This morning as I was administering a fairly rowdy session of word games, I realized that I was standing in front of a student’s desk without a cane. Where was it? How had I gotten over here?
It’s uncommon for me to lose track of my cane. Despite a year and a half of physical therapy, I simply cannot do without it. When I started physical therapy I was sure that it would simply be a matter of time. After a while in physical therapy it became clear to me that my center of balance was different. I didn’t look different, but everything had shifted slightly.
I can’t really put full weight on my left leg. I would have to brace myself against a table to do that. I don’t know if it was always that way. Until I had lost function, it didn’t occur to me to have a baseline. My left hip occasionally pops in and out when I walk up significant hills. Again, I don’t know whether it was always that way.
This bothers me, the not knowing. There’s nothing I can do to fix or change it and it rankles. Shouldn’t I know my own body, my own limits? I know it now but it isn’t the same as knowing what the shift was. Where was the change?
Time was when I would have seen the ability to accidentally misplace my cane as a proof that I need it less. Twelve years after the surgery, it’s just an annoyance. I know I will need it, why can’t I keep track of it? I don’t know if this is the same as acceptance of my disability, but today that’s what it felt like. A sure knowledge that leaving my cane at another student’s desk wasn’t a sign that everything was changing and I’d walk normally again, but just that I was distracted.