My previous post was on what I’m thankful for. Today I want to talk about things I miss. As each day passes, I am closer and closer to being able to do some of these things on this list. In a few weeks I will be able to take my brace off for small amounts of time and that is beyond exciting. However, since Thanksgiving weekend the days have been moving at a snail’s pace. I am still knitting, and reading, and exercising, but my cabin fever is getting pretty intense. I have made some plans over the next few days, and despite this absolutely crappy weather we are having I am going to try to stay occupied as much as I can.
I miss showering… This is no surprise. I have been quite vocal about this one. I’m tired of the half shower, sponge bath, and makeshift hair washings. I have joked with friends about my Lexington shower tour as some of my friends have advertised owning some luxurious showers.
Real hugs. I am not an overly affectionate person, but giving and receiving a hug in this brace sucks. For the most part people are afraid to touch me, which in the beginning was a very good thing because I was in so much pain. And now hugs are awkward and uncomfortable to say the least. I still willingly and appreciatively accept, but it’s just not the same. I’m not really sure why anyone would want to hug me anyway, it’s probably like hugging a lobster.
I miss riding my bike. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I love riding my bike. I’m sure many people may not understand this, but I also know that many of you reading this understand this perfectly. It honestly is one of my favorite things in life. The physicality of it, the speed, the escape, the therapy it provides, the challenges it brings, the competitiveness…I love all of it. It is so much more than a means of transportation, or a way to burn calories for me. It was my lifestyle. I honestly do not know if I will ride a bike again. At this point there’s no way of knowing, but I do know for certain that I miss it terribly.
Driving. I actually don’t like driving, and I don’t really miss it, but I do miss being able to take my keys and go wherever I want when I want. Which rolls right into my next subject…
Independence. Before my accident I lived a pretty independent life. I like doing things for myself. Now, I have to rely on others for almost everything I want to do. My schedule is very little my own. I am happy for the help, but I will also be happy when I can do things independently. Things around the house are pretty much all manageable on my own, which wasn’t even the case when I first got out of the hospital. I am quite grateful for that.
I miss work. I have always known that I love my job. I have a really great job and I work with some amazing people. I miss the schedule, and being there every day. I miss interacting with patients. I miss the learning, the challenges, and the purpose. I struggle with feeling functionless. Even after I graduated PA school and was job searching I felt a little lost. However, I supplemented with riding my bike hundreds of miles a week back then…
I miss sleeping on my stomach! Or on my side! Or anything but in a corpse pose on my back. I am not and never have been a back sleeper.
Movement. I miss being able to stretch, bend, reach, twist. I worry that when this brace comes off that 1. My neck will not be able to support the weight of my head and I will droop like a heavy sunflower. or 2. My neck muscles will be so tight and contracted that I will be stuck in this position for eternity. At least the latter will have provided me with excellent posture.
These may sound like trivial things, and some of them really probably are. For a little while after I’m recovered though, they won’t be taken for granted.