Fractures and Worry

Ten years ago, my life changed in an instant.  I fractured 3 bones in my right ankle, which required surgery, physical therapy and a long recovery.  To this day, I see the disfigurement of my ankle and the scars from the surgery.  I check YES on medical forms now when asked if I have any implants as I have a plate with several screws on my right side and two long screws on the other side of my ankle.  I could have these removed, but they don’t bother me any longer.

For several weeks, I was dependent on my husband to provide food, transportation, company. Using a walker or crutches, I was unable to carry anything in my hands.  I figured out if I put things on a chair with wheels and pushed that along, I gained some autonomy when it came to getting a cup of tea or a snack.

I missed driving more than walking.  The day I was told by my doctor that I should start physical therapy, I called a nearby facility and got in several hours later.  The receptionist laughed at my enthusiasm about it, stating most people dread the process.  I couldn’t wait to start as it meant I would regain my independence.  When I finally, after 2 months, graduated, my therapist assured me I would lose the limp.  I did.

For a couple years or more, my ankle would swell if I had a very active day.  It was a weather predictor for years.  It has settled down, surprisingly.  I was very ankle aware for a long time.

This year, I fractured my left radius bone in Alaska.  I lost my balance on a bicycle and stuck my arm out to break the fall. It’s a common kind of break, 20% of fractures of that bone occur from bike falls.  I can’t believe the difference in the recovery, pain level, and return to function between this fracture and an ankle fracture. I was able to lead a mostly normal lifestyle while I recovered. I was able to ambulate, drive and do most of the things I always did.  I was on a two month ‘do nothing with your arm’ protocol, which presented challenges.   Closing a car door, buckling my seat belt (driver side) were awkward acts, done frequently.  I couldn’t open a jar, cut my food, carry a laundry basket with both hands, etc.  I was told NO SWIMMING.  Guess what I did as soon as I got the all clear?  I have noticed the past few days some pain at the fracture site, but I know this is typical/normal of a fracture site, thanks to dealing with an ankle.  

What I came to fully realize after all of this was---life can change in an instant.  These events stopped me in my tracks, and forced me to live in the moment.

Worry, on the other hand, is thinking about what could happen in the future, which, as we know, is completely out of our control.  I never worried about breaking bones.  And, things I have worried about haven't happened.

So, I'm left with the question..."why worry"?