Little things that ordinarily would only be mildly annoying become epic pains in the ass. I have a new-found sympathy and respect for those that find themselves with a permanent disability. I’ve only spent the last two weeks in a straight-leg brace and crutches – and until the past few days I’ve needed those crutches to move even a few feet – and ostensibly will be able to shed both in four more weeks. The doctor says there is no reason I can’t make a complete recovery, although that recovery will be measured in months, perhaps a year or longer.
Every time self pity threatens to hold sway over my psyche, I think about the people I see every day here on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City: men and women with one leg and two crutches who are usually selling lottery tickets. Their legs aren’t going to grow back in a matter of months. My life is difficult because I can’t bend my leg – still wearing the straight-leg brace 24-7, at the moment (more or less) per doctors orders – but at least I still have a leg – two even – one that ostensibly will return to a state approximating normal some day.
So when I perceive that I’m getting too whiny and bitchy, I think about those people – or even literally look out from my apartment balcony and see them wandering down Nguyen Trai street – and psychologically shut the fuck up.
But it’s tough sometimes. Just to go out to the coffee shop for the afternoon is epic. It takes me hours to get ready. Everything takes three times as long – showering, dressing, packing up my laptop – not to mention my therapeutic exercises and icing down my knee. As I say, everything becomes epic. A load of laundry? Epic. Instant noodles for dinner and cleaning up afterwards? Epic.
And I’m getting fucking damn tired of epic.
P.S. I’ve started dreaming about walking and running. In these dreams that’s all there is: me walking or me running. Unaided. No crutches or braces. It is so, so sweet. But then, shit, I’d just be happy to be able to bend my leg.