Lately I have been extremely busy with numerous projects, exhibits, paintings, new photography classes, social events. I don’t mean to use this as an excuse for not keeping up with my blog, but this is life !
All of this suddenly came to a screeching halt last week in my friend’s driveway. A silly fall when one foot slipped forward while the other knee absorbed the full shock of my weight, fracturing my knee cap in 2 pieces. Impermanence ! One second, you are fine, a second later, you are lying unable to move in someone’s driveway. Luckily, the paintings I was holding, one in each hand were saved! My first ride in an ambulance, I felt like I was on Chicago fire but was surprised at the confined space in the back. Excellent service and treatment from the ambulance personnel and first respondents that got there 10-15 minutes ahead of the ambulance.
Luckily for me, the emergency of the hospital where I was brought in was not that busy and they took care of me immediately. I saw a doctor within one hour of my getting there and was operated by the orthopedic surgeon on duty two hours later that same evening. They don’t keep you in the hospital long now when everything is going well, I was out and back home less than 24 hours later with extra pins and metal wire inside my body.
Since then, I am looking at life going by. The first few days were filled with calls from friends, visits from family and scheduled nurses’ visits to change the bandage, physiotherapy and getting used to doing nothing in between. Dependence is the worst thing while lack of mobility is a good second. The first week, while I got used to a walker and a cane to go up and down the stairs, I still needed someone to put my feet up, bring my tea, cook for me and the like.
One week later, I feel very strong in the morning and it seems like I can take on the world until I stand up a little too long. That energy fizzles by 2-3 pm.
The most surprising thing about all this is that after the first few days, my head became kind of empty, even quiet. This is a very strange feeling for me to have nothing to plan, to execute, to think about. Once I had cancelled the various appointments and commitments over the next month because I need to keep my leg up as much as possible and must keep a leg brace when I am standing and all night to prevent my knee from folding more than what is allowed for the next 6 weeks, I found myself just thinking about nothing. Is this even possible?
The biological process of healing is very interesting and quite intricate. I can feel the energy being focused on the area that needs to renew itself. Various systems are at play and I am wondering if this has anything to do with the empty feeling that fills me, as if the rest of my body respects the process and quiets, is demanding less energy so that it can be focused at the site of the injury. It might be a question of medication also I suppose, the painkillers are quite strong even if the pain is not controlled.
For the first time, the lack of body motion leads to a lack of focus I am completely unused to. While I was in the hospital, thinking about the next six weeks, I imagined myself writing a lot, working on various websites, painting, all activities you can do without too much moving, but this lack of focus prevents me from being “productive”, leaving me looking into space and unable to do anything but read a bit here and there and talk on the phone with friends and family. A strange state for me. To my dismay, I find the days go by somewhat quickly and find myself tired even if my body is not active. Despite these long stretches of idle time, I still feel a little anxious over the lack of time because of this lack of focus. I should be drawing, researching …
The healing process takes a lot of energy. Up until yesterday, I found myself having a hard time completing a thought or sentence. Ah ! After all these years of trying to calm down and meditate, did I finally find the answer? My daughter suggested I could use this time to improve my meditation technique but I am not yet able to do this either.
I am wondering what it would be like to live like this all the time, not immobilised, but with an empty head, a worry-free environment where you live one moment at the time. Living in the moment is an ideal I have been working towards but living in the moment with an empty out of focus head is strange and a little worrisome, like you’re missing a vital element of life.
I had planned to start a schedule yesterday but that didn’t work. I will gather my drawing equipment and start a drawing project in my lounge chair over the next few days. When inspiration doesn’t come, you have to go to it by using your tools. Sounds like a plan!