I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to mark my six-week progress of my second hip-joint replacement. First there was the x-ray and then there was its viewing.
The surgeon and I chose a frontal view. The recently replaced hip joint includes an additional plate to heal a fracture at the top of the femur.
I was amazed at how large the plate is in relation to the small crack. Now I know why that area is sore from time to time. It is the plate. However, the soreness is nothing, not even on the list of my physical issues.
This second hip replacement recovery was not an easy one; it bore little to no resemblance to the first. There were so many pivotal moments. Constant chaos. And then I came across these lines from a Robert Bly poem, “Things to Think”:
Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.
Line by line, I felt myself filling up rather than emptying out. Small change, these lines of poetry–the “currency of my endurance.” Stuff continued to go wrong but I did not run short of small change.
On this Monday, as I stared at the frontal view of my mechanically fit hips, I knew only gratitude. “I have taught myself joy, over and over again. It’s not such a wide gulf to cross, then, from survival to poetry” (Barbara Kingsolver).