In our last episode, we left the Woman-Who-Does-Too-Much in a precarious predicament. After a routine hike through the woods her non-bionic knee swelled up like a grapefruit. In an effort to continue doing too much, she wrapped it, iced it, and carried on. To no avail. Eventually she gave in and went to a medical office where doctors pronounced grim news; she would need to undergo surgery to add another bionic knee. It would give her a matching set, they said. She would be able to walk pain free, they said. So, she fearfully agreed to undergo the procedure in June.
In the meantime, in an effort to reduce her pain, they gave her all manner of shots, and the excruciating pain only got worse. She resorted to crutches and was inches from being relegated to a wheelchair, which would prevent her from walking at her daughter’s wedding in May. We left her in tears, wondering what was going to become of her. Would she be able to walk? Would she have to be carried? How would she continue to be the Woman-Who-Does-Too-Much?
In a surprising turn of events, the Woman-Who-Does-Too-Much decided to rest. She was desperate…and desperate times call for desperate measures. In her case, it meant saying no to many activities. It meant using crutches and getting a handicap tag for her car. It meant no more hiking or walking other than what was necessary. It meant staying home, elevating and icing her leg. It meant napping. It meant reading good books. It meant writing and sitting on her porch listening to the birds. It meant letting other people help and not caring about many things she usually cared about. It meant going to the grocery store and using a motorized cart. It meant knowing she could not do all the things she used to do.
Low and behold, her leg got better. She began to be able to function again. Her pain lessened. Then the doctor’s added a strong anti-inflammatory medication and she took it like she was supposed to. (Except for one week when she forgot and the searing pain returned.) She found with rest and medicine, she could walk on her own. No crutches. No wheelchair. Hope sprouted in her heart that she might just be able to function at her daughter’s wedding. She learned to take every opportunity to rest. It was hard at first because the idea was so foreign to her, but over time she adapted and became better at staying put, saying no, and stopping any action that would put her ability to function in jeopardy.
Then she thought, “Maybe I should rest like this, not just when my mobility is threatened, but all the time.” It was a radical thought, which the Woman-Who-Does-Too-Much is still pondering as she sits quietly listening to the breeze in the trees.