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Good-bye and Good Riddance: 10 Things!

Let’s be perfectly frank here. I’m getting a little tired of my broken ankle. It’s been almost 7 months that I’ve had this thing in my life, and I’m ready to say good-bye to my life of being “with-cast.”

That will be in a few weeks, but I’m all ready. I’m pumped. I’m preparing for the good-bye, and getting really into it.

This time of year, many of us are getting ready for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. One of the ways we do that is by counting our blessings, appreciating the good in our lives, and refraining from complaining.

Great goals to have. So at this time, my way of NOT complaining is to express how HAPPY I am to have come this far…to experience soon the end of my foot journey.  I am very excited to bid good-bye  to the lifestyle I have led the past 6 or 7 months.

Here are the 10 things that I’m looking forward to saying good-bye to very soon. Good bye and good riddance!


Go away. Don’t come back!

  1. Good-bye to awkward getting in and out of cars. I’ve used a scooter to get around and when someone drives me places, I have to edge the scooter close to the curb, then hoist half my body onto the seat of the car, while holding injured foot in mid-air. Then I move my injured foot with a plop onto the floor of the seat, while pulling the seat belt around me. Reverse for getting out of cars. Hello easy meneuvering!

  2. Good-bye to scooter. I will be able to put weight on and use both feet and legs. What a concept. Walking, driving, and getting around and putting weight on both feet – not just my good foot. Hello 2 feet!

  3. Good-bye to plaster cast. I will be able to see my leg in the flesh. I will no longer have the cumbersome, itchy, and stuffy cast hovering around my bones and holding my healing ankle stiffly in place.  As I will be transferring to a “walking air cast” – i.e. removeable cast in a few weeks, that will give me more freedom. Yay! Hello open air on leg!

  4. Good-bye to four walls and stale air of my home. Most of the days I stay at home. Soon I will get to go outside more often, because of my upcoming independence.  Hello fresh air!

  5. Good-bye to bad posture.  Today I was in an elevator in a doctor’s office building, and I noticed that I was standing hunched with my knee on my scooter. It’s an inevitable pose, given my state of being with-scooter, but it’s hardly good for posture. Hello straight back!

  6. Good-bye to Facebook 24/7. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But you know what I mean. When you have a life, you don’t need facebook all the time, or do you? Hello Life!

  7. Good-bye to denial about weight gain . Hey, it’s easy to deny weight gain when you can’t put foot down to weigh oneself on a scale for all these months. Not to mention a heavy cast that would distort the weight anyway. Hello facing the music!

  8. Good-bye to lack of structure in day. Yes, I’ve kept very busy the past half year with many hobbies and other pursuits. But my days were unstructured. I’m ready for a set schedule in my life. Hello real job!

  9. Good-bye to only elevators. Ever try going up a staircase with a scooter or crutches? It ain’t easy, and depending on the number of stairs, it is downright impossible. Hello stairs and escalators!

  10. Good-bye to pain killers. This is something I’ve said good-bye to a few weeks ago already, but I look forward to not having even a low level of pain. That may take some time, as I am going to have physical therapy which is likely to be painful at times. But still, I’m moving in the right direction of recovery and I’m looking forward. Hello to comfort!

What I will do with all these things remains to be decided. I don’t think I will be throwing out the above ten concrete or abstract things, but I will definitely be happy to say good-bye.

And on that note, I say good-bye to this post. Stay tuned to a future post where I thank all the wonderful folks who have helped me survive this journey.

What are you saying good-bye (and hello) to during this season of High Holidays?

Photo Credit:

Trying On Shoes


The other day I gained a slight glimpse of what it feels like to be in  other people’s shoes. My husband and I attended several wedding this past week which was at times exhausting, given my not-so-distant (3 1/2 weeks ago!) surgery on my ankle.  But it definitely was exciting to get out and see people. The fresh air, the drive to the venues with the car windows wide open, the chats with old friends, the expanse of the hotels where I scooted around on my “knee rider,” and the sitting and dining with good friends at these events, were huge boosts to my mood. Hey, after being home almost 24/7 for so many months, I welcomed the change at these friends’ happy occasions.

