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Friday, August 31, 2012

Things That Break

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.
– e.e. cummings
A few weeks ago I began writing a blog post to detail the recent developments and setbacks regarding my legs. This summer I started seeing a new physical therapist — my ninth in eight years. I needed to write about it, both to update my friends and to make sense of it myself. I've sat down to work on that post nearly a dozen times since then, but I end each typing session without hitting publish. I just save draft and close my computer because none of what I write about it makes any sense.

I pasted the draft into a Word document earlier this week in hopes that I'd be able to compose better in another program. It was nine pages. Single-spaced.

And then last night I remembered those lines from an e.e. cummings poem. I think he said in 30 words what I hadn't managed to say in nine pages: I am tired of things that break.

My legs had been doing so much better. I had started running again. But I was hitting snags — new minor injuries — along the way. So I started PT again. It brought back too many memories and emotions from the hours and weeks and months and years that I'd spent in and out of physical therapy and doctors' offices before. And it made me realize that I'm not as far along as I thought I was. I am so prone to injury. I have typical flexibility and strength problems, but they're coupled with tricky biomechanical issues, some of which I must have been born with and some of which I assume resulted  from the years that I spent moving incorrectly to compensate for pain.

It's so disheartening to be in pain again. My brain may know that it's different pain, that it has already been diagnosed, that it can't possibly last as long as my old problems. But my heart doesn't. I'm so scared and discouraged and frustrated.

I still remember a conversation I had with my friends early in college. We were talking about our fears. And I said, "I'm scared my legs won't get better — or that they'll get better and then I'll get hurt again." 

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. . . . Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 
– 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18


  1. Oh sweet Kate. I can feel the sting of disappointment and fear through your words - I'm so sorry you're in the midst of it.

  2. i'm so sorry, Kate. I will be praying for healing & recovery!

  3. Booooo, leg pain!

    Okay listen, I have a plan. The leg pain is gaining our trust. I'd venture to say it made a serious blunder when it subsided after all the chiropractor visits. It thinks it can let its guard down. It has no idea you've already moved on to PT. Now's our time to strike. I'll invite the leg pain over for a cookout or something and you can just HAPPEN to show up, and it will think, "Oh, this Kate character is kind of nice in person," and not be so cautious. And then I'll ask you if you can go get me the grill tongs (that will be the signal), and then I'll say, "Oh hey, leg pain, could you help me go in the garage and get some more gas?" And I'll make sure he's walking in front of me, and then when we get to the garage door I'll open it and shove him in first and you can crack him on the head with a baseball bat.

  4. I'm so sorry, Kate! I didn't know you were hurting again. I was so happy you were able to run. It hurts my heart too that you are discouraged and hurting ;(

    I wish I could give you BIG hug right now!


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