September 6, 2013
Two Feet Flat on the Floor
UCP is honored to have Sacramento resident Alan Flynn guest blogging in August, September and October. Alan has cerebral palsy and grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, the middle child in a family of five boys. He has two adult daughters and a new grandson. Through his writing, he hopes to challenge himself and others to reach new goals in every aspect of our lives and gain self-understanding and enthusiasm for the opportunities waiting for us. This is his second blog post.
When I was 4 years old, my mom and dad explained that I would be having an operation to fix my leg. In my mind’s eye, I pictured being able to stand with both heels flat on the floor – that brought a smile to my face. I thought wistfully of being able to keep up with my friends at play. Should I dare to imagine it?
From my 4-year-old frame of reference, being confined in the hospital was a succession of strange and unsettling experiences made worse because I never knew what was coming next.
I remember intimidating hospital people whisking me without explanation away from my parents. Big double doors opened, then closed, and I was alone with these frightening folks.
Strong hands silently and sternly vise-gripped my legs and shoulders to a table. The light was so bright – and no one talked to me! A mask was roughly clamped over my nose and mouth. Then everything was black.
I woke up with a cast on my leg. It was hot, it was itchy, and I wanted to go home!
Once at home, my father marked on the kitchen calendar the big day when my cast could come off. Then he made an evening ritual of crossing out each day on the calendar, and we waited together.
At last there were no more squares to cross out. The sound of the cast saw was scary, and removing the stitches was uncomfortable, but mom and dad were there.
The great new feeling of both feet flat on the floor – stable and strong – was well worth the fear and discomfort of the hospital. Keeping up with my friends at play, however, would continue to be an elusive goal.