Get bent!Posted: January 31, 2016
Despite being a fine arts major, I wasn’t all that bad at math, particularly geometry because it involved pictures. And one thing I know for certain is there’s a fair bit of difference between a 90-degree angle and one that’s 120 degrees.
That’s the difference my knee has six weeks to bridge.
Never mind the fact that I can now tolerate walking for 30 minutes, double what I could 10 days ago. That I’m doing a much better job of sleeping through the night. Or the fact that I can clean out the dishwasher, put the dog in the yard, do laundry, feed the fur babies, make a meal, put on my own boots and (sort of) carry stuff upstairs, all by myself—things I couldn’t do just a short time ago.
Nope, according to my doctor, I have to get my knee to bend 120-degrees. It’s imperative. It’s possible. Apparently he did it while I was on the operating table.
The fact that I was so severely drugged up that I have no memory of this and temporarily paralyzed from the waist down at the time didn’t figure into that conversation.
It wouldn’t have mattered. I was too lightheaded from the Cirque du Soleil audition they had me doing in X-ray to make a witty retort. And slight nauseated from the sharp pain him of shoving my knee further back than I’d ever taken it.
The answer? Every 10 minutes, I am to bend my knee back, pulling my lower leg under me as far as it will go. Farther each day. Every 10 minutes. Doc wasn’t making a generalization. He meant every 10 minutes. As in six times an hour.
“Do you want more meds?” he asked before I left. “Yes, please,” I thought. “And while you’re at it, throw in a pound of medical marijuana, a bottle of Absolut citrus for Cosmos and a couple of quarts of Ben & Jerry’s. If you expect me to get through this bending thing.”
“Next time you see me, we should talk about getting you on the list for the right knee.”
I smiled and nodded. I’m sure he didn’t hear me say “oh goodie” as I entered the hall.
It took the rest of the night and the better part of the next morning for the disappointment and self-loathing of my tight inflexible body to dissipate. Then anger filled in the blanks. I would do it damn it. I would show him and the world that I could bend my fake knee just as well as anyone else. False bravado makes me feel better, more in control.
And not being able to walk properly after going through all this is, frankly, more than I can bear.
So I am bending. While waiting for my love at Lowes. Reading in bed. While drinking coffee in the morning. While typing this piece. Every time I think about it, which is really often. It’s the monkey on my back. The song that won’t get out of my head.
No, it’s probably not every 10 minutes, but it’s an awful lot of bending and trying to best myself each time.
I’m working on making it become an unconscious habit.
I’m hoping it stops hurting so damn much.