Me, My Knee and Jane Fonda

My left knee supported a childhood of climbing and falling out of trees and playing touch football. It had renovated old houses, condos and survived stilettos. After stumbling on our welcome mat it said “enough already”. Spending my golden years tagging behind a walker was not appealing. Jane Fonda, the poster child for the new older woman, touted the value of knee and hip replacement surgery.

After the surgery, I lay in my hospital bed with tubes inserted in places, I didn’t know you could put tubes. My knee was ensconced in a passive motion ice machine. I had enough drugs to put Rush Limbaugh in a coma. Three days later, I was ready to leave the hospital. To ensure I recovered properly a physical therapist would be coming to my home three times a week. I envisioned recuperating, floating in a pain free fog, catching up on reading, watching chick flicks, utterly free from any responsibility other than to be perfectly coiffed and hold court over my household.

My illusion was quickly shattered. Sprawled in a recliner, I looked like Chucky on crack. My hair stood in tufts on top of my head. Dressed in old flannel pajamas, complemented by an ancient robe; wool tube socks mitigated the shock from the Ice pack covering the wounded knee. Instead of chick flicks, images of civil war era surgeries floated through my mind.

Post surgery was not nearly as manageable without morphine. My entire day revolved around prescription painkillers, ingested to make physical therapy endurable. I dreaded the therapist’s treatments. Her warnings about adhesions caused by lack of exercise made me faint. I waited in terror for the water boarding to begin when I slacked off the stationary bike.

I wish I could say Jane was a role model for my recovery, but my inner cynic dictates otherwise. Outfitted in couture loungewear, she convalesced in a spa like atmosphere enhanced with IV drips and round the clock lackeys.

As for me, going forward I plan to retain all of my original equipment.

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