Although we have two weeks off from Finish the Sentence Friday posts, I was reading through my new “friend-I-have-yet-to-meet” Kelly McKenzie’s FB feed and I came across this gem from The Qwiet Muse…and it got me started thinking.

Thinking is about the most active thing I’ve done since December 2nd, 2015. Whilst stepping out to my car (conveniently parked in front of the Administration Building on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus) to fetch my notebook for German 432 (this semester it was Hermann Hesse’s Masterworks), I put my left foot down – not hard, mind you – and the meniscus in my left knee SNAPPED. Audibly. SNAPPED. And yes, I felt it SNAP. And heard it SNAP. Did I mention that it SNAPPED audibly? Yes. Thought so. Instantly I went from a normal (stop laughing, now!) human person with a reasonably able body to a total gimp. My left knee collapsed and I nearly went arse over tip. As luck would have it, I was less than two steps away from my car, so I hopped on my right leg, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs words which I won’t repeat here. I called my orthopod’s office at Orthopedic Physicians of Anchorage (shameless plug here!) and was able to get in to their emergency afterhours clinic…

The next fun thing to happen was to get my daughter downstairs. For all she knew at that moment, I was in class, cramming information on Hermann Hesse in German. I stopped a nice young fella who was walking by and asked him to go into the lobby of the Admin Building, where my much-pierced friend Walter Zimmerman (we call him Z and I adore him) was sitting. “Tell Z,” I said, “that my left knee just snapped and I need him to go upstairs and tell my daughter that she needs to come downstairs. NOW.” So the nice young man obliged. People can be truly wonderful.

Poor Z came running out of Admin, freaking because well…I’m not usually the kind that flips out about a booboo. This. Was. Not. A. Fricking. Booboo. I asked him to go fetch my daughter and my bag, forgetting that I’d already dumped my bag and my drink in the classroom before innocently heading out to my car for the Hesse notebook. How fast things can change! While Z was fetching my daughter, I hopped over to the window of my classroom and knocked on the glass, attracting the attention of my classmate Erin, who is a dear girl. She came running out to see what was wrong, and I asked HER to fetch my stuff because my left knee was kaput and I had to go to the emergency clinic. So while Z was fetching my daughter and Erin was fetching my stuff, I was leaning against my car on my good leg, which was by now extraordinarily SORE from bearing my whole weight…and called my husband, who met us over at OPA later on.

I drove to the emergency clinic at OPA and in a complete reversal of roles, my daughter went into the entrance where they keep the wheelchairs. You see, in May my daughter had a complete hip replacement and I was the caretaker…so the look on the face of her orthopod’s medical assistant was EPIC when she saw us emerging from the elevator – me in the wheelchair and my daughter walking along behind me…I wish I’d taken a photo.

X-rays were taken, a brace was applied and I was given an appointment for an MRI in a couple of days. Now, mind you, this was BEFORE FINALS WEEK…and I had two finals in German the following Wednesday and Thursday.

Next I saw the PA for my orthopod, who diagnosed a torn meniscus and asked when did I want to schedule surgery. Oy…well, it’s the end of the year, we’ve paid our $4K deductible(!) plus our out of pocket stuff, so why the hell not? We said ASAP please…and surgery was scheduled for December 17, the week after my last final exam. The surgery revealed two tears in the meniscus of my left knee as well as a chunk of cartilage that probably had been floating around in my knee since my head-on collision the week before finals, December 10, 2013. I’m sensing a trend here…the week before finals of the fall semester does not seem to be a lucky time for me. In addition, I’m thinking that my left knee seems marked for disaster…hm.

Anyway. The surgery went well, although when I came to afterward, I was crying so hard that I could not breathe…and it took what seemed like an eternity for the nurses to get the pain under control. At length, however, they did and I went home, to munch pain pills and live with the Iceman apparatus on my left knee 24/7. Knee surgery hurts. A LOT. 

So during this time I have been doing a lot of thinking, as I stated earlier. I wrote a little about the thinking on my FB page, Christmas Eve…
Just musing as I lie here, sleepless….this Christmas has been one for the books. Really. I’ve had Christmases that I’d give anything to be able to forget, and I’ve had Christmases that ring with joy….and the difference betwixt the two? The difference lies in choosing to rejoice, regardless of circumstance. It would be easy to be depressed because I’m gimpy with this knee surgery. It would be very easy to be bummed out because we only decorated for Christmas on the 23rd of December…but I’ve chosen to rejoice because our beloved daughter Kate is once again healthy and making plans for the future. I rejoice, despite the grievous loss of our dearly loved cat Jane…I rejoice because we now have Miss Lydia and the delicious energy of a kitten again! I rejoice because my great niece Rebecca Jervoise Alexander is healthy and enjoying what her mother calls “the house white.” I rejoice because after 29 years of marriage, my husband Paul is still the love of my life and the joy of my heart. I rejoice because our son Rhys is a good man with a great and generous heart…I rejoice. Even in the most difficult moments…I rejoice.”

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