It’s been a tough few weeks. I don’t know if the torn calf muscle caused it, or if it was the straw that broke this camel’s back.
I feel like such a heel bitching about my leg. Heck, I still have my leg, and it will heal. People deal with far worse pain and inconvenience on a daily basis without any end in sight, and I’m whining over a minor setback. But it’s like, I’ve been stressed at work, Emerson is getting older which means she’s getting smarter and bolder and really needs much more from me, life has been constantly going going going, and I have been dealing with all this with my drug of choice – food.
Have to get to work at 7am? Guess I’ll stop at McDonald’s on the way in and gobble down an Egg White Delight, hashbrown, and Sugar Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee on the commute (if it’s earlier than 7 I’ll let myself think I “deserve” a Sausage McMuffin). Forgot to make lunch, so I guess I’ll just hit Chipotle, or the buffet where I’ll make a salad doused with dressing and feta, or Subway, or even some crappy something from CVS. If I know dinner will be late because K is teaching, I’ll stop by 7-Eleven with good intentions and leave with a Slurpee and nachos. The thing is, this filth I have been putting in my body courses through my veins like a drug. I can be stressed and panicking and overthinking. I can’t even move forward with so many things on my to-do list. Traffic can have me literally screaming in my car and I down four nachos covered in that disgusting orange goo and I might as well have taken a Zanax. I can think clearly, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I don’t get that same thing from a piece of fruit, a turkey wrap, or a green juice.
So I have terrible food going in the body, not enough sleep, so much stress I have an almost permanent eye twitch and I tear my calf muscle, which means I can’t get around and can’t exercise. This left me crying in bed this past Saturday thinking I was going to forever be an obese crippled person and I’d have to give away my shoe collection and shutter the blog. My husband and Emerson went to a friends’ cookout without me since the leg was so bad, I had a bag of frozen peas under my elevated calf and I cried looking at the ceiling feeling sorry for myself. And I cried because I couldn’t get down the stairs to gorge on the contents of the fridge or drive myself to Wendy’s. I wondered if third-life crises existed. And so I wrote for the blog. I wrote four posts in an afternoon, and it did make me feel better, though I still craved French fries.
I spent most of Memorial Day weekend with my leg up, and my confidence in the gutter. Tuesday I had to go to work and put on the last clean skirt in my wardrobe that worked with flat shoes and a limp. I got to work early, but left early to see a doctor about the leg. I knew it would heal eventually, but I had this fear that maybe I wasn’t caring for it properly and would end up permanently injured or not able to walk around at Forecastle in July. It was a new doctor, and he was… well just what the doctor ordered. In six minutes we had covered the leg (he pinpointed the muscle, told me I would heal, I was caring for it correctly and yes, I could go to my music festival and enjoy it), but then asked me how I was doing otherwise. I told him about the migraines that have returned in the past year, the eye twitch, the upper back pain, the panic attacks. I told him about the stress in my life, how I have made changes to lower the amount of stress, but I still feel overwhelmed all the time. How I want to exercise, but I can’t find the motivation and now I don’t have the ability to do much other than swim and when do I have time to go to a pool. How blood tests and blood pressure checks say I am in the best of health but I KNOW this body isn’t happy and I know I am at an age where I need to get my shit together or it’s going to really affect me for the long haul. And he didn’t whip out a prescription pad for Topomax and Paxil and Felxiril, but instead listened to me, talked with me, had a conversation for almost an hour. Yes, I did leave with a prescription for 9 Imitrex pills to have in my purse just in case, but I also left with a feeling of hope.
I went home, it was still early, before 4pm. I turned off my phone, changed into shorts, and asked Emerson if she wanted to play. We made forts and read books and played beauty shop and school. I made dinner of leftover shrimp with field greens and cucumbers. I didn’t drink a glass of wine, but instead water. I gave my hair and face a treatment mask and went to bed early.
It’s not too late for me to get back on track, and I am not too old of a dog to learn new tricks. I’m still pretty bummed about this stupid leg and the weight I have gained, but I know it’s not forever, and I know in the mean time there’s no benefit to stuffing my face and crying in the shower. There’s no point in being my worst enemy, especially since I like myself so much. And if I fall, well I just need to brush myself off and get back up. I can do it.