Spending five days immobilized on my back has been humbling. I was reaching for a small piece of cloth to throw into my bag on Wednesday morning when I froze with a piercing pain down my left leg. For the last four days, Robin has had to change my clothes, change the sheets, make food, feed our pets, help me go to the bathroom, do the laundry, put ice under my back, give me traction, rub stuff on my back, cover me with a blanket, while preparing for the premiere of her video installation, ten years in the making. She left this morning for Vermont, where I was supposed to join her on Thursday. Now Robin is gone and I will miss seeing the installation. As a relatively new transplant in town, I feel grateful that new friends and acquaintances have offered to come over to feed our pets, warm up food, and drive me to physical therapy. It also feels a little awkward to accept.
In the middle of the night, I made a vow to go rub the legs of the bed-ridden when I'm mobile again. It really makes a difference to feel loved and safe when you're healing any kind of injury. Pain sucks and I am a brat about any change in schedule. I am reminded that this is some people's reality every day. In other words, I get to resume my life in a week or so, with some restrictions.
I was a dance major in college and by extension, I have felt (irrationally) that it's my right to move freely because I love to move, and because I already experience pedestrian movement and exercise as a consolation prize, after dancing for years. I encounter any injury as a violation of my rights.
In crass terms, an important vow in any relationship should be: I will wipe your ass when you need me to.