Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back to normal

Yesterday I took another trip to the orthodontist. It wasn't bad; not at all like the last time.

It was more like a well visit than an actual doctor's appointment. They cleaned up my teeth a little bit and then did some x-rays to see how my jaw is healing. It's right on schedule and we're taking out the stabilization wire in three weeks.

But that's not why I'm writing. I writing because when the doctor came over to look at my teeth and x-rays one of the first things he asked me was, "Feeling like things are getting back to normal?" My response was that while I was not back to normal, I was indeed feeling better.

That's what I verbalized. Internally though I had about one thousand other things going on. Something about the orthodontist's office brings all those negative feelings to the surface for me. Maybe it's because that is my least favorite office to visit. Not because I don't like the staff or the doctor, but because my teeth and my mouth are going to take the longest to heal and I'm very resentful that my perfect teeth are no longer perfect. I know they will be again some day, but at least one, if not two of them, will not be my original teeth and who knows what I'm going to have to endure before I get back to "perfect".

So the flood gates opened and I thought of all the ways things are definitely not normal.

Normal would mean that I didn't have to see the orthodontist or the plethora of other doctors I see on a regular basis. I would have my regular dentist visits and my yearly physical and that would be all.

Normal would mean that my right leg muscles wouldn't have atrophied to the point of looking like it belonged on a ninety year old. My ankle wouldn't hurt or be bruised and predominantly immobile. I would still be running. I would have run in a 5k this past weekend and then stayed at the park to play with my niece and nephew at their joint birthday party. As it was I skipped the 5k and sat on a bench at the park after my niece asked me to come play and I had to tell her I couldn't.

Normal would mean being able to clean my house and do my laundry. Cooking a meal would be a treat; hell, eating a meal would be a treat regardless of who cooked it. I could make beautiful baked goods to give to my friends and family and to eat myself. I could take care of my bunnies and they wouldn't feel neglected or forgotten. Their little world would not be turned upside down and "Mommy" would still get down on the ground and play with them.

Normal would mean that I could plan small day trips for myself and I would hop in my Jeep and we would take off together. I'd crank up the radio and roll down the windows and let my car flex it's big six cylinder muscles. The roar of the engine would make me feel invigorated on these beautiful spring days that I've been watching pass from my couch. I can't take my Jeep for a drive and even once I'm well I still won't be able to.

I don't even know what normal is now. One day, when I look and feel like me again, there will be a new normal. I'll eventually be able to go back to doing a lot of things I haven't been. I realize that and it's a day I look forward to, but "normal" will never really be again.

Because the accident happened. I can't erase it or forget it. Andy and I will find a new routine; one I'm sure I'll settle into and love. New things will take the place of old things, at least physically. I'll be whole again.

For now though, I can't help but lament what was lost. While I didn't lose anything in the traditional sense, I'm still going through a grief process. If nothing else I'm grieving for what could have been. What should have been but isn't.

1 comment:

  1. First of all (((hugs)))

    Second of all, even though its not what most would call "traditional" or some would not recognize it at all, but you did experience a loss and the best thing you have done for yourself is to recognize that. You have lost everything that you previously considered "normal" and that is a major adjustment! And I can completely sympathize with wondering what "normal" looks like after such a life-changing event. I have come to realize that for my present normal is a whole lot different that what it was five years ago or even one year ago. That is one reason why I named my blog the way that I did. Having no sense of normal is a strange and sometimes uncomfortable place to be as you often find yourself in unknown territory.

    I didn't mean to write so much but I hope that as each day passes you begin to feel more like yourself and gain a grasp on the "new normal" that lies ahead! You are definitely in my thoughts and if you ever need anything you know where to find me! (((hugs)))