Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Personal Lent

"Man proposes, God disposes." I'm not sure if my mother or one of my teachers used that quote often when I was growing up. It certainly applies to my life.

I've given up driving for Lent. Okay, because of my broken arm I was forced to give up driving for Lent. I am now dependent on the services of others--primarily my family. I also need their help to do simple things, like get dressed. Who knew how difficult it is to put a sock on your right foot using just your right hand? Or that I used both my right hand and my left when brushing my teeth? Even if public transportation was readily available, I'm not sure I'm up for the task of dressing and juggling with my wallet, etc., one-handed.

My physical therapist is cute, young, and six-months pregnant.

"So, are you sleeping in the recliner?" she asked.

"Why, yes," I replied.

She nodded. "Typical shoulder injury."

I also discovered that this injury is probably what is aggravating my migraines.

I described how I now do the wearing-a-tight-skirt-bent-knee squat to get something low, rather than bending over. It puts less pressure on my arm & shoulder. Apparently that's another adaptation. She was impressed that I was working from home, using the computer--that's keeping my wrist and my elbow flexible.

And then she gave me my exercises. This first level is designed to move my left arm and shoulder passively: my left arm moves because I move my body. There's also a pulley designed to raise my left arm when I pull on it with my right.

She warned me I'm going to need to ice my arm afterward. Fortunately, we're in a warm spell--the temperature is in the 60's.

Last night was the first night I slept without using Tylenol PM. The pain has subsided to a dull constant ache, which in many ways is more annoying than outright pain. I feel like I should be better than I am, able to do more. The ache is distracting, just enough so that I feel like I'm not on top of my game and the most inane television shows are watchable. Who knew that EWTN had online shopping? Or that Project Runway could be enthralling. (I would have bought Sweet P's denim dress in a minute, if I had the money. It was classy and classic.)

I am tired of sitting. I try to eat lunch outside at our picnic table so I can pretend I'm getting out. I try to remember to be nice when I make a request of my family (at least now I can open my own bottles!) and to maintain my sense of humor about the entire situation. And to not worry about what I am going to do, but instead cope with what I am doing now.

My Lenten Lesson this year is patience, humility, and letting go of my need to always be in control. Because I can't do it all. I can't do as much as I'd like to or expected to. I'm doing what I can. These are not the lessons I would have chosen to learn. But I'm not the Teacher this year.