I was told on Friday I may be able to drive at the end of next week, I am so looking forward to that, it is over a month now since I had the operation on my leg and graft and I have spent most of that time with my leg elevated. Luckily I always have many meals frozen in advance in my freezer and friends have been kind and brought me fruit ( I can't eat chocolates...lol) so I haven't starved. The major frustration for me is that Spring is here and I can't get out into the garden to do all that I have to do. I have someone come in to do the heavy housework and my daughter did some shopping for me while I sat in the shopping centre and drank coffee but no-one has even thought of the work that needs to be done in the garden. Looks like there will not be herbs or lettuce or any of my usual produce through the summer months now.
Friends have been kind, I have had flowers given to me and cards and encouraging emails. One friend brought me a box of DVDs including all of the Downton Abbey series so I have been binge watching that. It makes a change from reading and crocheting both of which I have used to keep my mind off myself and my troubles. I do miss my regular activities but without being able to drive the car and without the ability to get around it is hard to do much. I wanted to visit the cemetery as it was the fifth anniversary of Ray's death last Tuesday but I will do that when I am driving again. His name was mentioned in church today when anniversaries were read out. I wanted to be there for that and managed to get through it okay. At this stage there is still a wave of grief but it is not the tsunami of previous years. I think five years out I am much calmer and accepting of what has happened.
In a way I still mourn what might have been. I know that means my acceptance is not complete but at my age forced change and loss are one and the same. I have changed a lot of things but still look at photos of Ray and I together and think "if only.." My daughter didn't go till after lunch on Tuesday, the day of the fifth anniversary as she wanted me to have company at least part of the day. Life with my feet up has been a bore but with the donor site now declared okay It seems there is only one leg to go. Shirley has stayed in close touch through this week as has Trev who keeps telling me he wants me to go to Broken Hill soon so he can look after me. But the summer temps there this week established a new September record and resulted in dust storms and that does not appeal to me right now.
Some of my friends from Ray's old Stroke Recovery group have been in touch more frequently than usual. A lot of acquaintances have expressed concern but I have no real worries about my situation, I figure I have reached 70 and have lived a great life with few regrets so this is just another happening along the way. It just takes patience to get through it. Earlier in my widowhood I would not have been as optimistic but I have learned that life goes on regardless of circumstances and somehow we get through the bad times and come out the other side. Yes, I have suffered from more loneliness that usual but it is bearable now, loneliness is one of the factors of everyday life for me now. I wish it were otherwise.
I did have a trip to hospital last Monday, Shirley took me there because one of the community nurses was worried about some heat and redness on the graft site. Finally after three hours I saw a surgical student who said the wound was okay. The graft has some cell death on one edge but is okay. The community nurse who was here on Friday said it was much better than Monday which is good as was the news that in another week I can drive. Like many other times the trip to hospital was a learning experience and a reminder that there are a lot of people much worse off that myself. It s so easy to feel sorry by myself when I am alone but I know it is not good to wallow in a "poor me" session every time something goes wrong.
I was glad I did get to church today, the first time in four weeks and it was good to catch up with some of my friends there. They seem to be getting on without me so no-one is indispensable. I really miss the company more than anything, though I have had a couple of visitors in the past week from among the church members. It is never the ones you expect is it? I don't know whether I will be glad to get back to all I usually do or not. Maybe I will start back slowly as my leg will still be painful for a while yet. At least this has given me an idea of what it is like to be disabled and a far greater appreciation of my life as it usually is. I do have a lot to be grateful for.