A Club You Don't Want to Join
I am not a good patient. An impatient patient best describes me. I am dealing with a torn meniscus just now, and I am told many of us go through this. I don't care, I want out of the club!
Several weeks ago, when Darling Husband and I were in Williamsburg, Va., my leg began to tighten. OK, I was walking a lot, but hey, I spent more than 35 years walking my brains out in New York City. This is Colonial Williamsburg. How hard can it be?
I would spend my days meandering around to listen to Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Washington and various members of the town. We sauntered, we sat and talked, we fife and drummed our way through the beauty that is Williamsburg.
Now, I was not out dancing at the local college hangout. Good Lord, they would have thought I was a narc plant in about two seconds.
You know, the kindly looking chubby gray-haired lady who wanders in looking like she hasn't got a clue and before long everyone is arrested for drugs or underage drinking. Not that the students at William and Mary would dream of such behavior. No, I was not at their "hot spots" in town.
DH and I were sometimes in candlelit rooms listening to chamber concerts, or we might be at Burton Parish Church listening to handbells, another hotbed of physical stress.
No, my life was quiet, but my leg just kept slowly tightening and aching until one day in early January something just bloody well popped.
Have you ever used the expression that something "took my breath away?" Well, golly bum, but this snap and pop did just that. I thought I was going to drop to the ground.
To make a long story short, I somehow managed to get in my car and to urgent care. I called DH to meet me, and then I got out of the car, only to determine that I could not walk.
Bless the couple who must have thought I was having a heart attack as I clung to the side of my car; they put me in their car and drove to the front door - only about eight parking spaces away. I might as well have been in Kansas!
I am also one of those chronically obedient persons, so since I did not possess a handicap sticker, I dared not park in the first slot, right there at the front door ... no, it never occurred to me to write a note and say "check with the desk, I can't walk." So were it not for the lift to the front door, I might be there still.
Well, after some care from doctors in Williamsburg, I finally returned to my darling orthopedist here. He told me that it was a torn meniscus, and time and slow movement should help me heal. It did not appear that I would need surgery, although in truth we will reassess in a couple of weeks. My slow and steady progress gives me hope.
But the pain zips through every now and again, and although I have gone from crutches to a cane, I am not feeling good about this. I am not patient!
I had bought one of those canes you see on TV that stands on its own, bought it for my 87-year-old mom for Christmas. She had to send it to me. I mean really, my 87-year-old mom sent ME a CANE. How old am I feeling?
Then today, a lovely lady at the DMV sold me one of the handicap things for my car, so I don't have to park too far from the front of anywhere. Good Lord! I am one step away from being a Golden Girl.
I am on a cane and have a handicap parking card and I am not yet 65!
So, Dear Reader, if you see me moving slowly, cane in hand, please feel free to step right up and tell me that I look very young. All bars and restaurants could lift my spirits considerably by "carding" me when I hobble in.
I am not patient with this process, although as my DH says: "Mother Nature collects her debts," so slow is all I have got just now. Is this really about my learning patience? Am I supposed to learn a lesson?
Maybe I can give this another week or two, will that do it?
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.
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