Healing takes patience

Two years ago I broke my leg. To be specific, I suffered a tibial shaft fracture in my right leg, which was caused by the fender of a car. Since that time I have concluded that the people in the theater who say, “break a leg,” either don’t fully realize what they are saying or they’re all a bunch of sadists (I hope and suspect it’s the former). I would never wish a broken leg on anyone, not even as a colloquialism. It hurts, badly.

After I broke my leg, I spent a month and a half in casts and another month in a boot. I spent several weeks in physical therapy. Finally, almost a full year after my leg broke, I was able to run again. During the healing process, I observed something that seemed strange to me at first. When we heal, we seem to spend as much time recovering from the healing process as we do actually healing. This seems to be true with problems as trivial as skinned knees and as serious as cancer.

In my case, the casts and boot I wore prevented my ankle from bending (the first two casts also prevented my knee from bending). When I was finally in a boot, my muscles had atrophied and bending my knee and ankle was very painful. When I went to physical therapy, all of the exercises were to strengthen my knee and ankle; none of them were meant to strengthen the part of the leg that had actually broken. Another side effect of wearing a cast for so long was a terrible rash on the back of my leg. Eventually, all of these things, along with my tibia, healed. I find it interesting that in order to heal my tibia, I had to mess up my knee and ankle.

When you skin your knee, you have to wear a bandaid, and the bandaid itself can cause further injury especially when you pull it off. The effects of radiation, chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments can help you beat cancer, but they take a great toll. I don’t have any conclusion or life-lesson, just an observation. Healing is a painful process that often leads to further injuries before it is complete. It is my opinion that the result is worth the pain.