Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three's A Charm, I Hope

Recently, I got through a third operation to fix my crazy right toe. My doctor has been great. This has, unfortunately, been one of those things. Nobody did anything wrong, and I have been good about recovery and keeping off it as it was healing. A lot of the issues I'm having are structural and genetic, things beyond anyone's control. I am so fortunate that my doctor is compassionate and understands my desire to run again, and it doesn't hurt that he is wise, even more so than most in his field. At this point, though, I will be happy to even walk without so much pain. It has been a long road, and I'm not even close to jogging at this point. The way my second toe is, it looks like I'm giving the world the finger with my lower digit. It's not functioning yet, so I'm being all Beatrix Kiddo about it, imagining it moving until it eventually does.

What I've realized is that I will never get back to real training. I have too many imbalances and issues with my feet and hips. I do believe I will jog again, though. That's my goal for now. It will take a while before I can even do that, but I think I will get there.

What I also realized is that I've sort of let everything slide. I'm not in great shape. I'm not doing much writing, and I'm isolating a bit. My job is going well, and I had a really high point last month with it. Mostly, though, I'm treading water, trying to keep my head from dipping below the surface.

It's only June, but I declare this year one of the hardest I have faced to date. Another April turned into a nightmare of a month, and I'm still stumbling around in a fog. I'm not alone; I know. Times are weird. People are hurt and angry, and there's a general unease in the world lately. There's a lot of hate floating around on both a small and large scale.

In my own world, I have had to let go, say goodbye and grieve too much in a short time. It's rarely easy to have to face big changes in life. I'm exceptionally bad at it. In an effort to make it a little bit easier, I have turned to giving back. It's one thing I know will help me get through these difficult times, especially as I watch people unravel around me, from those who drive like assholes and scream at everyone to those who are fighting their own demons to those who are projecting their rage onto others.

Recently, I became one of the moderators in an online eating disorder forum. There are a few of us for one group that was started by two individuals. The other way I'm giving back is by volunteering at the Humane Society. I worked in the administration office before. This time I'm in the vet clinic, and despite it being rather intense, it's also very rewarding. I'm in recovery, meaning I get to care for the animals as they come out of surgery, but I was lucky that someone offered to also train me on surgical packs. In the surgical packs position, we clean the instruments to be used during surgeries, and pack them into bundles specific to the various operations.

The great thing about the Humane Society is that as a volunteer, you pay a single, one-time, lifetime fee, and you can volunteer in almost any position and even in multiple positions, only you can't be both a dog and a cat handler. That's the only restriction. Other than that, you can volunteer in pretty much any two (or more) departments if you like, though most people (including me) think one is more than enough. There is a LOT of training before you can actually step into the role of a volunteer, but it goes by quickly. Once you have your primary training completed, you do a hands-on training session, and then you are pretty much set to be on your own. The two-hour shifts are every week or sometimes every other week, depending on your situation.

With my head swirling with thoughts, I'm entering a new and different phase of my life. I have no idea where I'm really going or how things will look once I get there. I just know things will be different. In the meantime, it feels really good to be able to help in any small way I can, even if it's just cleaning out the cage for an emergency case in the vet clinic, like I did yesterday when a poor dog swallowed two pounds of chocolate. The little guy was stable when I left, so I'm hoping all will be well with him.

"Things are gonna change, I can feel it."  -- Beck