It has been an interesting summer to say the least. Most of what’s made it interesting, for me at least, is that I’ve spent far too much of it at the hospital or its many satellite clinics. In summary, it went like this: after a delay due to Covid, I had my right knee replaced in early June. Two and a half weeks later, I had a stroke. That delayed the knee rehab and it locked up. Had to have it “cracked”-loosened up-which extended the recovery. And to top it all off, so far, I had a kidney stone.
Not exactly how I envisioned the Summer back in the Spring.
Out of all that excitement, I had a moment of clarity about life, which I should have been cognizant of before, but was enthralled by a “that will never happen to me” perspective that we all employ before the icy hand of fate comes for us.
That moment of clarity? How much we take for granted in exercising simple movements. Like walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of chairs, going to the bathroom, which is probably never contemplated till you find yourself with an urgent need and the sudden realization that “I don’t know if I can even get myself to the bathroom.” Some of this smacks you in the face while you’re in the safe arms of hospital staff. Here you go, your bedpan.
Having never had to deal with a physical handicap outside of sore joints and the like from the foolishness of sport after a certain age, I was not prepared when the dope wore off, and I found it took everything I had to get up a flight of stairs. This included a number of breaks along the way. Or realizing that without the crutches, I’m not getting up from this bed and my bladder is screaming. Or that I’d given no thought as to how I was going to get on the pot without screaming in pain. Or moaning.
In the middle of this, I had a stroke.
On the plus side, I survived the stroke, and after the knee was cracked, minus the 2 weeks I was back on crutches, my good ol’ rehab is moving along.
All of this opened my eyes wide to how good I’ve had it all these years and how quickly it can all go to s**t. I could still be in the hospital with severe paralysis. My knee doesn’t heal and I’m never going to walk like I once did. If at all! (There’s a kind of perversity to envying someone simply out taking a stroll.) Everything in life could have changed. Dramatically. You can’t help but dwell on that.
It’s always been noted that life is a challenge; that it rarely goes as planned. But, for some reason we’ll call social propaganda, we seem to believe that we can control all, or should be able to, and are unhappy when we find we can’t. I’m over that.
I’m grateful I can get out of bed on my own accord, that my mind still works-insert joke here-and there’s still time to enjoy another day however it turns out because you never know. After all, I was brushing my teeth and the next thing I knew I was in the bathtub and then the hospital.
Somehow it didn’t make it into my daily planner.
Yet here I am, thankful for another day and looking forward to another Fall season of cursing all those damned leaves and rain and…
Maybe I’ll just go to Arizona.
©2020 David William Pearce