Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Temporary Tag

As of midnight tonight, I am no longer handicapped .

Legally, at least. My disabled parking tags -- the ones obtained after my foot reconstruction surgery in September -- expire today.

This was the first time I'd ever been able to park in handicapped parking, and I have a few observations:

First, and fairly obviously, any joy gained from getting to park up close to the grocery store or other buildings is far, far outweighed by the fact of needing to park that close!

Second, it's come as a surprise that I still have some need for the tag after all this time. Oh, I knew it would be three months after the surgery before I could walk again, but I wasn't expecting that at that time I'd just be barely walking. I thought that once I could put both feet down I'd be up to my old speed in no time. After that, I thought, the remaining months on the tag would just be a bonus.

Not so. Although I'm a lot more mobile than I was before surgery, even six months later, my foot feels far from "normal" (or, as my wife likes to remind me, whatever passes for "normal" with me). It stiffens when at rest and tires quickly when in use, either standing or walking. (No riverdancing yet!)

My mom had similar foot surgery three years ago, and reports that even now her foot is not fully recovered, although sloooooow progress is still being made. We agreed, as veterans of both hand/wrist and foot surgeries, that we'd have our hands operated on twenty times rather than one more foot surgery, if the option were available. It's just a really big deal, comparatively, with lots more pain, inconvenience, and length of recovery.

So, I'm not back to normal, and I'm certain that I could get an extension on the handicapped parking tag if I asked. But... I don't think I will. For one thing, the extra walking will do me good, even if it isn't as comfortable as it used to be.

But most of all, it's my way of acknowledging that I am blessed, very blessed, that the tag was temporary in the first place.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back with the Vocal Majority!

I'm continuing to heal from my surgery, but I've built up enough endurance now to stand and perform with my chorus, The Vocal Majority. I did a one-hour show fundraiser for The Colony High School -- my first performance with the group since last June -- and then this past Friday performed at the American Choral Director's Association convention in Oklahoma City, which was a huge honor and an awesome show.

Looks like someone in the balcony at the VM's first performance last Friday had a video camera and has posted the videos online. Thanks to YouTube, you can enjoy our entire 30-minute performance! (But if you just have time for one, watch "Joshua.") I'm on the top row, right side, third from the right.

I'm On My Way - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl-1cWvtvQs&fmt=18
What Kind of Fool Am I - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkI4XwlVls0&fmt=18
Luck Be a Lady - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfd8fejOYGE&fmt=18
Deep River - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsOKeCv7fZc&fmt=18
Armed Forces Medley - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQU-05wJJXA&fmt=18
You Raise Me Up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b20h9qTkYrE&fmt=18
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmeSbpG0W2U&fmt=18