Saturday, March 29, 2014


In preparation for my upcoming knee replacement surgery, my doctor encouraged me to school myself in the procedure. This was not a good idea. I Googled “knee replacement” and came face to face with a photo of a knee with a large, nasty-looking scar running right down the middle. OMG! I wish I could scrub that image from my brain. This is when a DELETE button would come in handy. My sister told me I should baby my knee, honor it, and give it some TLC before the big event. So, where do I start? I had thought about giving my knee a name... “Clarice” popped into my head. Then I wondered if my other knee would feel slighted. I might be forced to give names to all my major body parts, just so nobody feels bad. I’m not sure I could come up with that many names. Some body parts are easier to work with than others. Elbows are great. Ears are also easy to work with. Then there are the toes, which are notoriously picky and tend to be jealous. I could totally see them revolting if not pleased with the names I pick out. Personally, I have always thought toes were revolting. So, the night before my surgery, I will let Clarice wear my birthday tiara. Maybe I’ll take her for a latte. Ok, I always take her with me but this time I will concentrate on making it special for her. It’s hard to look at my knee and know that in a few days it will be cut open and then stapled back together, with a bunch of other unpleasantness in between. My knee has a few battle scars from my childhood, plus a couple from previous arthroscopic surgeries. Compared to what’s in store for it, though, it’s a pretty pristine landscape. After surgery, it will look something like the Frankenstein monster, minus bolts in its neck. I wonder if I’ll wake up in the recovery room to the sound of tiny peasants with pitchforks and torches surrounding my hideous knee. I think I best be taking Clarice out for more than a latte. She might need a nice piece of coffee cake. It’s for her, not me... I’m just along for the ride.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Under The Knife... Again

I found out last week that I need to have a complete knee replacement. I have no cartilage left in my right knee, so my bones are rubbing together. Ick! I’m pretty bummed, as I had decided two years ago that my colon surgery would be my last. I’m not a fan of medical procedures or hospitals, but I guess nobody is. I have no idea where my cartilage went. Did it evaporate? Migrate south for the winter? It’s not like I’ve been extremely active and wore my knees out. Lately, I’ve only been in danger of my eyes bugging out as I try to get off the couch. Since my Big Giant Birthday two months ago, I’ve been pretty sensitive to the anything connected to old age. When I was consulting with the surgeon, he said “You are young and in relatively good health”. I looked around, trying to see who he was talking to. I assume this doctor sees elderly people all day long, so maybe I looked pretty damn good. It now seems that everybody I talk to about my upcoming surgery has either had a knee replacement, or knows someone who has had one. If “60 is the new 40”, then maybe knee replacements are the new tonsillectomies. Let me explain... When I was eight, it seemed that all my friends were getting their tonsils out. It was all the rage. Kids were promised ice cream after the procedure. This added to the allure, even though my family always had at least two different flavors of ice cream in our fridge. I asked my mom if I could get my tonsils out, because two of my friends were. She said “No”. Thinking back on it, I’m amazed I wasn’t the first one on the tonsillectomy train. I was ALWAYS getting sick and constantly had a sore throat. Somehow, though, I was the only one in the family to make it to adulthood with my tonsils intact. Talking to my friends after their procedure, it turned out to be painful and not-so-fun. When I was about ten, my younger sister had to get her tonsils removed. We always had to do stuff together, so my sense of self-preservation kicked in. I abandoned Mickey, and hid behind the couch until she was carted off to the hospital. Whew... that was a close call! I think I might call Mick as I head to the hospital for my knee replacement, so she can hide behind her couch. It might even things out.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I was getting a latte at my neighborhood coffee shop, and noticed a man playing chess with his daughter. She looked like she was maybe four years old... playing chess. OMG! I watched to make sure she wasn’t just messing with the horsey, or whatever it is you call that chess piece. She was actually making moves and listening to her dad. I’ve been told that chess is a game of military strategy, which would explain why I have never had the least bit of interest in playing. If I were in a military strategy meeting, I’m sure I would be more concerned about what everybody was going to wear than where to place men and bombs. Colors and fabric can be so important in life! Plus, they don’t explode. I suspect military strategy lives in the same area of the brain as math. That part of my brain is like pudding. Or maybe custard, which is the food equivalent of a thought problem (I dislike them both). Trust me. When I was four, I was not playing chess. Checkers were probably too advanced for me at that age. I think my focus back then was learning to stand on my head. I was skinny, so it was probably easy. I also enjoyed hanging by my knees from the top bar of our swing set. Maybe being upside down did something to my brain. I wish I would have thought of that during my battles in any math class I struggled with. It would have helped me to feel I was overcoming a handicap, instead of thinking I was just a numbskull. My kids attended chess club in elementary school. I’m not sure my daughter embraced the game, but I think my son went more than once. It made me feel dumb just to walk into the cafeteria after chess club. All those kids were learning such a mysterious game. I would have felt the same had they been assembling a nuclear bomb. So, to that little girl at the coffee shop... You go girl! Do battle with the boys but don’t forget about your fabulous wardrobe. You can do both. Checkmate!