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Part V - Some Life Lessons

Some Life Lessons

Action vs. Consequences

It's alarming that an innocuous action such as putting your foot down on, what turned out to be, a non-existent step, can be one of those before and after points in life. Although I expect to recover as fully as possible, nothing will ever be the same for me again.

Not only did I disrupt my own life, but also the life of my wife, my co-workers, and everyone that I am associated with socially an professionally. The ratio of consequence to action is extremely high -- very small action with huge consequences.

Life Goes On

I'm almost like a ghost, dwelling in the world I previously inhabited. 

I found replacements for gigs... and the gigs went on a scheduled. Different, to be sure, but the Earth continued to rotate.

My racquetball playing friends are still running and sweating. I'm sure they don't really miss my presence in any material way.

Everyone can be replaced -- and this is actually a relief in many ways. At this age, it's sometimes nice to know that life will go on.

Betrayed by my Body

That knee always worked on steps before. And, I never developed blood clots in my lungs. I have felt my age for several years now -- minor aches and pains, night vision not so great, trouble remembering names. If you don't think this will happen to you, think again.

Still, I had the vague feeling of invincibility that most of us feel throughout our lives. Just because everyone else has things like cancer, strokes, heart attacks, Alzheimers, etc., it doesn't mean that I will! But I can't feel that way any more -- particularly after the blood clot episode.

I can bravely say that I'm not afraid of death -- I already feels detached from modern culture, I hate the political climate in our country and the world, and I feel satisfied with what I've done with my life, and how I've resolved my existential questions.

I do, however, have a dread of becoming a burden on those close to me; and this experience has given me a taste of what this would be like.

Loss of Independence

I can't walk unaided... I can't drive... I can't come and go at will. Thank gawd for Amazon -- I've had items as insignificant as a light bulb shipped to me, as brick and mortar merchants are inaccessible to me.

It's like being a seventeen year old, driving for a year, who has been grounded. The pain of the injury, surgery, and post op, is minor compared to the loss of independence. I know its getting better and I know I'll regain my independence, but it's painfully slow in coming. Each day is long, right now... I know as I look back on it, it will seem like a short episode.

Constantly Moving Goal

Recuperating from this injury is hard for a goal oriented person. Imagine playing a football like game where the goal line was constantly moving. I can make estimates about my progress and what to expect -- but these estimates are elastic. Where you thought you might be in four weeks, turns out to be where you ARE at eight weeks. It's hard to plan ahead -- I've just decided to make only short range plans for the next six months. And by short range, I mean what I'm going to do RIGHT NOW -- not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next month.

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