Finding Gratitude In The Simple Things

It’s Magical Monday here at A Cup of Tea and Sorcery and I’ve got gratitude on my mind.

I’m not talking about gratitude for the big things in life – money, a cool car, a big house. Nope, I’m talking gratitude for simple things like, being able to vacuum your house or make dinner for the family.

What? Why would someone be grateful for those things, you ask? Well, it all has to do with Frankenfoot…

A little over two years ago I had to have surgery on my left foot. It was gruesome and awful. I wouldn’t wish this injury on anyone, not even my stinkiest enemy. If I had one, which I don’t. (For you curious types – I blew out my posterior tibial tendon. If you Google it, don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

What was my prize for the fabulous surgery? I had to stay off Frankenfoot for three months. I couldn’t drive, clean the house, go to the market, or even cook dinner without a lot of assistance. And showers? Total nightmare.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, after months of not using my foot, I had to go to rehab where they made me pick up marbles with my toes. No, really. You wouldn’t believe how hard that was!

Each day brought new challenges and small victories. Then one day, I was able to walk without crutches and could do more things on my own. The first time I vacuumed the whole house – stairs and all – I cried. When I was able to cook a meal for my family, without using my walker or crutches, I silently thanked my surgeon and filled that meal with love and gratitude for the people who took care of me while I convalesced.

Every morning as my husband and I head out for our walk, I am so grateful that I can lace up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other. I haven’t grown complacent in my gratitude, if anything, I appreciate my new foot now more than ever. I’m getting in shape, losing weight, becoming more active.

Which is probably why a little mishap last week completely freaked me out.

I slipped on a ride at a water park and injured Frankenfoot.

Visions of surgery past raced through my mind. Would I be in a cast and non-weight bearing again? Could I drive? Swim? Walk? I think I was more afraid of the ‘what ifs’ than anything. Mind you, had this been my right foot, I would’ve put some ice on it and said, ‘Meh, it’ll heal in time. No biggie.’ But it was Frankenfoot and I went into full panic mode. I’ve come so far, I thought, I don’t want to backslide.

After X-Rays and a chat with the doctor, it looks like Frankenfoot will be fine. We’ve got to give it two weeks to settle down, but I’m hopeful that it was nothing major.

I’m still not sure what this hiccup is supposed to teach me. To trust in my body that it can heal itself? To let go my fears? To be even more careful? To know that I’ve come far, but I still have a way to go?

Whatever the lesson, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon enough, I’m just grateful it was a minor injury and I can still vacuum the stairs. Silly, I know, but when something is taken away from you, it’s amazing how much you cherish it when regained.

I’d love to hear from you. What are you grateful for? Have you ever been in a situation that made you look at your life completely differently?

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13 thoughts on “Finding Gratitude In The Simple Things

  1. What an incredible thing to go through. Wow. I can’t imagine the struggle and kudos to you for staying so positive. Such a great reminder to stop, smell the roses and be grateful for the little things. Thank you! And thank GOD everything’s going to be ok with the foot after the slip.

    This week, I am so grateful for hubby’s support through our dog’s surgery and physio commitment. He’s been wonderful, committed, and hasn’t complained once making it much less stressful on me.

  2. Tameri, I hope things heal well and you’ll soon be up and doing all the things you did before. I almost cut the end off my index finger about eight months ago and it took forever for it to heal. It’s still numb. Not as big a deal as your foot but I had to ask for help doing simple things around the kitchen like opening jars, even my own water bottles.I don’t take having all ten digits for granted anymore.

    Take care of yourself,
    Kate

  3. I understand the flashback to the former injury and the results. Do take care, and we hope it calms down and goes back to normal with our TLC.

    Between the age of 50 and 60, I gradually lost the ability to walk because of cartilage loss in both hip joints. My surgeon recreated my mobility with hip replacements on both sides. Eurika!

    During the recovery, having had experience in geriatric nursing, I realized how important it was to get dressed every day. So I did, and then accomplished one new small goal every day, even if it was to use the walker to fetch my own glass of water. That was all ten years ago.

    Imagine what life would have been like before the advent of this marvelous surgical procedure! For millions of folks!

