My husband was looking at the X-ray of my broken big toe before the orthopedist came into the room for my appointment. In full ER-doctor mode, he was saying things like “yup, that’s a ratty looking no-good comminuted fracture.” I did not know what comminuted meant, and he did not define. I got to look it up later: broken into many pieces.
Apparently if I was going to break any one-inch bone in my body, I picked the exact one-inch bone that would wreak the maximum havoc on my life, and spent approximately two days stewing. Of all the things my ADHD brain does not like doing, “sitting very still and not moving much” is very high up the list.
Over the weekend, I was reminded of a time when I injured myself extremely badly (and semi-permanently) because I could not make myself believe that perhaps if something hurts you should stop doing it. A friend asked me what I would say to my old self in that circumstance.
Back then, I didn’t know that trying to force myself to do things was going to make what could have been a one-time thing into a chronic tendon condition that would last decades. I thought about it for a moment and finally realized I would have said: “You deserve to heal.”
I am still very uncomfortable with this concept, but it turns out I have a lot of time to sit with it.
This is going to be a short newsletter because it turns out that when your body is healing one inch of comminuted bone, it actually gets exhausted by fairly normal activities, like sitting at a desk to write newsletters, and so I’ve been trying to reserve that time for working on books.