Category Archives: Life After Kids

Do You See What I See? Sometimes it really is about the shoes

20141021_180724 Check it out peeps! No boot!

I asked my friends on Facebook what they saw. Some saw the missing boot – one friend saw a tanned leg vs an untanned leg, and another friend saw two shoes on the wrong feet. What a group. I see a swollen leg, a brutal scar, and no boot.

NO BOOT!

I have been in a boot since I got back from the Bahama’s in early October, 2013. I chipped my tibia on the beach, remember? I even wrote a story about coming back with a broken ankle (unknown to me) and how  I accidentally gave my real phone number to some cute surgeon I met on the airplane because he asked for it. He had it at “You’re a comic? I LOVE comedy.” Went right for the ego. SMH. I’m just happy he didn’t turn out to be some kind of slasher or something because I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up if my life depended on it. Besides, I’m fairly certain he didn’t even give me his real name.

I had surgery on October 24, 2013 in order to straighten my tibia and I’ve been in the boot ever since.

20140829_12394613 months I’ve worn this boot and our love relationship wore out after about week two. My pretty yellow wrist bracelet though says it all, “Fall Risk.”

YEP! That’s me all right.

I’ll be honest this has been hard for me. It hasn’t been easy for my husband either. It didn’t take him long to figure out the answer to the question, “So what exactly do you do all day?” Turns out, I do a lot. Now he knows.

I spent an entire year sitting on my front porch watching the seasons change from Fall to Winter, to Spring, to Summer and back to Fall again with absolutely no help from me. That was both inspiring and frustrating.

I had to learn how to deal with life without running away from it. No more running to the Cove, or the Stables, or the club to tell jokes, or even banjo lessons. I just had to sit still and let life unfold. This took work. Huge work.

10447740_461306537337250_7610490709735420961_nI had to depend on my husband for almost everything. I don’t do that well. I wasn’t allowed to walk for over 6 months. I spent three months in an electric scooter and three months on a knee scooter. I didn’t get released to walk in my boot until July of this year. Driving was out of the question.  I couldn’t even take a shower by myself for several weeks.

I also found several restaurants in Tulsa that are not handicap friendly. I couldn’t get in the front door with my scooter. Not being able to eat at my favorite restaurant  was frustrating, however my husband and I did find a new favorite restaurant in Broken Arrow. So there is that.

Being laid up made my blog challenging as well. No races. No traveling. No adventures after kids.  But isn’t that life? We have our ups and downs. Not everything is a mountain top experience. I did get to try a new thing.

I learned how to be still.

And I made it to level 327 in Candy Crush.

Impressive, right?

Okay, not really.

I did, however, read every book I could get my hands on, some brag worthy, others purely for entertainment purposes. I’m okay with that.

And I practiced banjo. A LOT!

I panicked for months about being forgotten as both a writer and a comic if I wasn’t out there doing the deal. I even panicked about banjo lessons. “What if my teacher doesn’t have any openings once I come back? What if after a year on my own, I still suck at banjo?” What if. What if. What if.

I spent a lot more time living in the fear-based world of “what if” than I like to admit.

We did join a new church last winter and all they’ve known is the handicapped version of me. The woman who can’t walk and has to rely on her husband to take her everywhere. The woman who can’t volunteer yet, because she can’t drive. I had to simply be a member and meet and get to know people without giving anything in return.

I even get felt up by TSA this year when the metal in my leg set off their alarms. That was fun.

I had to find value in me without the “stuff.”

I was hoping to hit the ground running, but no such luck. I’ve been walking with a crooked leg since I was 12. It’s going to take time — lots and lots of time — learning how to walk properly. It hurts more often than not.

I find that interesting. My leg is straight for the first time in 35 years, my hips are finally even and my body is screaming. My back, my hips, my leg all want to stay bent and crooked. Everything is out of alignment and it doesn’t know what to do with this new order of things. Allowing things to find their new place is going to take time. Yes, I’m sure there is a spiritual connotation here. I’m still working on finding that.

My ankle should be able to finally bend properly, but it doesn’t know how. It’s partially frozen from lack of proper use. My right foot automatically turns out and my ankle wants to bend on an angle like it always did. I have to consciously turn my leg inward and force myself to walk heel-toe. The simple act of walking has become a practice in Zen philosophy. It requires total focus of mind and body. The only way to stop the pain is to walk it out and teach my leg how to work properly.

If I don’t do that, then the surgery was for nothing.

10527706_476379962496574_150535725174127207_n Even though I’m only allowed to walk in sneakers that look like they are on the wrong feet and use a cane for balance — I have a dream. One day soon, I’ll get to walk in these again and I cannot wait!

 A full year came and went without my help.

I made friends based on who I am and not what I can do for them.

I learned how to receive.

My husband learned a new way of loving.

My boys learned how to spread their wings and do for themselves.