At the first wedding, which was in a large Sheraton hotel, my husband and I glided (well I glided, he walked) through the lobby towards where the ballroom was. Oh. Steps.

No problem, I thought. Only 3 steps. I’ve done those before. It’s just a matter of angling my scooter and edging up one step at a time. As long as the steps are piled close together without too much thickness, (hey, ever thought someone could be analyzing the construction of steps?), I was fine.

But what we found on the other side of the steps, stumped me — and my husband.

Escalators. Nope. Those won’t work.

So we went around the back, found a ramp, and got back to where we started. After some asking around (should have done that to begin with!), we found the elevators which took us to the handicap accessible lobby, which took us by ramp to the ballroom.


Ding. Ding. Ding. Bells went off in my head.

This is what people who have disabilities go through all the time. They can’t just go, climb and attend events. They have to plan out their entrance to wherever they are going. When the place is familiar, they already know what to expect, but when the place is new (as this hotel was for my husband and I), they need to seek out the handicap accessible ramps, elevators and other accommodations.

It ain’t easy.

My aha moments continued as I went to the next wedding, the following evening. This one was at a Hilton hotel that I’d been to in the past, so I knew that the parking structure’s elevator took us straight up to the ballroom area with the foyer and lobby outside the ballroom.

But then I remembered the restrooms. They were downstairs. I recalled using them at past weddings there, and going down the elegant winding staircase  in my high-heeled shoes toward the restrooms.

I decided then and there I was going to ask where the elevators to go down were. I looked around and saw that the elevators where we arrived had a button to go down and the only thing was that one had to then navigate around the bend back to the restrooms, once downstairs.

In the end,  I sat mostly in my seat at that wedding, and enjoyed the people at my table. Another realization. People with disabilities don’t get to move around freely as much, without depending on someone to push them around in a wheelchair, or bumping around in a scooter like I have.

The third wedding this week was when the aha moments of the past few nights were sealed in my mind forever.

My husband and I arrived at the synagogue where the wedding was to take place. This was a large, elegant building with towering staircases (see where this is going?) that were white, marble, and very beautiful structurally.

Beautiful, but impossible to navigate.

As we strolled (I scooted; my husband walked) down the street and arrived at the front of the building, we saw the 30 stairs looming large in front of me. We looked to both sides of the building to find a ramp.

No ramp on either side.

We asked the guard who was standing at the staircase and she frowned,

“Oh there’s a ramp over there,” she said, pointing to the area near the parking lot where we had left our car. “But that’s taken over by the catering truck. You can’t go there.”

Uh. Oh. Should we just go home? This doesn’t make sense.

My husband is not one to give up on these matters, and so he went to the caterer at the ramp and asked what to do.

“Well, it’s really dangerous to come through here,” he admitted. “Why don’t you try in the back entrance where the kids’ playground is? I think there’s a ramp to get in the backway.”

We thanked the guy, and went down the alleyway, through the parking lot, (I bumped; my husband walked) toward the playground area. We opened the gate (whew. It was opened), and there were 2 steps to go downward. No problem. My husband helped me edge downward with the scooter.

Then came a short pathway to go toward the door, and a 3-step staircase (Nope, not a ramp. Oh well..) to get into the ballroom.

Mission accomplished.

Seldom do we get to try on other people’s shoes and situations. We are fortunate to know and understand ourselves, what makes us tick, how to label our own feelings and deal with them. That’s a pretty big task if we want to be self-aware and conscious in our actions.

But other people? We can only know what they are feeling by listening to what they tell us, watching carefully and asking questions if we are unsure. Other than that, it is presumptuous to think we know what someone else is going through. It’s insensitive to think we know what others are thinking, because we don’t. It’s silly to think we can “understand” what others’ experiences are. We can’t really do that.

Our Jewish Sages teach us, “Don’t judge another until you are in his place,” because you just never know anything until you are exactly in their shoes. And let’s face it; even if you experience something similar to them, it will never be exactly the same.

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