Do you remember being grounded? You pressed your nose against the window and watched your neighborhood friends play. Time slowed. I’ve been out for seven months. My clock is full of spider webs and the windows need washing.
Looking back, much of it’s a blur. I can’t believe it’s November! I’m so far out of the loop, I’m orbiting another galaxy. Much of my social life revolves around tennis. Being sidelined since April has been isolating. Instead of organizing social events, I’ve focused on my health and writing since my double mastectomy in May. I’ve heard from a few people, but most have been sucked into the vortex of their own fast-paced lives. Mine has rolled along at the speed of a snail.
I’ve counted the weeks. At eight after my last reconstructive surgery, my doctor released me to running and biking. My first ride lasted ten minutes. I came in the door soaking wet and out of breath. A few days later, I ran (alternating between shuffling and walking), with Roxy. She walked alongside me with 4 inch legs! Yep. I started out slow.
When I hit ten weeks, I got antsy. Breckenridge Ski Resort opened November 7th. I’ve always asked about tennis. With all the upper body movement, I knew it would be a while, but what about skiing? I made a phone call. My surgeon wasn’t in that Friday, but my question was relayed to a nurse. I waited on hold. Then the receptionist said, “Absolutely……….(what seemed like minutes)……….not.” I was still grounded. Dang it! We stayed home.
At eleven weeks last Wednesday, I had an appointment with my surgeon. We chatted for a few minutes. I asked about skiing and held my breath.
“No restrictions,” he said.
“What? I don’t have any restrictions?”
“None. Your restrictions have been lifted, but you can’t fall.”
My heart leapt! “Really? I can do anything?” I asked in a high-pitched squeaky voice like a little kid in disbelief that she’s been released to play outside again.
“You’ve been released to do anything, but fall.”
**note to self** I’ll stick to blue runs.
“How long until I completely heal?”
“That’ll take a year.” He looked at my bionic boobs. “I know you’re done with surgery, but a year from now, please get the fat transfer.”
“Maybe.” My boobs stick out like a cartoon character’s, but he’s right. I am done.
While floating out of the examining room, I remembered. “What about tennis?”
“No restrictions. Swing away!” He swung an imaginary tennis racket.
The nurse gave me a hug since I won’t see them again until after the holidays. I danced out to the car. I couldn’t believe it. For seven long months I’ve been grounded. Now I can do anything. Freedom! Woohoo!
I felt like doing this!
I passed along the good news to my family on the way home and then jumped on my bike. I rode a few miles and came up a hill on the way back. This time, I didn’t experience the same huffing or puffing. I stretched and scheduled a thirty minute court time.
Last Friday, I drove to my tennis club. There had been some damage due to the floods and the weight room is under renovation. I stepped onto the courts. They had been painted bright purple and green like the ones at the US Open. I played mini tennis from the service line with the pro. The first three balls went into the net. At first it felt strange since I’d been away for so long. Then muscle memory kicked in and my shoulders relaxed. I waved to friends on an adjacent court. It felt good to be back in Earth’s orbit.
I’ve been released into the wild! Now I can start on those windows…
Have you ever been grounded?