I’ve been trapped in my apartment for the last three weeks, recovering from knee surgery. I have three more weeks to go in my immobilizer brace and daily 6 to 8-hours sessions in a CPM machine. During normal times, I am a pretty active person–I’ve played roller derby, done CrossFit, and I own an elliptical machine. My boyfriend Kurt has a kayak and we are avid campers and travelers. So this period of rehabilitation is pretty much my waking nightmare. My apartment has become my prison, the CPM my torture device (even though it doesn’t really hurt, it’s just tedious as hell). Our dog and two cats are my cellmates, staring at me with glazed-over eyes and hating me for not being able to play or go on walks. The Kardashians, Kelly & Michael, WGN morning news team and everyone else on daytime TV are my jailers, taunting me on their healthy legs from soundstages and Malibu mansions. I want OUT.
When I try to be logical, I know this is just a few months out of my life. At 33, I’ve lived through many, many months and hopefully I have hundreds more to look forward to. But it’s hard to give up time. There is never going to be a ‘good time’ for a major surgery or illness. Who wants to take time off from LIFE (taking time off work, on the other hand, is rather nice)? Each year becomes more precious to me as my calendar fills with obligations and the weekends fly by. There’s so much left in life I want to DO. When do I fit in that trip to the Rock of Gibraltar to fulfill my dream of visiting “the loot” from Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I haven’t created human life, or learned the Beyonce “Single Ladies” dance. I still want to take my boyfriend to Europe, teach our dog to down-stay, and try a seasonal job as a haunted house actor. Spending two months on crutches (and waiting 8 months to return to activities like running and dancing) doesn’t help me achieve my goals. Unless my goal is watching E! until I give myself a splitting headache–in which case, Achievement Unlocked!
I need to learn to look at this time as a gift to my brain. My body is out of commission, but my brain is healthy and primed for stimulation. I can’t go running with my dog, but maybe this is a good time to pick up the ukulele I haven’t practiced in months. Or write that novel I’ve always wanted to put on paper. These are all much more worthwhile activities than lying around like a lump feeling sorry for myself. I think I’ll finally put together those scrapbooks I’ve always talked about, and get to those books on my ever-growing reading list. I’ll talk to friends I haven’t had time to reach out to in years. I’ll be an overachiever at my physical therapy homework. I’ll blog!
First, I’m just going to see what’s on TV really quick…
One thought on “The Invalid Diaries”
Awesome perspective Kim. You made me laugh, but as a back surgery recovery patient, I totally can relate. It will make you appreciate the great things you will do once this hell is over (and yes there will be an end). Glad to see you still have your sense of humor.