Oh, Snap! Broken Leg a “Patient” Reminder

The last week of May in 2010 was a popular seven days for breaking your leg. Professional race car driver Mike Conway broke his leg (and his back) in a spectacular crash at the Indy 500. Pro baseball player Kendry Morales of the Angels broke his leg after hitting a game-winning grand slam home run. Amidst the celebration at home plate, he jumped up and then stepped wrong and then, well, snap. So when I broke my leg in a kitchen fall nearly three years ago—in non-eye-popping, non-dramatic fashion—I knew I wasn’t alone. But I also knew… I was an idiot.

When multiple sclerosis tries to pry away some of our abilities, it’s only natural to hold on tighter. When the disease successfully robs us, even temporarily in a relapse, the push to regain what was lost can feel quest-like. The problem with quests? They take time. Heck, Odysseus, cursed by the gods, was gone for 10 years battling Cyclops and such before returning to Troy. For poor Frodo, it took three whole movies to get and then destroy that damn ring. Sir Lancelot and the Holy Grail he was looking for? Well, he’s still looking. Point is, you can’t really hurry a quest. Patience—methodical patience—needs to be embraced to get where you want to go. Don’t dwell on what you could do; focus on what you can do. And for the love of god, don’t try to do what you could do but currently can’t do (or shouldn’t do, at least safely). You might just break a leg.*
*Ah, it was only the fibula, the smallest bone in the leg. I didn’t even need a cast and it healed up completely in 6 weeks. I promptly got right back to questing!

Originally published June 4, 2010. Edited for clarity.


Unknown said…
I am still trying to recover from a pulled muscle in my left calf on December 3rd. I'm just glad it happened 2 days after I ran the half marathon for which I'd trained I'd have been pissed if it had been 2 days before.
Anonymous said…
Ahhhh good reminder, for me, it's also "What I could do a few months ago" versus " What I can do now". It's blazing hot here already..

On an unrelated note: today I went for confession (Catholic) after a really long time. And I said about one 'sin' when I really, really, really had to pee. I said "yeah, that's all" to the priest and ran off to the bathroom!
Niko said…
For me it's nutrition and positive thinking!
Sometimes my goals can seem overwhelming and unrealistic, usually when I try to rush them too fast and jumble them all together. So that no caffeine-chocolate-gluten-soy-beans-red meat-everything-else-that's-delicious diet, when rushed and forced without patience, ends up with my buying the biggest toblerone chocolate bar one could possibly eat in a single sitting. Then beat myself up for it. Yup.

Patience with myself, patience with my goals, patience with what life gives, and doesn't.

:) Niko
Dave Bexfield said…
LWL, was to go on the half! Anon, next time just say, "I confess... I have to pee! Now!" And Niko, I like your Toblerone words of wisdom. Although it is making me hungry. Thanks for that.

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