Six weeks! That’s what they promised. Six weeks, they said, and Harriet would be healing and well and I’d be feeling the “magic” of how this new knee would Change My Life. It’s always six weeks, eh? When I broke my wrist it was six weeks to the day when the cast came off and those little wrist bones had melded themselves together just like the surgeon promised. And I remember in that awful movie, Super Size Me, that it took the guy six weeks to clean up his liver from the damage done by fast food. I wonder if that’s why Lent is just about six weeks — to get all of us penitents to clean up our acts and our bodies once a year?
But I’m not feeling that Six Weeks Relief. And I don’t think it’s going to magically happen between today, Sunday, and Wednesday. To be honest, Harriet the Knee is a whole lot better. (FYI, for any readers who don’t know, “Harriet” is my very stiff, forever-scarred left knee.) Harriet can now bend when we walk — sometimes, anyway — without too much excruciating pain. We walk up and down the stairs dozens of times a day without much ado. And last night, I could even remove one of the pillar of pillows that I had piled under her to sleep. I guess if all I was dealing with right now was Harriet then I would indeed be feeling On the Road to Recovery.
But, alas, that Bloody Blood Clot (aka BBC) is still on the scene. Friday, I called Nurse Lesley in the Thrombosis Clinic. She and I are on first-name basis now after our first meeting when she said, “Call me anytime.” I took her at her word and have called her once or twice a week whenever irrational, scary thoughts of roaming blood clots took over and I needed her, “Don’t worry. We have it under control.” It soothed me somewhat, even though I wondered how she knew that since I had only seen her in person one time. My whine for this week was that it’s been three weeks since I started taking the blood thinners and the leg and the foot were still stiff and achy. “Why? Why? Why?” I asked. Haven’t I suffered enough. The BBC has made Harriet’s healing challenging at the best, ridiculous at the worst. Nurse Lesley calmly listened to my lament and then said those ominous, expected words, “It takes Six Weeks to heal. You have another three weeks to go.” I cried when I got off the phone. It was unfair. All of the other folks I knew who had been through this knee surgery stuff were emotionally, at least, kicking their heels up after six weeks. And Poor Little Me had an additional three weeks tacked on. I spent the rest of Friday on the couch watching daytime TV and eating bonbons. I pretended it made me feel better but I’m not sure it did.
If this was happening to anyone but me, I’d be all Positive Thinking. I’d be sympathetic but a little Rah-Rah-Rahing too. “Healing Takes Time,” I’d say. “There’s No Way to Hurry It.” If anyone but me said that to me right now, I’d not be a very pleasant recipient. I remember when I was at my last appointment at the Fracture Clinic with my wrist. There was this pompous guy there who was ranting about his importance and his busy schedule and why it was impossible for him to keep this cast on for six weeks and the surgeon had to do something about it NOW. The surgeon basically ignored his obnoxiousness. I was sitting at the end of a bed right next to him and I perkily said, “The six weeks goes really fast.” His look shut my mouth and pulled my eyes back to my book and out of his business.
So here I am and here I will stay mending the different parts of my body and believing that All Shall Be Well — and it will. I have all the ingredients anyone needs to get through this stuff. I am a diligent and stubborn woman who does her exercises through pain and agony because she knows She Has To! I have great friends who come to visit or go for walks with me or send me funny emails. L from Aquafit came yesterday and took me in her car shopping. I was so excited to be out and about. Harriet didn’t hurt at all until we came home. I get funny cards from my family. I have a guilt-free supply of candy and Cheetos and Netflex on the telly. And the cats are here, of course. They just hang out with me and make sure I’m ok. Today Nick made me laugh when he decided it
was just cold enough in here that he needed to crawl under the afghan on his favourite chair. It took him a long time to maneuver his long body into the space without falling out. Then he rolled himself into ball and went to sleep. And that’s where he’ll stay until supper time or someone rings the doorbell.
Then today I remembered how healing my little garden has been for me all summer long when I was waiting for this surgery. So Harriet and I wandered out there this morning. Everything smelt wet and alive from last night’s storm and the bits of color here and there soothed even the stiff-legged
Bloody Blood Clot foot and calf. The sun didn’t hurt either!
So I’ll wait out the rest of this healing time and be thankful that six weeks has already passed and soon I’ll be back in the pool and walking down the street without too much pain and maybe, even, having a glass of wine.