I used to think that I would forever be plagued with bad timing. Buy a textbook at the college bookstore for $100, get $3.66 back when you traded it in at the end of the year. My timing has been so bad over the years, I tell my friends, if you want something I just bought, wait a few days. It’s guaranteed to drop in price by 70% in a week.
So imagine my muted glee that when my back decided to go out more than I do, my long awaited lower back surgery was scheduled. According to my gifted surgeon, my Valentine’s gift was a bouncing baby disc broken in 40 places. I can take solace that at least it wasn’t my heart.
As I arrived home after a long day at the surgeon’s, I found myself helpless and powerless to navigate 14 steps into my home. I called my brawny police buddy at 10 pm for his assistance. My first humbling admission after he safely delivered me to my front door, was to acknowledge to his wife that we each shared a mutual bond of sisterhood. We both felt safe in her husband’s arms.
Now ensconced in my bed, the next several days were spent in a painful fog. As my brain began to gain clarity, it assumed the mental equivalence of whack-a-mole game. Thoughts darted in an out in rapid fire. Why does swiss cheese have holes? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses tell knock knock jokes? I even began reciting my own Gettysback Address, “Four days and seven Percocet’s ago, my friends brought forth to this mattress, a broken man. Dedicated to the realization and proposition that all men are NOT created equal.”
It was fortuitous that my blessed mother was visiting the week I had the surgery. I had reverted back to my childhood. I needed assistance to go to the potty. I was disappointed because in the “old” days when my mother accompanied me to the porcelain goddess, I was given a Raisinet as a reward. Another glaring truth, adulthood is fraught with disappointment!
Each morning my mother asked me if she could help me get my shirt on. “Let’s put our little armees through the little hole Johnny.” I was graciously spared standing on a chair while proudly shouting the proclamation, “So big!”
You learn about yourself after major surgery. Do you know if you skip a shower for three days, you smell like a corn chip? No offense to my camper friends but why couldn’t it be a fireplace starter log?
Another thing I learned is a walker is the teenage equivalent of borrowing your parent’s van with the fake wood paneling decal to go on your first date. You are perceived as a goober! The hunched over appearance lends itself to telling everyone you meet that your Depends has reached its capacity and it’s time to go home now.
I never realized how uncoordinated you become until it’s time to put on (of all things) your underwear. This should be an Olympic qualifying event. I wonder if I’ll ever get back this talent? Every day I take a deep breath like I’m sizing up a pole vaulters bar in the distance. I then get a shuffling start, promptly try to lift one leg and place it in the hole like I’m playing corn hole blindfolded. The flailing and hopping on one leg is reminiscent of a wild turkey being given a glancing blow by a passing pickup truck.
I know God says He will never give us anything more than we can bear. But until I’m off my walker and I get my balance back, I may have to choose the “bare” option.