And We’re Back?

There are things that you pretty well know to be true but have never proven – so you don’t know know them – and they may be things you hope aren’t true and so you allow yourself to think that they may not be true even though, come on, it’s pretty obvious that they are.

One such almost-truth for me is that I would not be an inspiring terminal illness sufferer. You know the type: the person whose funeral is rife with accounts of never having uttered a word of complaint and cheerfully bearing all manner of pain and affliction and refusing to allow their physical travails to darken their internal light or induce them to wallow in self-pity and so on. Not this guy. I feel confident that the prevailing emotion at my funeral would be relief, and maybe a little embarrassment.

Now, I’ve never had a terminal illness, so I can’t be certain that this would be the case. But my experience with head colds and the flu is pretty damning. And now I’ve gone and broken my ankle and pretty well removed the last shred of hope I had that maybe I’d react to cancer with greater equanimity and grace than I do hay fever. (Note that I said, “pretty well.” It’s still not a done deal because, who knows, maybe cancer hurts less.)

To be honest with you, my ankle may not even be broken. There was some debate among the doctors. But I do tell everyone it’s broken, and I feel OK about that, because my doctor told me a dislocated ankle is far more serious than a broken one. The problem is people don’t know that – I certainly didn’t – and so telling them it’s dislocated doesn’t usually get me the reaction I’m after (20% horror, 30% pity, 50% admiration for my bravery and resilience).

I pride myself on being truthful, and so I would normally frown upon exaggerating an injury. But that’s the thing: I’m not exaggerating. A dislocation is WORSE than a break; it’s just that no one understands that, and so if I tell people the truth I’m actually misleading people into thinking I’m better off than I really am. And then what’s the point of having a broken ankle? (One thing to be said for this injury; there’s tangible evidence, in the form of a cast, that your hurt. That’s pretty important for someone with a tendency towards hypochondria and histrionics.)

I know that I tend to lose all perspective when I’m sick or injured, and I know how annoying a trait that is in other people, so I do my best to check it. But it’s a losing battle. Every time I post a mournful picture to Instagram, I swear it will be my last. Every time I launch into a soliloquy on the inconvenience of crutches, I promise myself next time I’ll just smile and say, “I’m making it work.” Easier said than done.

Instagram actually makes this much worse. It’s one thing to know that all of your friends are enjoying the splendors of May in Utah, but it’s another to scroll through photographic evidence of it. I’m “liking” these pictures, but my heart’s not in it. I’ve also gone from checking the weather hoping to see those five little suns to – and I’m not proud of this – kind of hoping it will rain.

I’m not normally like this. I promise.

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10 Responses to “And We’re Back?”

  1. Ben Pratt says:

    Holy crap?

    As offensive as I find the sick-men-are-babies meme, I sometimes think I see it in myself. But I have to wonder if the average man only whines when the injury or illness is non-life-threatening. I mean, come on, guys, you know that if you somehow lost a leg in the wilderness you’d stick the bloody stump into the nearest fire and John Rowe Moyle it 22 miles home on a freshly carved pegleg. Right?

  2. Allisen says:

    I hope you guys are really back because my husband and I loved it like we love out favorite TV shows. Also, I’m totally with you; I rarely suffer in silence because then how will people know how HARD it is??

  3. Jaron says:

    I was pretty sure that the return of Arrested Development was the May 2013 Comeback I was looking forward to the most, but now I am both surprised and torn…

  4. Ryan Bell says:

    Wait. It’s just dislocated? Seriously? Pop it back into place and get back in the game, pansy. Geez.

  5. Andrea Wright says:

    Well I think we found the silver lining in your injury! I hope you’re really back!

  6. Davis says:

    Man, nice to have commenters this soon. I thought we were looking at a 5-month campaign to win you all back.

  7. Marm says:

    And to think I was this close to removing DDDT from my reader list. Whew!

  8. jo says:

    I agree with Ange. Yay! You need to give an e-mail alert though, or how else will people know to check this blog after so long a sabbatical?

  9. elisabeth says:

    Best. News. Ever. I’m getting a little tired of going back and re-reading old posts.. Don’t break my heart again.

  10. Trudy Peck says:

    Which leads me to believe that maybe my vaginismus is really just my body’s way of protecting me from all of the potential STIs I could have contracted throughout the years during random, drunken encounters. Maybe it’s my body’s way of protecting my heart from getting broken by all these sex-craving jerks who I just can’t resist once I’ve had a few drinks in me. I have a hard time believing it’s the latter, seeing as my tender heart has been broken endless times by jerks who only wanted me for my looks and for nothing else. Like someone on my support group so nicely put it, “Go and find someone who sees you as a person, not sexual gratification.” Maybe that’s what my vagina is trying to tell me.

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