Learning to be Thankful even when I Don't Want to Be

Sometimes you do things all the time and one time you do something just enough different that it changes the course of the next few weeks (or sometimes longer). For me, two weeks ago, this was ascending the stairs of my house. It was a Thursday after preschool and I had lunch on my mind, but two steps inside the door my foot started to hurt.

When it still hurt hours later and I could check everything off on the on-line test I began to suspect it was a stress fracture. I wasn’t convinced and had hoped it would go away on its own because I could not pinpoint anything that would have caused it. As a precaution I cancelled running the next morning hoping that one day of rest would help.

But, staying off of your feet is hard to do. Friday I walked around with some people who where here doing post checks on the wheelchairs we received last March and was encouraged that it didn’t hurt that bad…until I stopped and the pain was back. In preschool I had planned a freeze dance party and couldn’t help but to participate, but that was probably not smart.

Saturday and Sunday morning I had to do roll call for our staff and pass out supplies for the day. I kind of had this thought that if I could do everything I had been doing and just manage the pain it must not be broken. I went and got water and carried a Culligan-like jug up my stairs—oops big mistake. Sunday night the pain was getting worse and I was strongly encouraged by my roommate and the nurse to go to the hospital the next day for x-rays and hopefully a boot to help it heal. With regret, I made the call to cancel preschool the next day and committed to going even though a day at the hospital did not sound like fun.

When you go to a hospital here you first have to go to records and show your hospital card. I told them why I was there and they said to go to the “white building”. Well, the whole hospital is white--but there was a fancy new section that I thought was radiology so I went there. I still didn’t know exactly where to go so asked some nurses that were passing by and they took me to what looked like the inpatient part. I told the doctors there what was wrong and they just stared at me. Then one told me to go across the street to the general area.

By the time I got there my foot was really hurting from walking back and forth and I began to wonder what it would be like to really be sick and have to use this hospital. Sitting on hard benches as the sun creeps more and more until you have absolutely no shade left for hours does not seem like fun if all I wanted to do was sleep or if I was in excruciating pain. Time went by and I was able to get some read in my book when a security guard noticed I had been sitting there for a while. He made the not so accommodating nurses check to see if my paper work was there and when they couldn’t find it he walked me back to the records who still had all of my paper work that they were supposed to send on but had remembered exactly why I was there.

We ended up going back to the same white building I started at but conveniently minutes after the doctor was called away to do a surgery. Long story short I didn’t see a doctor until 2pm. He made me do all kinds of things that made my foot hurt even worse (thanks!) and then I had to do more walking. First I had to pay for the x-rays (only just over $11) then get them. While I was waiting to get x-rays the doctor went back to the OR and I had to wait another long while to see him again.

Finally after all that walking around and waiting they confirmed I had a stress fracture and fitted me with a fancy little boot. From the moment he put it on, the relieved pressure felt great, but as soon as I got up to walk I knew it was going to take some time for the boot and I to be friends.

I had to get a moto taxi to drive me back to COTP. It was awkward to get on a moto with a big boot on, but I felt less weird because just a couple hours earlier I saw a big elderly woman get picked up out of wheelchair by three or four Haitian men and set right onto a moto—that must be difficult, I hope she has some nice strong neighbors/family for when she gets home and has to get off the moto.

Once I got back to COTP there came the questions. “What’s that?” “Why do you have to wear it?” “What happened to your foot?” and upon my answering it almost always resulted in the question “On a moto or in a vehicle?” or sometimes just “Did you hit it?” I’ve always been one that had wanted cool stories for injuries. They aren’t worth it if there isn’t something fun to laugh about. I even want to die in a fun/funny way (but not anytime soon).

A little while later it hit me that I think I injured my foot singing Baby Shark in preschool. I taught the kids that song during S week and they loved it. So most days we sang it and I never pass up the opportunity to do motions with songs. Apparently jumping in circles on one foot without shoes on cement is not the smartest of things to do. Ooops.

The next day in preschool I decided I hated my boot. I couldn’t get up from a sitting position the way I usually do and I couldn’t chase after children who were being naughty. It was hard for me to go up and down the stairs to my house and my boot was hot and confining. It was hard for kids to sit on my lap as I couldn’t sit cross legged well and my foot would fall asleep pretty easily. My boot and preschool were not a good mix. I actually told God that he should teach me something through this because of how much I hated it.

Wednesday, I discovered I couldn’t even carry my laundry downstairs as I had to hold onto the railing because I had not yet learned the new depth perception a heavy boot brought. I hated having to have other people do things for me simply because that meant I couldn’t do them myself. I wanted to run, I wanted to easily walk from the living room to my bedroom without putting my boot back on, I wanted to function as I did a few days ago.

As the days went on my boot grew on me. We still aren’t friends but I’ve learned how to get around on it and while some things are more difficult, most are much easier. Two weeks later, I’ve learned to be thankful.

I’m thankful that
It isn’t a cast and I can take it off
My roommates (and other people) do things for me even though I wish I could do them myself
 I could borrow a co-workers office chair
My mom was able to send some thin knee high socks to wear under the boot
We have a hospital I could go to
My dr. visit and x-ray were not very expensive
That I have two feet
That I typically have full range of motion
Normally I can run
My roommate and our nurse convinced me to go to the hospital when I did
 I only have to wear the boot for 4-6 weeks (today that seems like forever, but in the grand scheme of life it isn’t that long)

For about a week after I broke my foot I woke up really early in the morning, about the same time I would wake up normally to go run. I was so frustrated because getting up to run is hard. I like the run, but not the early mornings. After a couple of days to use this extra time for nothing important or worthwhile I realized I had a much more important race to run. I began to value my early mornings and looked forward to waking up to spend time in the Word. The thing is, once I realized this, waking up became difficult again. Waking up early is still not any fun, but having to spend a lot more time resting my foot has given me a lot more time to learn about my God and grow.

I still don’t like that I have to wear a boot and that it makes preschool and just hanging out with kids hard (not to mention doing therapy extremely difficult), but I am thankful for this time were I have been forced to stay in my house more. I don’t like how much I haven’t seen the other people who live on this compound, but I love how much more time I have had with my Savior.

Even though I have found something to appreciate though this doesn’t mean I am not counting down the days until I can function normally again, but when that does happen I will count my blessing and be thankful that simple tasks are back to being simple again.

Four more weeks until I can be boot free (hopefully) forever!


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