Without having me at his beck and call, even my Dad (75) learned how to do some things for himself.

Healing can still be an adventure if you let it. 

As for cycling. I’m still grounded, however I am allowed to ride my trainer this winter. I’m out for 2015 for any competition. I’m not allowed on trails or streets for at least another six months. Hills are a big no no for at least a year.

That’s okay. I’m not what I do. Seasons still change if I give it enough time. I’m starting to be okay with that.

What does it mean to fight like a girl?

I’m slow to this party. This video already has over 20M hits and I can see why. When did “like a girl” become an insult? I think this is totally worth watching…

I want to show it to the Tulsa Diva’s and every woman I know. WOW

Wow, what a ride…

wow what a ride

There is a saying in my circles that drives me absolutely crazy some times.

“This Too Shall Pass.”

Honestly, when I’m in the middle of THIS, whatever it is, I’m not all that keen on seeing the temporary of my situation. All I can see is the now and the now stinketh much sometimes.

Take my right now for instance. I am 30 weeks into what started as a simple ankle replacement. I am still in part one of that. My tibia is still broken and we haven’t even gotten to the ankle part. People have commented about my positive attitude and I want to tell you, there are days where my prayers sound like King David’s “How long Oh Lord?”

Now I do know that my leg is going to heal and that life will pick up again and that like the saying goes this will pass. I know this because 10 years ago, it was my heart that was broken instead of my leg.

10-years ago, I didn’t believe this would pass. I felt stuck in a never-ending cycle of hurt and disappointment.

While I was still depressed over my circumstances, I chose to trust God with a single step. Nothing major, just make my bed. Then it was get dressed. Then take a walk. Quit my job. And then the scariest of all – make a new friend. And another. And another.

Over time things changed. I started doing things that scared me to death for a moment and produced wonderful results. (I failed at a lot of things as well, but you know… I kept going anyway)

tbt2

So beloved – where ever you are, whatever season you are in, know that things do pass, life does change, and if you take one small step of faith and courage great things will happen.

Be Brave
Be Bold
Dare to Live

Proof that Banjo Is Cool: Neil Young

“There is music you never hear unless you play it yourself.”
― Marty Rubin

banjo neil youngIf I could sum up the feel that I go for when playing banjo, this picture would be it. It’s Neil Young, circa 1970′s playing sitting quietly under a tree.

People usually make fun of banjo. My thoughts are if Neil Young plays, it must be cool.

Having a broken leg has it’s advantages. I was so busy last year that practicing my banjo was usually an after thought.  My teacher can probably attest to that. I’m pretty sure I annoyed the snot out of him many times by showing up without the songs memorized.

I’m presently on week 30 of my “12 week vacation” and I’ve found a lot of time to practice.

Go figure.

Today, I spend a whole lot of my day sitting and picking and learning and I love it.

I especially love the fact that I can pick up my banjo and create something that didn’t exist five minutes ago.

That is too cool.

 

I really did have a screw loose

10277660_10200863794997581_8005721096887725535_n

“Born an American, Saved by God’s Grace, Rebuilt by IKEA” – Mark Cosgrove

It’s officially two weeks post op and I’m off pain meds, which means I get to write again. Yay!  Some people have asked me what exactly they did and why I’m out for the cycling season. This X-Ray shows it all pretty well.

What has really surprised me his how relatively pain-free I am in comparison to last time. I really think a lot of that is due to the fact that doc stabilized my tibia. I have two plates now instead of one. I have one in front and one on the side. There are 7 or 8 screws holding them in place. The fuzzy part in the middle is my hip bone. This part needs to stop being fuzzy and make nice with the rest of my leg before I can walk.

If all goes well, I won’t need the ankle replacement. That is my goal.

I just had a really crooked tibia that rubbed on my talus and made my ankle hurt. Our docs down here are awesome and some of the most creative orthopedic surgeons I know.

I’m still out for the season no matter how you slice and dice this.  In the mean time, I’m rockin the banjo and making the most of my down time.

The Cove at Rock Creek

I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of digging this slower life-style that I’ve had to become accustomed to while I get my leg fixed. No more crazy deadlines, being out half the night at the club, driving people places, rushing to the store or lessons. Just being me.

Last Fall I got the chance to watch the season come and go as winter arrived and this time, I get to watch Spring arrive in all of her glory and might. I miss working in the dirt. I haven’t figured out how to do that and not put weight on my leg and that’s okay. If I don’t have my garden this year, there is always the Farmer’s Market.

For now, I get to read, play my banjo, write to my heart’s content, spend time with friends, talk on the phone, love my family, and when opportunity strikes – take pictures.

All in all. It’s really not a bad life.

This slowing down thing.

You can click on the photos if you want to see them better. If you choose to share them that is fine, so long as you link back here. Thanks for reading.

rainbow at rock creek

woodpecker 2014 cove

to have faith