December 05, 2006

Stir Crazy

I was gently chided by a friend today for not having posted here more often, when I have had so little to do since breaking my leg nearly 7 weeks ago. A justified comment, because there have been a great many hours when I did very little except feel sorry for myself, or stare disconsolately out of the window, but as I am now at last able to move around (albeit haltingly, and on crutches), my horizons have expanded and mood has correspondingly improved.

The 4 weeks I spent confined to chair and house were a very unsettling glimpse into the lives of those who are not simply waiting for a bone to heal, but for whom such confinement is a permanent and usually involuntary condition. I was prepared for a certain amount of boredom and frustration, but not for the interminable dreariness of days spent completely inside.

However, I am very fortunate to have an expansive view, and even when confined to the couch for days on end, I was able to gaze out over the coastal plain to Perth city and beyond.

But in the mild start to summer that we have enjoyed, it was immensely frustrating not to be able to negotiate the previously unnoticed door frame and move out of the house and onto the verandah, let alone to manage the subsequent step down to the garden. To be thwarted by an obstacle no higher than a matchbox was as infuriating as it was instructive.
I'm sure those of you without problems walking will look at this picture and fail to see the problem. Believe me, I would have too, a couple of months ago.

I will be forever grateful to the friend who arrived on day 10, armed with a simple picnic lunch, and declared her intention of helping me get the wheelchair over this lintel, through the just-too-narrow doorway and out onto the verandah for an hour or so. The sense of release was intoxicating!
It was certainly a turning point, even though I could not go further than that, or indeed manage it unassisted, for another couple of weeks.

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