Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Semi-Ambulatory, Soporific and Sophistical

Me, not using a cane or other assistive walking device

It's five days since my arthroscopic knee surgery and I am walking some of the time. I only had to use a walker for one day, then a cane for another day, and after that I did not need to lean on anything.

I did, however, overdo it the past two days. On Sunday I walked a block-and-a-half to Black Cat Books and Coffee and then got a ride home, but it was too late. I'd already overdone it. So I spent the rest of the day asleep and had to resort to taking a pain pill in the evening again, after having gone all day without.

Did I learn from this? No! I was sure yesterday would be better, so I walked not only to Black Cat, but also a few more blocks to the Post Office and then home again. After all, if a block-and-a-half is too far, what more harm can I do myself by walking eight blocks? Hmm. Quite a bit, it seems. My knee got swollen up and sore, and I had to take pain medication in the afternoon and at bedtime.

Today is a new day. No walks for me. I am staying at home all day. This is hard. I'm a social person. I like my routines, especially the ones I've developed here in TorC. I want to get back to those days when I could just hop on my bike and fly over to the Post Office and then breeze downhill to the thrift store to see what old thing is new. But such whims and impulses require good knees.

My left knee

There's no way to take a pretty picture of your own knee. But this photo shows that the surgery left me with just three little holes and some swelling.

Being housebound leaves me with whims and impulses that occur only in my mind--such a dangerous place to spend time alone. But it's also given me time to think through some lingering unsettledness about my past. (Yes, I am making up words now...this is what happens when I'm home alone.) I've come to understand some things about my childhood, my young adult years, and the 20 years I spent in a sad marriage. I'm appreciating that I've come out of all of this as a person who is pretty good inside and out--loving, caring, kind and increasingly respectful of myself and others. And I'm letting go of regrets over the years I wasted as a drunk and as an unappreciated spouse. Maybe I needed two decades of active addiction and another two decades of being sober but unhappy in order to be exactly where I am today--a happy, sober woman with a peaceful life, who only needs to let her knee heal a bit so she can once again zoom around on her bicycle.

Smiling Steve

My boyfriend Steve and I have started talking about all sorts of new adventures that we might share. He is a free spirit. We have both been in TorC only a short time and we both love it here, but the road is beginning to whisper in our ears again. I see this as a time to rest and regroup, but I'm getting ready to redeploy. Probably not on a long-term basis, but from time to time, using TorC as my home base. I've thought of starting a teaching art studio here, but it isn't the time for me to be that tied down. I am a youngster of 56 and still have a lot to see and do, especially now that I've finally learned how to live one day at a time.

Sonja in the doorway, enjoying the inside and outside at once

My cat is a good teacher of living in the moment. This morning I watched her intensely pursue a ball in the courtyard, but then, while crouching to attack it, she discovered some tasty grass to chew on and she relaxed and forgot the ball. That's kind of the way I am with this idea I have about starting a little art school. It's a great idea. I may pursue it sometime. I may have other things to do first.

For now, I'm Snoozy Suzy, and I'm off for the first siesta of the day.


  1. Love this post, which is entertaining and deep all at once. Glad the knee is getting better. You will have to stop for a visit on your future travels.

  2. Hey, this is an inspiring bit of invented language. Thanks for sharing.


  3. whoa! that is some "swoll" knee! hope you heal quicker than your mind can conjure mischief! i wondered if the road would whisper to ya, now that TorC is firmly established as a home base.....look forward to seeing what new paths develop! and with a guy like Steve! you are both so fortunate :-)

  4. Thanks, Sue... love reading your stuff. Always inspiring ;)

  5. Bridget, I am definitely planning a trip up your way in late September-early Octoberish. A friend from San Francisco is going to spend a few days at the ABQ Balloon Fest and I told her I'd meet her there. I figure on exploring the Santa Fe/Taos area on the same trip, either before or after my stop in ABQ.

    Roxanne, thank you. I always appreciate compliments on my writing from you, because I admire your writing so much.

    Katie, yes, let's hope my knee gets better before I get myself into trouble! Now that I'm up from my nap, I'm engaged in some innocuous activities--making spaghetti sauce and getting some scarves ready to sell on eBay. It's good to stay busy with things that keep me on my feet some of the time so I don't stiffen up from sitting too much, but that don't make me get all swoll up like walking does! As for wanting to travel and having Steve to go places with--wow! Yeah! It's a double blessing!

    Carolyn, thank you. I love hearing from you. Thanks for your friendship.