This week marks one year since my accident. February 6th, to be exact. Or so I am told. I don’t have too many memories of the week.
If you weren’t reading my blog at the time, I was hit by another car on the way to work. After three broken ribs, one broken knee, a lacerated live, a punctured lung, three fractures in my pelvic girdle and a Life Flight ride, I woke up two days later.
Oddly, the broken knee was the most lingering of all my injuries. Over the past year I have worked hard at trying to make it bend again. And last Thursday I had the last reminder of my accident removed: the plate that held my knee together while it healed.
Talking with my husband, it occurred to me that I had come back from the incident like an athlete. That is not something I would have called myself. Definitely not graceful, and not terribly good at team sports. But I knew what I had been able to do before the accident, and I was determined to be able to do it again. The shape I had been in definitely helped me as I tried to get better. I definitely had the focus of an athlete.
I learned at an early age that anything worth having doesn’t come easy. My parents were prime examples of this, they worked hard and they didn’t let pain or sickness get in their way. In my 20s I didn’t have much of their drive, but I have come into my own in the last 10 years. So after the accident I have worked really hard to regain my fitness.
My husband constantly accused me of pushing it too much. And of course I was. But how would I get better if I didn’t? It’s a fine line. Pushing enough to improve, but not enough to hurt oneself. It needed to hurt a little, just not too much.
Stairs in particular presented a challenge. My job at the hospital required a lot walking to the patient rooms, on all the floors. When I went back to work, I had to use the elevators. I was able to walk up stairs before I was able to walk back down them, since my knee didn’t bend and the muscle above it wasn’t strong enough to hold as I stepped down. Even after physical therapy, my knee seemed stuck at a 90 degree bend and tripping sent uncomfortable reverberations up my leg.
But I kept at it, and eventually (about a month ago) I could walk down the stairs fairly comfortably without holding onto the railing. Not that I just started using them, I have been two-stepping down the stairs since mid summer. Which leads me to my title.
I have become an elevator snob.
I know sometimes they are quicker (although it seems not to be while you are waiting for them), and in our hospital it is hard to take a direct route from the basement level to the third floor, however, as I trot up the stairs with metal in my leg and sheer determination to not fall on my face, I do have a tendency to look down on the people waiting for the elevator. Especially when I meet them coming out of the elevator on the first floor!