La La How The Life Goes On

The Bees Knees

Posted on: September 26, 2011

Yes. I too am wondering when I will run out of cheesy knee cliches. With any luck I will be back on my feet before I have to find something that rhymes with “articular cartilage.”

In any case, events continue apace here at Chez Jones: Home for the Handicapped. As mentioned, Scottish Grandma was here for well-nigh a month, and thank goodness or the sink would still be full of dishes. Now that you are gone, Mum, I can say this gently: I love you and I appreciate you driving me everywhere, but I have never been honked at more in my life than in the 30 days you were behind the wheel of my car. Scottish Grandma, friends, believes that when the sign says, “20 MPH LIMIT” that the key word is LIMIT. By which I mean that 20 is her ending point for a driving speed, not the one she starts at and struggles to maintain because holymotherofgod20mphisSLOOOOWWWW. And I’m sitting there just screaming in my mind, “For the love of God, please speed up!” But no. There will be no 25 in a 20 MPH zone. That would be illegal and Scottish Grandma does not do illegal. Ever. Eight mile trip to get gas and back: 45 minutes. Drive to drop off Bambina at school 1/4 mile away: 10-12 minutes. I came THIS close, during what I’ll call a “situation” at the Dunkin Donuts to saying Eff the Knee, I’m taking the wheel. But I was what one can only call “shooshed” by Scottish Grandma who was having none of me–or those “ridiculous drivers going 40 miles an hour in a 30 mile per hour zone!” Don’t mess with Scottish Grandma. Or she’ll hunt you down and spend her life driving in front of you on a long one-lane road when you desperately have to pee. 🙂

Which brings us to motivation. I’m just going to go ahead and say that, aside from the professional ballroom dancer he treated a year ago, I am claiming the crown for Most Motivated Patient my surgeon has ever met. I could pretend it’s all about just wanting to get healthy and loving my kids and participating fully in their lives again and blah blah blah mommy BS. Or I could be honest and say that it’s more all about me. I fucking hate showering while sitting in a senior citizen bath chair. I hate going upstairs to bed on my butt, sliding through my hallway to a stepstool so I can tricep dip my way onto my bed. I hate that if I drop something on the floor during the day when no one is home that it has to sit there until someone can pick it up for me. I hate that when the doorbell rings and I rush toward it with my clank clank clank! crutches, I sound like some creepy Halloween character coming to kidnap and eat the children. I hate that I have to use those special metal buttons on doors to make them open. I hate more that I’ve become the old lady who jabs them with the point of my crutch like I’m holding a grudge. I hate that random people all go, “Man! What’d you DO?!” and my answer “I had knee surgery” is not enough. “Yah, but what did you DO?” Well, I hurt it weightlifting while I was in prison for killing a nosy stranger. I keed! I wasn’t weightlifting.

On the other hand, this 6 weeks of knee drama has been instructive in good ways. When I first got home I slept downstairs for a week because I couldn’t get myself up the stairs even with help (my other ankle has AVN so I can’t jump on it to get upstairs or else I’ll be up a creek in short order with that). I could not lift myself from Bambina’s bed because it is low. I couldn’t open the fridge. And please let’s not discuss taking a pee. A month later I can do it all by myself, just like a big girl, mama! Not because I am some ultimate model of endurance and stamina but because, like all successful humans, I’m adaptable. Consider any of the truly challenging times in your life when you thought, “I can’t do this” or “how can I go on?” Then consider that you are here remembering those times. Which means you did do it. You did go on. Certainly, in tragedies such as the death of a family member or a catastrophic injury, sometimes endurance is all that carries you through the first terrible days, weeks and months. But then at some point–you adapt. This, I believe, is one of the many beauties of being human. We are adaptable creatures. No matter what happens, you figure it out. You make it work. You incorporate it into your life. You move forward, different but okay.

Knee surgery is in no way tragic or horrible, but the lesson is the same: you gotta adapt. I can’t walk up or down the stairs so I do what we tried to get Crazy-Gerald-Ford-Stair-Tripping Baby Sister to do: “use your bum!” It ain’t pretty, but it works. I can’t really stand over the stove and cook, for obvious reasons of heat, burns and I am a klutz. So my kids are having a month-long Easy Mac and Hot Pockets spree. I cannot reach any of the food in my fridge without falling over, so *I* am having a Hot Pockets spree. BabyDaddy is traveling a lot for work, unfortunately, so the house looks like it’s been ransacked by rabid teletubbies. All kind of a disaster, but we are making it work. More importantly, my girls are seeing me make it work. I absolutely wanted to make sure I got the right rest after the surgery, but I also wanted to get up and moving as soon as was permitted because I wanted them to see me getting up and moving as soon as it was permitted, no whining and no pity. There were certainly days when I did not feel very well, especially while on Dilaudid and OxyContin, so I languished a little bit in my druggie haze, but I got up as soon as I could.

On the funny side of things, I will confess now that while on narcotics I had a long [two way!] conversation with a red canvas tote bag, thinking it was Bambina. No joke! Another night, I called the BabyDaddy from the couch to tell him to come downstairs and sit with me to stop the people screaming inside my head while I slept. It was a drug-induced high from hell, making me wonder who are the people addicted to this stuff? Do they have jobs and families? How are they functioning at addict doses when a half dose was making me kookoo? In any case, I decided that morning that my knee could hurt like a mutherf*((&^% all month long but my drug of choice would be tylenol with bolus threats of violence toward the Creator if he did not throw me a bone asap.

All of which is to say that my knee is doing well, as is my drug rehab. Yes indeed, there is no better one-step program for getting off drugs than thinking you are going wildly insane, which is only slightly more than comes from driving with my mom.

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