Tag Archives: Crutches

Stick-Assisted Perambulation Thanks To Surgical Intervention

There has got to be a better way of getting a close shave on my right knee.

Right now, the area above and below my knee is a baby-skin smooth surface, with only the slightest of stubble beginning to poke its way through. It’s also a swollen mess, but I guess I can’t get one without the other.

The other day, I went in to have what turns out to be my fifth knee surgery on the same knee. I recently added up the number of times I’ve gone under the knife and it’s appallingly high, especially for such a healthy-seeming dude.

I strutted into the out-patient surgery center this time so an orthopedist could do some carving and smoothing on both my lateral and medial meniscus. The meniscus is the shock-absorbing cartilage that prevents bone from bumping up against bone.

During the 20 years or so since my last knee surgery, I’d managed to do some more damage to the meniscus on both sides of my knee. I’m sure it was something that happened over time and in no way was influenced by my decision to learn snowboarding this past March with Hyper Lad.

Definitely no connection. Just can’t be.

Regardless of cause, I needed to go in and have the damage remediated so I could start walking without (as much) pain because, let me tell you, dudes, that’s getting to be a real pain in my fundament, as well as the knee.

So I’m back in the pre surgical waiting room and the nurse comes to prepare me by plugging in an IV and then whipping out the electric razor. Knowing what was coming, I just stretched out and relaxed while she got to work.

It’s become a depressingly familiar ritual, during which I lose all the hair around an op site and then have to tape my hands to my sides so I don’t scratch the wound open as the hair begins itching its way back to full length.

I decided that I’d go through this surgery with only a regional anesthetic as I’d been knocked out more than enough times already. Relatively speaking, I was somewhat clear mentally after the surgery (although maybe slightly loopy) so that was good.

However, the aftereffects of being chemically paralyzed from just above my waist on down was. . . strange. Looking down at my legs and seeing them there, but not being able to move them or even feel when someone touches them is an odd situation in which to find myself.

No sensation and no control. Post-surgery, the nurse tried to move me to a recliner as fast as possible so they could reuse the bed, so she tried to lever me off even though I told her I wasn’t ready.

She assured me my leg would support my weight and then swung both legs off the bed. I managed to stand for less than a second before collapsing over on her. Fortunately, a second nurse was there to catch us both and put me back onto the bed for more recovery time.

So, eventually, I was released and went home to relearn how to get around on crutches. I recovered enough to quickly move from crutches to a cane and that’s where things stand now.

No pun intended.

Still in pain, but getting better. Looking forward to the pain going away.

Now all I have to do is keep myself from scratching my knee raw from all the itchy hair growing back.

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Anticipation Nightmare

by Richard

If there’s one thing I forgot to take into account when I decided to take the job as a part-time tutor at the Wonderful Elementary School, it’s that I would have to deal with little dudes and little dudettes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an idiot. I knew I’d be teaching the little shriekers. It’s just that I forgot I would also have to put up with them.

Especially when they’re wound up so tight they could snap a spring in twain. And, brother, when it’s Halloween and they’re going to be going out to hunt up candy in only a couple of hours, they are wound — the heck — up. Way, way up.

Most of those kids who celebrate Halloween were up and down out of their seats faster than a hyperactive mole trying to escape the hammer. (Sure, there are some kids who don’t celebrate Halloween. I was told by one that his mom considers Halloween to be the devil’s birthday so it’s no reason to celebrate. There are times when I have a very, very hard time holding in my opinions. That was one.) The enthusiasm/excitement was contagious.

Kids who wouldn’t have their parents catch them dead wearing make up because they worry the parents might think they’re in costume, were grabbing onto their chairs with clenched fists to make sure they didn’t accidentally join in on the suppressed sugar-party-to-come.

All I’ll say is it’s a good thing I got to leave just after lunch. If I’d have had to stay much longer, there was a very good chance some of those kids would have had to trick or treat on crutches. Accidentally, of course.

Now my only problem is trying to keep myself calm until I can get out of the house and start trying to scare some people. Or something. I’ve heard. Not that I would do that on purpose. Only, you know, accidentally. Of course.

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