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It’s the first question everyone asks me, usually after I tell my story of how I broke my ankle. After I share that my doctor has forbidden me to get out of bed except to go to the restroom. How he has me lying with my foot elevated on several pillows to keep the swelling down. How I have not gone to work or stood on both feet, walked, or driven a car for six weeks.
It’s the one thing friends, relatives and acquaintances want to know. And they ask with utmost sincerity, a worried look on their face, and extreme sympathy in their voice. They mean well and think their question will bring me comfort and validation.
“What in the world do you do all day?”
They are my friends and they know me. They know how I’ve always been quite an active person Pre-Break. You know, full time job, busy with several adult kids, grandchildren, thriving community and close-knit family.
So naturally they think I’m bored these days while lying in bed with foot up.
But, in reality, I am far from bored. I am quite busy with a unique schedule these days while recovering from ankle surgery.
And here is the short list of unique reasons I’m NOT bored.
- Everything takes longer these days: Mundane activities like getting dressed, taking a shower, moving in and out of bed between using the restroom, and even setting up a computer to use, take much longer than in pre-break days; those days I’d be up in the morning,, and out on errands often by 7:30 am. These activities are made of semi-movements of decision before the actions. Even decisions like what to have my husband pick up at the corner grocery store takes on huge meaning and lots of time during my post-break days. Everything is intense and looms large and quite interesting in my overall day.
Two Hundred Thank you Cards: Okay, I’m exaggerating. Truth is, I haven’t counted. But I’ve written a lot of thank you cards post-break, keeping me far from bored. You see, when I’ve got so much to be grateful for, and so many people who have contributed to my comfort the past few months, I want to thank them. What better time than to do that than during my recovery time from ankle surgery?
Myriad Lists of Plans for Post-Break: When you’re stuck in bed, you have lots of time to think. And that has been the case for me, as I plan for the day that I can drive again, and become the crazy busy working-errand-running-community-person I was pre-break. Even though I can’t create world peace, solve third world hunger and sell a million books while I’m stuck at home, I can plan for that time in the future that I look forward to. You see, once I’m told I can
flydrive, I don’t want to waste any time planning. So what better time than to compile those lists than while I’m still stuck?
Visitors and Phone Calls. These days I need a secretary to handle my many phone calls and visits. People hear someone broke her foot, and they want to come
sign the castbring c.omfort and joy to the one stuck in bed, which would be me in this case. This aspect of entertaining guests and telling my story prevents me from being bored because of the sheer amount of fun I have doing so.
Material to Be Creative. Having had to take a medical leave from my regular day job, I’ve become motivated me to use the time to write. During my pre-break days, I never could find the time to write, even though I often had a burning desire to do so (on the freeway when the muse would suddenly strike!). But I now use the time that I’m stuck at home to write articles or even compose some songs.
So the next time, you see someone who is stuck at home due to a temporary disability, think twice before asking them if they are bored. Chances are, they are not.
Tags: adjustment to change, bedrest, broken ankle, positive attitude, stuck at home, time management, visiting the sick