Not only because of the snow. If it were just that, I'd call around for someone to pick me up. To hang tight to my arm as I plant unsteady steps on the sidewalk.
I'd even try out those ice cleats from friends Davey and Carol.
No, the real reason I'm home are TWO RED LINES running along the bottom of my leg.
They look like a child's darkly painted lips after she digs through her mother's make-up kit. But when I roll my socket on, I feel them. And they are not lipstick. They're fiery tire tracks!
It's a socket rub gone wild.
So for the past two days, I've been resting inside -- LEG OFF -- as my Genium recharges against the bedroom wall.
I've barely set foot off the second floor of my house.
Since Thursday night, I've worn my prosthesis fewer than four hours and walked only half a mile. I am trying to heal.
I've saturated those red lines in antibiotic ointment, slathered them with magic cream from the dermatologist, and washed them gently with soap and water. When I must put on my socket, I wrap the end of my leg with Saran Wrap -- my own bandage creation! Not quite endorsed by prosthetist Tim, but it's doing the trick for now.
I expected there'd be days like these. "Leg-off" days when I'd think about the places I'd go if I weren't sitting still. The miles I'd log if I could walk comfortably. If crutches weren't my vehicle of transport. And if it weren't slippery and slushy outside.
This morning, I tied up the left leg of my jeans like I did last winter BEFORE I got my prosthesis. Denim didn't knot too well, so I used a hairband. The first time my niece Brianna saw it, she asked, "Why do your jeans have a ponytail?"
It's been a while though. I forgot how hard it is to balance on one leg while you tuck your shirt in. Or how many HOPS it takes to make your bed.
Even with banisters, the open-slatted stairs to the basement are strictly off limits. So laundry stays down there in the dryer until I put my prosthesis back on.
Mostly, I stay upstairs.
But don't get me wrong. The second floor of my house isn't a bad place to be. It has all the luxuries -- TV, computer, even a mini-fridge and microwave. When I returned home last summer, my family made sure I had everything I needed.
We anticipated UPSTAIRS DAYS ahead.
"Why not go out anyway?" my friend Jen asked last night over a plate of take-out sushi. She told me she knew a girl who got around on crutches and one leg just fine.
It's true. I've seen people do amazing, difficult things.
But I thought about how hard it is to get my crutches in and out of the car. How impossible it is to push a shopping cart or carry a bag.
And I remembered how, last February, my crutch skidded across a wet spot on the smooth floor of a building lobby. I fell down hard and fast. Right on my little leg. My mom had just dropped me off for an appointment. I was alone. And embarrassed. And hurt. And scared. In a split second, I felt back at the scene of the accident.
The truth is, I'm AFRAID to go out without my prosthesis.
In just nine short months, it's become a part of me. Sure, it drives me crazy sometimes, but in the way of a best friend, or a big brother, or a mom.
To be independent, I NEED my leg.
Without it -- like now -- I'm upstairs.
It's a cozy place to be on a snowy, icy day. But I don't want to make it a habit.
700 miles in 10 months is a lot more ground to cover.
So I'm hoping for speedy healing tonight.
And I'm keeping plenty of Saran Wrap on hand for tomorrow.
Sending healing thoughts to friends and family tonight, too. xo