There are times in my life when I look upon a situation that I am facing and realize that I am free. I felt that way a couple of weeks ago. I had surgery for plantar fasciitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome. Prior to the surgery, I wasn’t free to be me because walking any place was painful. Since Ginger, my Irish Setter, was a puppy, we circumnavigate the lake on which we live. We would get up early in the morning and take our hour-long walk together. Once the pain started, it stopped our daily walks.
After various tests like an MRI and EMG, surgery was the only option. Interestingly, while the surgery was successful, the operation exacerbated the pain, and I spent a couple of weeks using a walker.
Finally, I went back to Dr. El-Samad a month after the surgery to remove the brace, bandages, and stitches.
Finally, I was free to be me. Well, I still had a dozen and a half stitches that had to be removed.
Dr. El-Samad looked at the incision as his assistant started removing the stitches.
I’m now slowly returning to normal. The only item that needs to be addressed is the post-opt swelling around my ankle. I see a physical therapist three times per week for three weeks.
So, this essay is about my being free to be me. Granted, I’ll never be completely free to be me. I won’t ever run cross-country as I did in high school or college, nor will I bike across Iowa again. Nevertheless, what did I learn about wanting to be free to be me? Laozi, the father of Taoism, said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
I learned to take a single step and then to continue to walk. There will be setbacks and often delays, but without movement, I won’t get anywhere in life.