  4. Tameri, I understand what you’ve gone through from my own dreadful experience with a bad injury. Getting better is such a relief and that’s when we (often just briefly) realize how wonderful is to be healthy. I know I take for granted those days when I feel wonderful. Thank you for reminding me to cherish what’s so important in life!

  5. I’m grateful for my insulin pump. With my diabetes under control, I can do anything I want. The pump broke once and it took 48 hours to get a new one. I had to miss class and stay home so I could constantly monitor my blood sugars, and I had to be ten times more careful with what I ate. With all the healthcare crap going on right now, I am afraid of losing the pump, but I’m trying to have faith that God will take care of me. 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing your stories here. Injuries, diabetes, it’s hard sometimes to focus on the positive.

    Natalie – when I read about your dog, I couldn’t help but think of my own rehab. Husbands are so wonderful – yours for helping with Tess and mine for taking such good care of me.

    Kate – Yikes! Knives scare me for just that reason. I hope you get all the feeling back soon.

    Marion – I hear ya! The miracles of surgery & medicine are amazing.

    Angela – You’re welcome. I still need reminders too (maybe that’s what the water park thing was about). Somedays, it’s easy to forget to be grateful.

    Angela – wow, diabetes is nothing to trifle with. That’s scary about the pump, I hope it never breaks again. That’s great that when you have it under control you don’t let it hamper you from living a complete life.

  7. Glad to hear your injury was not as critical as you first thought. Even though we all realize there are people in the world with far more serious issues than we will ever have to face, we all have our crosses to bear from time to time. They are powerful and important at the time and if we all come through the experience with a heightened sense of gratitude, we are lucky indeed.

  8. I get this. Completely. There’s a reason adages and aphorisms exist – because when you’ve expereinced that life-changing moment, you suddenly appreciate so many things that had no particular importance before. I had that experience five years ago.

    We’d gone to visit family for a holiday, cramped planes and hectic travel meant we arrived tired. I had an ache in my lower back/right hip. I figured it would go away with stretching and rest. It didn’t. By midnight I was in too much pain to sleep. By dawn I was barely conscious. My husband rushed me to the emergency room where they diagnosed me with a blocked kidney. Turns out that when your body can’t clean all the icky stuff out of your body – it makes you pretty sick.

    They gave me morphine. It was wonderful.

    To summarize: surgery, exam, return exam, tests……uh, did you know you’re pregnant? What? WHAT?! (hysterical laughter). Surgery delayed until second trimester. Surgery, exam, return exam, tests. Baby.

    Sometimes the worst things come with a silver lining that can’t be beat. I totally get vacuuming and cooking and laundry…cause the alternative is unthinkable.

  9. Lesann, What??? Was all this while you were away from home? (the first part, I mean). That’s insane – and very fortunate for you that they caught it so soon. I’ve heard stories like this for appendicitis also.

    I’m so glad everything worked out for you and the baby!

  10. This sounds strange, but every time I jump in the shower, I think of the Marine units I’ve sent care packages to in Afghanistan. The Marines on the front lines are lucky to get a shower once every two weeks. Things have improved since then, but I still send baby wipes that they use when there’s no water to bathe. So, I guess you could say I’m grateful I’ve got access to water. 🙂

  11. Jennifer, wow, I didn’t know that about our guys and gals in Afghanistan. I love that you send care packages – we have as well and I’m told they really appreciate it.

    Thanks for the comment and opening my eyes to something else we can all be grateful for.

  12. I’m really sorry that it happened to you. I really hope you keep getting stronger and healthier and never have this problem again. I’ll keep you in my prayers. If you ever need anyone to vent to or talk to I’m always free to listen.

    I have had several severe injuries and I don’t remember how many surgeries. I’m one of those people that if there is a banana peel in the room I’m going to find it. The reason I haven’t talk much in twitter, blogs or our yahoo group is I hurt my back and arm so it pretty painful to type. But I’m lucky I get to read all the comments and blogs and it just brightens my day.

    It’s amazing how we don’t realize how much we need certain body parts to really function in the world. When you finally get it back it’s like a child learning to ride a bike for the first time. You see how lucky you really are in life. I think it makes you notice more when other people need help.

  13. Pingback: Links Out Loud – Natalie Hartford

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