|Uh oh. There's no soft place to land.|
Our feet propel us out the door in the morning. (Coffee helps, too.) The same feet and legs carry us through the workday and take us on errands, a meet-up with friends, and home again. If those feet and legs fail, we don’t have pinch hitters or understudies to take their place.
My mother recently hurt her ankle and leg and has to use a walker and go to physical therapy. She’ll recover, but simple tasks aren’t simple anymore and getting out the door involves a three-step forward, two-step back minuet.
I’m seeing my mom’s surroundings through new eyes: a staircase morphs into a mountain trail. A door that opens onto a tiny vestibule that opens to another door is a trap designed to snare the wheel of a walker. A broken sidewalk qualifies as an obstacle course. Ever notice how many sets of steps lack handrails? Me neither, not until my mother needed a walker.
My mom’s situation is no fun, but what writer can resist stepping into another person’s shoes--and ankle compression brace? I’m learning a lot and, to my shame, realize I could have been a lot more patient in the past with people who navigated slowly due to walkers, canes, and scooters. The nicest words I heard recently were “Take your time,” spoken by a woman who held back her kids so my mother and I could cross a parking lot entrance.
Has an injury, yours or someone else's, changed the way you view your surroundings? If so, did the change last past the recovery stage? Where do you stand on handrails: necessity or spoiler of clean design?