recovery fashion part 14: coat, scarf, + dog leash

Since my surgery, I haven’t been able to walk Audrey. She’s not usually a difficult dog to walk—but if she glimpses/sniffs/hears Brooklyn’s wildlife (rat, squirrel, cat, pigeon), her terrier side spikes to life. Our leisurely walk becomes a tug-of-war between her instinct to catch these creatures and my ability to keep her from them. (This is far from ideal following a surgery that affects the pectoral muscles.) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’m lucky to have Drew, who’s been able to take care of her walks during this time—and friends often help too. From time to time, I’ve needed to hire a dog walker. At $20 per walk, this can get costly quickly. I’ve done this sparingly, and I know I am lucky to be able to. But the truth is, there are many costs—on top of medical bills!—that come with caring for one’s health. They add up, and although my healthcare providers have often been excellent, these additional costs have never been part of a pre-surgical consultation. It’s important to bring these topics into the conversation, so that patients can be prepared. So many don’t have paid medical leave. Or insurance. Or an extra $20 a day to pay for dog walks. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . This past week, after about two months’ delay, I’ve healed enough to start the reconstruction process. With this news and the okay from my doctors, I set out with Audrey on our first walk in months. We strolled down quiet streets, and I watched her as she watched/sniffed/listened to the world around us: something that’s always enlivened and intrigued me. (She of course experiences her surroundings so differently than I do, being that she’s a different species.) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .

There was a cat—but I saw it first, just in time to turn the corner and take a different path.