fully articulates the way I feel about the past 365 days. just a pile of bullshit with some good stuff mixed in.
Recovery from that last surgery was awful. It was physically hard and emotionally draining. My precious surgeon passed away in the midst of my recovery and I felt absolutely lost without him. It was a humbling experience of humility, failure, and occasional laughter. people expected me to bounce right back. I didn’t have it in me. I tried so hard to just rally and do the thing, but relearning how to walk twice in a year is more than most people will ever have to do post the first time you learn how to walk.
Because the last surgeries recovery was so rough, I wasn’t socializing as much as I normally would- I mean, who wants to hang out with a cranky unmedicated me? Not me. Also, “medicated” me is also a joy. and by medicated, I mean the kind that you can buy in California, Michigan, and Colorado. Friendships shifted during this time.
The holidays came and went in an ambivalent blur. Side note, I’m still feeling meh about the upcoming holidays.
January hit hard and I back was on the road.
I got sick my first day in San Francisco.
Really sick. I had a multi-day migraine, with a deep dry cough when I was in San Francisco and then dragged myself to new york still sick with what everyone was saying was just sinuses. um, ya. I felt so shitty I didn’t go to the dispensaries. In retrospect, it was most likely not a sinus infection. I was sick for weeks with a fever that made me want to blow my brains out.
I started to feel better in march. I had plans. I was going to go to SXSW and then hit the road and go to the keys, followed by countless work trips. I was finally feeling strong enough to be able to do things again.
You plan, and g-d laughs.
That nasty bitch ‘rona showed up just as i was finally feeling good enough to do things and shut us down.
Everything from march-august was a blur. i had many people in my life get sick. one died. another died from complications. the numbers spiked. it sucked. i was watching everything from my house, because well, i couldn’t confirm that i had already had it, but sure as hell didn’t want to pick up what i was watching people deal with.
The best part of the ‘rona? My little pod of humans. We managed to make the best out of what we could, fueled by swimming, outdoors, and endless boozy seltzer drinks.
Took a trip home. That was good and got me some really important people time. The drive was just as good as the trip. I had some mission-critical thinking time. I needed to sort out a lot of things that were coming at me.
When I came back and life just got intense. Everything got intense. I looked down at my cankles and decided that they were as good as they could get and I started walking again. I decided to walk 200 miles by the end of the year. Walking helps clear my head. I sweat and forget life for a while. I solve world problems while making sure I don’t trip and fall.
Since mid-September, I’ve walked 65 miles. that’s not a ton, but for someone that couldn’t walk around the block one year ago today, I’ll take it.
This year is a year I will never forget (even though I would much rather forget about 89% of it) and it’s still not yet over.
If you need me, I’ll just be socially distancing from most people and walking.