Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beautiful Leg(s)

This morning I was sitting at the dining room window watching the world go by, wishing I could go by too, and all of a sudden I started giggling. My mind had wandered back to my childhood and how the doctors had worked up the schedule for the exact time to stop the growth in my left leg so that my right leg could catch up to the left and - viola! - I would have two legs the exact same length. It didn’t quite work, but it did vastly improve the difference between my legs.

At one point as the doctor was measuring the growth in my left leg he looked up at me and said, “ You have a beautiful leg here. If you hadn’t gotten polio you would have had gorgeous legs and from my calculations on your growth I would estimate that if we weren’t going to stop the growth there would have been a good chance that you would be close to 6’. My sister is 5’ 10” so I think he may have been pretty close.

As I was musing on that memory this morning it suddenly hit me that I had always unconsciously thought of myself as a woman with 1 (one) beautiful leg. That tickled me so much that I pulled out the photo albums of my younger years and what I found made me laugh outright. In every swimsuit picture of me, as far as up into my 40’s, I have turned myself a bit so only the left leg is showing. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I was doing the left leg pose, but I think it is hilarious. When I’m gone all my descendents will think I had gorgeous legs and there won’t be any evidence to the contrary. Good thinking!

Then we come to the right leg. It was a bit shorter, had a fused ankle, and the knee turned into the left too much to make the doctors happy. That knee is what eventually took me out and down for the count. I went to sit on the commode and I heard a funny pop and that was the end of life as I had enjoyed it. It wasn’t a very glamorous place to have your life drastically changed, but I guess it could have happened in a less convenient environment, at least I had somewhere to sit when my knee blew.

All this leads up to the fact that with this newest episode in the history of my right leg I am now working to create a very ugly scar on a leg that wasn’t exactly beautiful in the first place. The other day I told the doctor I was glad that I was no longer young and bikini clad because strutting my stuff with a leg that is going to have a scar as large and ugly as the one I am working on would put a definite hamper on my “beach sex appeal”.

But after looking at the albums and seeing how I automatically shielded my right leg from the camera I think I could still get away with convincing everyone I had beautiful leg(s) ... as long as they were gazing at a photo op!

I found that so funny I laughed out loud. Do you think this long convalescence has affected my mind??


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