Today is the Boston Marathon. It’s also the three-month anniversary of my two-fer total knee replacement bash and so it seems an appropriate day for my rehab post.
For those tuning in for the first time, I had both my knees replaced in January. I had a terrific surgeon and anesthesiologist, a great hospital experience, a week in rehab with highly gifted physical therapists, a lot of help from The Man and a long slog with out-patient physical therapy to get me to where I am today.
Which is NOT in the Boston Marathon, but hey. I can walk a couple of miles without keeling over in pain and I feel pretty good about that. My son did the Midnight Marathon Bike Ride through the 26.2 mile route last night, and frankly that sounded like a whole lot more fun than the marathon itself. See for yourself:
Right before I went into the hospital, I wrote this blog post in which I told you what books I planned to read in rehab, and what I thought I might write and edit during my rehab relaxation.
HAHAHAHAHA. Boy, was I ever wrong.
For starters, heavy duty pain killers make you stupid. Putting two coherent thoughts together is impossible, because by the time you’ve come up with the second thought you’ve forgotten the first one.
Second, you use every bit of energy you can summon just to heal. I’m past the point of needing an afternoon nap now, but boy howdy I sure needed one the first month or so.
But but but. These new insights that were supposed to infuse my writing with greatness? Oy. If I had any great hallucinatory insights, they followed those little black lines that tumbled across my field of vision and slid into lala-land those first couple of days.
Still. My perspective might have changed a little. Let me explain.
We go to our local state park several times a week so Polly can run and we can walk along the beautiful sand banks of the Cape Fear River. We’d just parked one day when a guy pulled up in his golf cart and parked in the verboten area between two van accessible handicap spots.
ME: Do you know that by parking there you make it impossible for anyone in a wheelchair to use those handicap spots?
HIM: Do you know that I don’t give a shit? And that you ought to mind your own business?
Well, that didn’t work out quite the way I had hoped.
This same state park has a newly renovated marina with a wooden walkway and a sturdy wooden railing on the water side. The first couple of weeks when I got home and was still kind of rocky on my feet, this was a great place for me to walk since I could grab the railing if I needed it.
I made friends with a couple who came there every day with the woman’s mother. The older woman had had a disabling stroke and it took the two of them to get her out of her wheelchair and into walking slowly along the walkway. Walking even ten feet was a struggle for all three of them, but they came every day and seemed grateful for the opportunity to do so.
The older woman couldn’t talk and I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t include her by making eye contact in my early conversations with them.
I saw them the day after my encounter with golf cart man when I was still pissed off and told them the whole conversation. Mom was in her wheelchair and she reached out – it took her at least twenty seconds – to grab my hand. She was smiling and she kept nodding at me. From that point on, we have had an entirely different relationship.
I can’t believe I owe that golf cart dipshit a debt of gratitude.
So there you have it. I’m thrilled that I’m on the far side of this big knee adventure. I’m totally glad I did it, and especially glad that I was able to get both knees done at the same time. My knees look and feel great. But the process is definitely not for the faint of heart. (If you are contemplating a similar journey, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll fill you in with whatever gory details you want via email.)
And don’t even THINK about parking in a handicap spot. Especially if you see me coming.
Excuse me – I’m on my way to Planet Fitness and the stationary bike right now. I’m in training for next year’s Midnight Marathon Bike Ride.