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A woman's legs with matching shoes on her feet stands on a yellow brick road with rain clouds behind her

It’s the Little Things in Life

On January 26th, I had 2 surgical procedures on my foot. My podiatrist did everything possible to prepare me for post-procedure rehabilitation. He repeatedly stressed that I would be non-weight bearing for a period of weeks.

The same podiatrist operated on a friend of mine a few weeks before my surgery. She was in a walker boot and was back on her feet in less than a week. It appeared she healed well with her procedure. In spite of what my doctor told me, I expected my recovery to be similar to hers.

Recovering from surgery

My recovery did not follow the plans I had in mind. Sure enough just as my podiatrist warned me, I was non-weight bearing for a full 5 1/2 weeks. During the recovery, it was impossible to take a normal shower. Trying to keep my bandaged foot dry and sit on a shower bench made taking a shower an ordeal.

Walking in a walker boot made me very unsteady. As I was required to walk only on the heel and with my foot turned outward, I was quite unsteady. A cane was needed to maintain my balance.

Finding joy in the little things

After surgery I discovered the joy in the little things in life. The ability to wear matching shoes to church pleased me immensely. Walking without a cane was nice too.

I was able to resume daytime driving. No longer was I tied to the house. Standing up to shower gave me the most joy. I had not felt truly clean for weeks!

Finding joy in spite of age-related macular degeneration

When it comes to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), my goal is finding joy in spite of the limitations caused by AMD. I choose joy rather than happiness. I find happiness to be fleeting.

Ice cream makes me happy in the moment but isn’t lasting. Joy for me is a deeper emotion I choose to have. It is internal; not dependent upon my circumstances.

Enjoying nature

Being outdoors in the beautiful mountains of Southeast Oklahoma, causes joy to well up deep within. I could be unhappy that I can no longer see clearly. 

Instead, I revel in the beauty that surrounds me. My favorite form of art is Impressionism. As an artist captures the beauty of outdoors with soft lines and vivid color, I can still enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.

Reading

I come from a family that loves reading. My taste in books has changed over the years but my love of reading continues. Even large print books are too hard to read. I have not allowed my limitation to hinder my joy in reading. I read digital books so that I can enlarge the text and change the background color.

Helping others

Through the years, I have driven friends to distant appointments or offered my nursing skills to those terminally ill. Having AMD changed all that. I drive in the daytime in familiar areas but city traffic is not safe for me to drive in.

Even so, I find deep joy from doing those things I can do; making food for a friend with cancer or bringing a jar of jalapeño strawberry jelly to another friend.

Conclusion

I am not happy I have AMD! Rather, I choose the deeper emotion of joy found in the little things of my life.

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