Six weeks ago Hannah fractured her left tibia waterskiing. I don’t love the broken leg, but I do love the spirit that got her up to water ski at 64. For twelve weeks she can’t put pressure on her left foot so she elevates her left leg and uses crutches to get around our house. Still her left leg looks like a sausage (her words) as the blood and lymph fluids have pooled at the base of her quite inactive leg. Clearly, more than elevation is necessary. Our friend Corky comes to the rescue teaching me how to massage Hannah’s swollen left leg with the touch of a Zen master.
Baby oil is part of my gift for today and each of the next six weeks as I ply the ancient art of massage to her lower left limb. Lying on our bed with her foot elevated on four pillows, Hannah settles in for what is truly one of the joys of being her husband. So as not to shock her, I warm the baby oil by rubbing my hands vigorously before applying it to her leg.
Starting at her toes I press with my stronger right hand along and up to her shin. I repeat and repeat some more, massaging the sides and back of her left leg as well for twenty-five minutes twice a day. As I massage, she closes her eyes and slips off to dreamland. True, it’s a gift, but alas not totally altruistic; for soon she and I will be hiking and biking once again.