I have injured my knee. It has been two long months now and it is still bugging me, still restricting my movement and cramping my style. Two doctors have said it is a torn meniscus. That means that I’ve torn the cartilage that cushions the bones as the joint moves. This also means that my exercise programs with words in the titles like, say, Extreme, Insane and Asylum are o.u.t. Bummer.
I now carefully measure my steps, maximize trips up and down stairs, ask my son for help getting things that are a few feet away so I don’t have to get up. I’ve packed away my cute boots with the heels for the silly ones that were supposed to be for the yard.
I’ve been on a waiting list to get on the waiting list for a specialist appointment to get on a waiting list for surgery. At least that’s how I think it works. Just this week, there was finally a cancellation and I actually have an appointment. All I know is that the word waiting keeps popping up.
Ah, yes, waiting. My life’s theme. You’d think I’d be good at it by now. I should know how empty hands make the holding sweeter.
No matter how much I wrestle with waiting, it seems to catch me off guard, having the upper hand, the swifter moves. It evades my attempts to understand it, to master it, to simply sit still.
I try it all. “You aren’t fair, Waiting. I didn’t ask for you. Go away.”
“Now look here, Waiting. I’m in charge. Here’s my plan and it doesn’t include you. Now go!”
Ask me how well this has worked for me.
The answer: it hasn’t.
The irony of my impatience with the process of learning patience is not lost on me.
With this injury, I walk differently, limping, tentative. I sleep differently, waking often when I stretch my leg too far or bend it too much. My muscles are atrophying, my resistance has gone down. I have redefined exertion, rest. I’ve had to reframe everything from my exercise plans to my wardrobe.
And isn’t that the way it is when we wait? We have to reframe all things. Our expectations, our capacities, our priorities.
I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t want to simply escape the dreaded wait and appease my impatience. I want to wrestle, not as someone struggling against struggle; I want to fight until my character changes, to grab ahold of the hardship and demand that it change me, rename me, then walk away. Limping but new.
Exciting update: I called the office this week just as a cancellation came in and got an appointment for the same week. When I saw the surgeon, he told me he could fit me in the next week for surgery since one patient wouldn’t need the full time allotted to them. Yay God! Next week it is!