My left foot was broken during THAT fateful day. There are many things I do remember all too vividly. Then some things lurk just outside my consciousness which I am aware of but do not have the courage to look at directly (yet). And other things I don’t remember at all. Just big gaps of time I can’t account for. I didn’t remember what exactly happened that broke the foot and I have no memory of ever seeing a doctor, yet I did have a cast on it for many weeks - until I couldn’t stand it as a reminder and cut it off myself. (In hindsight, that might not have been a such a good idea)
Because of the break the foot is already a size bigger than my right foot, causing me to buy two pairs of every shoe. This used to be a major trigger for me, but I worked through that.
Then last year I apparently began to develop arthritis in the toe that was broken. Some heavy duty anti-inflammatories seemed to keep that under control.
But now the top of it swells up. I can barely walk on it when I first get up in the morning, and going down stairs has become downright painful. So I got a referral from my primary care doctor to see a foot specialist.
He took a bunch of xrays and then met me in an exam room.
Dr: How did you break your foot?
Me: I don’t remember.
Dr: It was broken in three places. You don’t remember that?
Me: No. (But I was feeling the anxiety rise)
Dr: (pointing to the xray) This top bone was crushed. . .
And I didn’t hear anything else. Just the rapid fire flashing of memories . . . struggling . . . and then the searing pain of someone standing over me, smashing his heel into my foot to hold me down.
I don’t know how much time passed but I was gradually aware of the doctor holding my hand, sweat pouring out of me.
Dr: are you being abused at home?
Me: No. No, it was an isolated traumatic event. I just can’t talk about it.
Dr: well then let’s see what we can do about relieving the pain.
And he very gently showed me some exercises and stretches to do restore some flexibility. Some ice for the swelling and meds for the arthritis which is now filling in every fracture . And then probably some orthodics to shift the pressure off the weak areas.
I don’t know if it was this doctor’s very, very kind demeanor or I’m experiencing the benefits of therapy, but I left the office feeling okay. A little shaky, but definitely okay. Where a flashback that strong would once have sent to my bed whimpering, I actually went back to work for awhile. The fact that I can even write about it so shortly afterward is a major step for me. I am seeing and feeling the progress. And I know I am getting stronger.
Although the irony has not escaped me that as I am finally getting a grip on the emotional consequences, the physical impacts are now coming back to bite me.