I tend to get sentimental about things that pass in and out of my life, regardless of whether they were good or bad, happy or sad, of mixed emotion or impact. As much of a drag as the past six weeks have been, I know that sometime later on in the coming months I will look back on this time and sigh to remember how simple things were back in March and April, back when I couldn't see or really feel what was happening with my ankle. (I can sort of tell what's going on with it now, but there will be a lot more to feel when I'm moving it and using it). I guess what I mean is that this time is like milling around, waiting to start an endeavor that's not clearly mapped out, but will be defined as I go through it. I can see into the future in that I know with certainty that it's going to be full of unexpected pitfalls and breakthroughs, the obvious ups and downs, and all sorts of unknown sidetrips along the way to the end goal. But at the same time, I can't even compare it to a race or journey, because there's no set end point or finish line. "Complete recovery" will sneak up on me someday, but it'll never truly be complete.
I've been through something similar already. Three years ago I had surgery on my other ankle to repair a torn tendon. That was also a recovery full of unknowns and discoveries, just like this one will be, but this time there will be an entirely new book of lessons to learn. Talk about the school of life... What if a nuclear physicist had a brain injury, brain surgery, and recovered but had to re-train their mind, starting with basic math? I'm certainly not aiming to discover clues to the genesis of the universe, thank goodness, but I kind of feel that what I'm going to ask of my body is the equivalent of going from basic addition to incredibly complex physics.
I realize that what I described above sounds a little woe-is-me. There's a certain amount of that, yes, but mostly I want to use myself as an example to explain what it means for any one of us to be injured. There is never a foolproof remedy or absolutely predictable outcome, no matter how common the injury, because each body is so different from every other. And each of our psyches will handle the experience differently, too, of course. But the common thread of being a dancer with a body part that got outrun by the pack is this sudden vulnerability, the crash down to reality (and into the "real world") from the hyper-reality of the ballet world. So, knowing that my situation is unique yet completely commonplace, and I'm going to try to bring you all a little ways into this place along with me, and us.