One of my favorite paintings is Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. His magnum opus, this brilliant painting depicts the view outside his sanitarium room window at night. Oddly, a woman stuck on her living room couch with her leg stuck in the air and her own window’s view of nights passing overhead has its own sanitarium moments.
I received a cast change today. They do fun things in the cast room. You can get your favorite team colors. (Rah! Rah!) Candy stripes. Holiday themes. Hot Pink. Bright purple. Somber dark or boring white or just about any rainbow color combination you’d want. The guys in the cast room (Brian and Brian – no I’m not making this up) are artists. I guess they figure if you’re going to sit around for weeks on end staring at an insult to your body, you might as well have fun with it. In my case, every two weeks I get to belly up to the cast bar and order up the concoction du jur … or just stick with the usual.
Today I told Brian (No, not that Brian … the OTHER Brian) to surprise me. He decided on deep blue. At first I thought it would be a sorrowful bottom-of-the-ocean color, but as he started to wrap my leg, Don McLean’s haunting song, Vincent, began to float through my head. Starry, starry night sang through my mind.
Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey.
Look out on a summer’s day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Hey, I said. Can I have silver sparkles?
Ooooo. My leg looks like Van Gogh got at it, laying down on his canvas a blue and silvery night just ripe for whirling stars over the village of Saint-Rémy. Poor, sad one-eared Vincent.
Those of us in the broken leg crowd exist in two-week segments. Every two weeks another evaluation. Every two weeks another new cast. I’m allowed to get up off the couch a little bit now. I’m still six weeks from touching foot to floor and gingerly shifting my weight onto what I’m sure will be a very frightened left leg. But every day is a day closer to mobility, even if that first step is a total Mother. I’m told I won’t like it much. Swell. Then there will be weeks of physical therapy. Months perhaps. Great. I’m told my leg will be a living barometer and I’ll know when rain is coming long before the first splash. Whoopie. I’m told I’ll set off security alarms. Whee! I’m told I won’t. I feel so much better now. I’m told to keep a copy of my X-Ray and be prepared to model my very long scar just in case. I’m told. I’m told.