September 3, 2013

Brought to My Knees.

As I write this article, I am propped up in bed, a fancy schmancy immobilizer hugging my left knee which is ensconced in hot pink shorts.

Silver crutches are by the headboard.

The narcotic pain reliever is humming along nicely, doing its job and leaving me feeling loopy. I’m such a lightweight when it comes to meds and I wonder how people enjoy the sensation enough to get addicted when I can barely keep my eyes focused.

For the past month, my knee has been clamoring for my attention. Initially I described the sensation as feeling like a rubber band pulled too tightly—I continued my regular routine at the gym and added a bit of swimming. Noticing that it wasn’t getting better, but I opted to use reiki, ice, elevation, massage, chiropractic and topical relief by applying arnica.

I offered kind and compassionate words to encourage it to heal. I had left a message for my PCP to see me after the Labor Day weekend just to be sure that I hadn’t torn something, having had arthroscopic surgery on the other knee in my 30’s.

Ain’t no way I am ready to accept that this ailment was part and parcel of an additional two decades of living in this body.

I was officiating at a wedding on Sunday at, a lovely Bed and Breakfast in New Hope, PA and had stopped in town to grab a quick bite beforehand since I was early.

As I slid out of my Jeep, I heard a loud and distinctive snap, crackle, pop, with no cereal in sight, as if a branch was stepped on and split asunder and realized that it was my knee protesting loudly. Limping and doing all I could to keep from crying and puking, I dialed the number for the B & B and one of their employees came out to assist me when I arrived.

Leaning on the capable shoulder of Olivia, I was helped to her VW bug with fluttery eyelashes embellishing the headlights and she drove me the few hundred yards to the lawn where the ceremony was to be held. Dinie came out with a walker to get me the rest of the way to the gazebo. Feeling like 54 going on 84, I wheeled on over and plunked down in  a chair.

Ever the hospitable hostess, she also saw to it that I had an icepack (wrapped in a pretty purple bandana that matched my dress) and cold water.

Carl approached and asked if I wanted to use his cane, since he laughingly acknowledged that it would look better in pictures than the walker.

When the couple and their young daughter walked over, they expressed concern and I reminded them that the show must go on and that I would be heading over to the ER afterward.

Alyssa and Richard are a delightful pair who met in Philadelphia. Once the pronouncement of marriage was made and the first official kiss of their wedded life was planted, I was once again on the road to my local hospital.

Becoming quite adept at calling in advance, I rang up the ER and asked if someone could meet me at the car with a wheelchair.

Grateful that within moments, a smiling volunteer named Duane was right there to be my chauffer through the sliding doors and in short order, I was whisked to the room where all kinds of nosy but necessary questions were asked.

Although I have a high threshold for pain, the blood pressure machine gave me away, since my normal 120/80 BP zipped up to 158/92. Taking slow and easy breaths, I reminded myself that I would be taken good care of there as well.

An x-ray showed no damage, but the nurse practitioner recommended an MRI to be sure which will happen later this week. I was fitted for the aforementioned black leg accessory which I may embellish with paint and feathers, given a prescription and sent on my way with the instruction to rest, ice and elevate.

Now this is where the challenge arises.

As independent as I am, my mind has been awhirl with how I am to maintain my ‘normal’ routine, which means getting to and fro my job, carrying client charts, maneuvering around my home while attempting to tote around what I need, tending to my ADL’s (I did figure how to slide in and out the bathtub) and driving.

I managed the stiff legged slide into the driver’s seat and pushed the seat back to the point where my vertically challenged self could still reach the steering wheel. I will miss my regular ‘playouts’ at the gym for awhile (although the crutches are good exercise equipment) and once I do return, I will work with a trainer, since it’s likely that this current dilemma was the product of overdoing it.

According to Louise Hay, the symbolism behind knee issues is connected with pride and ego.

Where in my life, I ask myself, am I being stubborn and resistant to what is? Where I am refusing to step back and surrender to what is likely to be a grander plan for my life? In this experience I am literally and figuratively being brought to my knees.

From that perspective, I can see myself as grounded and recognize that the only direction from that humble posture is up.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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