Friday, October 31, 2008

Life on wheels

Things I've learned since having ankle/foot surgery:

* From now on when I play the "I Never" game, I can no longer use the phrase, "I've never broken any bones." Now I have to say, "I've never accidentally broken any bones"!

* Using a knee caddy scooter (pictured at right) has its pros and cons. It gets all kinds of great reactions -- usually sympathy or curiosity, but occasionally awe (The best reaction so far, from a wide-eyed five-year-old girl: "Cool!"); and hey, I get to ride a scooter in court (with the permission of the judges!!).

The downside: I don't really have a choice in the matter. It would be a lot more enjoyable if I didn't have to use it, even just to get from one piece of furniture to another in my own home!

* I really miss rehearsing and performing with the Vocal Majority! Yes, it requires a lot of time and work (work which was getting increasingly painful as my ankle deteriorated before surgery) but the feeling of being inside those clean, tight, ringing chords with the world's best men's chorus of its kind is something you just don't get over quickly. I need my fix. Plus they're just an awesome group of guys to hang around with.

I may miss it the most this next weekend. VM will be spending several days in the resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, at a luxury hotel, eating great food, relaxing and sightseeing, at little cost to the members. The chorus will perform four shows over four days (sold out for months, with a waiting list) to an extremely appreciative audience, and otherwise the time is their own. Sigh.

* Being waited on hand and foot and being chauffeured everywhere (I can't drive yet) is kind of nice, but like the "fun" of the scooter, it would be a lot nicer if it were optional rather than a necessity.

* Finally, I've learned not to take Benadryl to control itching or other symptoms of allergies. Turns out I'm horribly allergic to Benadryl!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The World's Greatest Procrastinator

I am the World's Greatest Procrastinator.

Oh, I've had the basic skill at putting things off for years. My motto has been, why put things off until tomorrow when you can put them off until the day after tomorrow? But my latest accomplishment wins me the title, hands down.

As you can tell by scrolling down, my last post here was on September 10. I knew I'd blown off posting here for a while, and I actually have a decent reason -- I had some pretty major surgery on my right foot and ankle on September 22, and while I was convalescing at home, my internet access was limited to a dial-up on a laptop with a really slow modem. That, plus the fact that it's hard to feel creative or entertaining when your lower right leg is encased in a hunk of concrete and pain meds make it difficult to focus on the screen.

"God bless us, every one!"

But the delay in posting here is not what makes me the World's Greatest Procrastinator.

Although I still have to keep any weight off of my right foot for a month or two more, I'm getting more and more able to get around as time goes by. It helps that after removing the aforementioned hunk of concrete to take my stitches out last week, they put a new cast on which is much sleeker and lighter. It no longer takes a load lifter and two burly construction workers just to help me turn over in bed. (I do miss them, though. Sven, Roger, call me some time.)

I use a knee caddy -- basically like a four-wheeled modified Razor scooter that I kneel on with my right foot dangling behind me -- to get around, and I have to be chauffeured everywhere. (It's difficult to push a brake or gas pedal when you can't bend your right foot at the ankle.) I've just completed my first full week back at work, and with a few adaptations -- like handling the stares when rolling into court, or just sitting up real tall instead of "all-rising" when the judge comes in -- I survived. It exhausts me more than it used to, but it's do-able.

But why am I the World's Greatest Procrastinator? It's because this surgery basically corrected a birth defect.

That's right, after 44 years of walking on this planet, a misalignment of my right ankle -- that's likely been there all my life -- finally had a negative effect, shredding a tendon. So... the surgery both repaired (actually replaced) the tendon and also broke leg bones so as to reset and rebuild my ankle so that it functions properly.

Four-and-a-half decades for a birth defect to appear should qualify me for the title, right?

I realize that being the World's Greatest Procrastinator carries with it some serious expectations, and I'd be jeopardizing the title if I posted here more often... but I'll try to come up with a new post every now and then anyway.

P.S. While we're on the subject of my superior procrastination abilities, I would like to remind a couple of female friends from my youth (each now grown and married with families of their own) of a certain incident in the summer of 1983, wherein they conspired to soak me with a bucket of water when I had done nothing to provoke them. I vowed then that I would have my revenge someday, somehow, when they least expected it. I haven't forgotten.

And 25 years later seems about right for the World's Greatest Procrastinator.