I’ve been out of riding commission since mid-July with a broken foot. After wearing a boot, having surgery, and wearing a cast, I finally get the cast off today. It’s been an interesting 3 1/2 months, full of frustrations and new awareness.
The worst part has been my dependence on others to get around. I have not been able to drive with the cast. Others, mostly my husband but sometimes neighbors and friends, have driven me to and from BART every day for my commute to San Francisco. Peddling through the streets on my knee scooter was an exercise in humility and vulnerability. Not being able to go to the store when I wanted to was also an exercise in the same. I hate being dependent, and I hate feeling vulnerable.
It hit me yesterday that this is probably how a horse feels when he’s tied to something. He can’t run away if danger presents itself. Except that the horse doesn’t have the luxury of higher brain functions that he can use to calm down and rationalize his predicament and know that it won’t last forever. The horse has to totally trust that he is safe and all is OK.
Yesterday evening I was thinking about how glad I will be to get this cast off, glad to be able to get up and down the stairs in my house NOT on my knees, glad to be able to take a shower standing up, and NOT having to use that stupid plastic sleeve on my leg to keep the cast dry. And then something else hit me. All of these things that I think I hate have enabled me to get through this situation with relative comfort. Where before I was hating all those things, I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful for finding a way to get up and down the stairs safely. Grateful for being able to take a shower. Grateful for the plastic sleeve that kept my cast dry. Grateful for the rides that enabled me to get out of the house and go to work. Grateful for a husband that didn’t just tell me, “Too bad.”
So as my cast comes off and I enter the next stage of rehab, I am so grateful for all of those people and things that have helped me through this. And the next time I tie Angel’s lead rope, I will be grateful that he stands quietly, and be patient if he gets antsy. Because now I understand how he feels.