Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let's Ketchup

Okay, first I'll spill my guts and then--later today--I'll post chapter six of Caroline.

Every. Day. I am busy. I think I have a day free and Mel needs to go to Belk's or Alisha needs me to watch Kael so she can get a haircut. Do NOT get me wrong: the most important things in my life are taking Mel to Belk's and watching Kael. They are not burdens, they are joys. Lately the joys have been coming fast and furious.

I got home from St. Louis last Thursday night. Friday I was busy getting ready for a semi-seder at church that evening. Bruce was going to introduce the elements of the seder plate to the congregation, so I needed to make haroset (apples, cinnamon, sugar, walnuts, sweet wine, lemon juice), roast chicken wings (you just cannot get shank bones these days), boil eggs, etc.

Saturday was spent recovering from the trip, going to Publix and Fresh Market, and getting Easter baskets ready. Sunday was Easter, of course. The kids came over and I think a good time was had by all.

Monday I took Mel and Abbey (her daughter, who had the day off from school) to Belk's and to Walmart, and then went to the doctor and to Publix, where I spend half my waking hours. The doctor visit was to get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon to see if my knees are candidates for replacement. Without doing blood work, all they could really do was listen to my heart, lungs, etc., and check my blood pressure and weight. The listening stuff has never been a problem -- apparently all my body sounds are just as they are supposed to be. The weight, of course, was down about forty pounds, and the blood pressure was also considerably lower.

The orthopedist was able to see me the very next day, so after spending the morning with Mel at Publix I hustled over to Montgomery and shot my entire afternoon over there. He did not beat around the bush: my knees stink. Knee replacement, yes.

I have to go back to St. Louis at the end of June, so my first thought was to delay the surgery until after that. I am having second thoughts, kind of. It's possible to line everything up to do the surgery in as little as four weeks and if I can do that I'll be four weeks past surgery when I head to St. Louis. From all indications (everything I read, etc.), that should be fine. I'm going to push ahead with doing the things I have to do and when they call to schedule the surgery I'm going to see what the calendar looks like.

The reason I'm kind of in a hurry is because my life has -- suddenly -- gotten very, very difficult. I don't know why all of a sudden things are so bad, but in just the past couple of months the pain has gone from a manageable level to one that is barely tolerable. Unless I am sitting on the couch, everything I do causes me pain. I'm really tired of not being able to walk into the kitchen, go to the bathroom, play with Kael without varying degrees of decrepitude and pain. I want to be able to walk through a store -- now I creep like I'm some kind of criminal who's casing the joint. I want to be able to sit in a bathtub (I can't do it now because there's no way I could get out). I want to be able to sit in any chair I want without having to think about whether or not I'll be able to get up after I fall down into it (I don't "sit," I fall). I want to be able to go on vacation and walk through a museum or hike into the woods. I want this OVER.

This morning I finished writing up my paperwork for the last class and then went to my family doctor to have blood drawn (nobody's looked at my numbers for a few years). I'd told him that unless something is horribly, horribly wrong I would not want any kind of treatment based on these numbers. I intend to keep on losing weight and then to see if whatever numbers might be bad have improved (I don't know that ANY numbers are bad, of course). He was fine with all that. So, anyway, I had that done and I dropped off a letter that my orthopedist requires him to sign to say that as far as he knows I'll likely survive the surgery. I also have to take a letter to my dentist because they want all dental work done before the operation and none done for at least six months afterwards (even a cleaning releases tons of nasty bacteria into your bloodstream). I'm going to drive the letter over to her office -- those two letters are what is necessary for them to schedule the actual surgery, so I want them taken care of as soon as possible.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a physical therapist. I have to go four times to learn exercises that will build up my leg muscles and facilitate recovery after the surgery. To be honest, I think my leg muscles are VERY strong. Fat people have strong legs.

He will only do one knee at a time, so I don't have that decision to make. He says that it's possible that after I have one knee done I won't need to have the other done for a year or two. I am very skeptical. He asked which knee I wanted done first, and I named the right, but I am having second thoughts about that, too. I guess if I can't decide it means that any differences are so slight that it doesn't really matter. I have no idea how long I'll have to wait before he would do the other knee; I'm not looking that far into the future.

Sometimes I find this kind of overwhelming. I'm angry that my body has betrayed me in this way (although it was likely my actions -- most of which were done out of ignorance -- that caused this situation). I'm sad that I have to have my leg sliced open and bone sawed out. I don't know why I'm sad -- it doesn't make sense to me -- but there you go. I'm going through with it, of course -- I WANT to have this done -- but it's not unalloyed joy by any means.

So. There you go. I think we've caught up. It seems like it's been a million years since I've written, but it's only been about a week. A lot can happen in a week.

More later...

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