The Uncertainty Principle

I’m excited. Big day for me – a key appointment with my surgeon, and, as six weeks have passed since my last surgery, two months since my accident, we should finally see bone growth, hopefully some notable healing, and remove the cast in favor of a boot. The view of the RMNP skyline, on the ride down from Estes this morning, made my heart dance. I miss it. It’ll still be awhile until I can learn to walk again, but my leg feels good, and I’ve tried to avoid thinking about the “what ifs.” What if it doesn’t heal right? What if we don’t see bone growth on the Xrays today? What if something goes wrong? There’s no guarantee that the bones will grow back together after being so pulverized.

My cousin asked me how I handle the uncertainty of it all. Truth is, I don’t know. It’s weird in a way – alpinism has everything to do with the unknown, and embracing uncertainty. There, I love it. I guess I’m used to it. But, come to think of it, the uncertainty of it used to terrify me. As it does now in other realms. It’s still a challenge. Life is a challenge – at least to live it in the way that feels right.

With my leg, some variables remain that are simply beyond my control. In life, other variables exist that are worse, and I can get crazy carried away sometimes, to where I feel like there’s a hornet’s nest inside my head. Some things can still reduce me to a crumpled mess. But with my leg, I’ve done great. Last summer gave me perspective. Sometimes I call upon the strength that gets me through difficult climbs, but that also sits right alongside my weaknesses, and transfer it into forcing the runway train to stop, to put up a barrier around my inner self that blocks the hornet’s nest. Breathe…Stop, focus on the moment, everything is OK right now.

Sometimes it works.

Climbing is easy.

Climbing is good. With my leg, maybe the truth is that I just can’t go there, into thinking that my active life could change so drastically. When I let my mind drift close to that edge it scares me too much, because while part of me knows I could probably adapt and live a meaningful life, as so many others have proven possible, part of me doesn’t know if I could. It’s an unknown that I don’t want to embrace. But I don’t need to, because right now, in this moment, everything is OK. And very soon, I’ll know whether or not that’s really true.

OK, I’m off to see the doc.

10 thoughts on “The Uncertainty Principle

  1. Thanks for the emails of such kind words of encouragement. Reading this blog post helps me realize I am not alone in my fears and gives me feelings of courage in the face of the unknown. I hope your visit is positive and your on the road back to conquering the major objectives in the world again.

  2. You know Kelly, in one way I am bummed you have not posted whats up with the ankle, but in another, probably more important way I think I am happy that you didn’t think “Oh I should update my blog about this.”

  3. thanks much, everyone! ha, john — yeah, suppose it’s ok that i didn’t immediately update it. got to admit, though, i did promptly update on facebook. ahhhh, the slow road to hell.

    but anyway, things went great yesterday. haven’t been this psyched in a long time, awesome. saw good bone growth on the xrays, the cast is off (have a stormtrooper boot, but don’t have to wear it all the time), can put a tiny bit of weight on it, allowed to start moving the ankle joint (as much as possible — stiff and swollen), and I start PT next week, yeah!!!!

    the timeline looks better than i’d first been told (which is better than the other way around). will probably be walking with a cane by the end of the month, and i can now even do a little one-legged overhanging top-roping in the gym. if things continue at this expected pace, by late may i’ll be cleared to do whatever my leg allows me to do. it’ll still be a long road until that’s all 100%, but i’m psyched.

  4. Fuckin’ awesome. From vaporizing the joint to walking in what three months?? The Margarita must be an essential ingredient to recovery. Glad to hear things are looking up.

    • Thx a bunch. Yeah, guess so, Feb 1 vaporization, end of Apr/early May, walking. Pretty sweet. Yes, I highly recommend the Margarita Recovery Method…hey, that sounds like a good book idea.

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