It was like Rocky…only in slow motion.
I took my act on the road this week, or at least on the street, when my surgeon finally gave me the okay to walk out amongst humans without leg braces, walker, or cane.
“I think you’re ready for just about anything,” he said Tuesday morning.
Ready for just about anything. I have been waiting to hear those words since mid-December when I first hit the snow-covered deck and wrecked both my knees.
Every morning when I went lumbering to rehab with those awful leg braces I told anybody within earshot that I was going to be walking every day by spring.
This latest was much more optimistic than the original estimate, when my doctor thought I’d be out of commission for 18 flipping months.
I walked home from the doctor’s office that day, both out of a desire to use my legs again and the fact that I’d had a brutal shouting match with a local car service driver and dispatcher earlier that morning after they left me hanging outside my house for 20 minutes.
“Why are you screaming, sir?” the dispatcher asked repeatedly.
I wasn’t aware that I’d been screaming, but I think the definite lack of a car might have had something to do with my consternation. My doctor’s office fills up very quickly and if you don’t get there ahead of the crowd you can kiss your schedule goodbye.
I confess I overreacted, as usual, but these people weren’t very helpful either. I’ve had a couple of battles with the neighborhood car services now and at this rate the only way I’ll be able to get a ride is to dive into a trash bag and wait for a garbage truck.
Going the Distance
On Thursday I hiked a few blocks down to Bliss Park, appropriately named on this day, when I was feeling quite happy. It’s a very hilly area, which is good for the quads, and there’s some playground equipment where I got to do some pull-ups.
Then on Friday morning I went for the big one. There’s a flight of exterior stairs on a dead-end street near my house and, though I’ve climbed them many times in the past, they now looked like Mount Everest with bannisters.
If I had been wearing cymbals on my quaking knees I could’ve started a one-man band, but
but I knew I had to attempt an ascent.
Up I went, 12 steps and then a landing, followed by 12 more and then the final dozen. I was charging to the top just like Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art—if Rocky had been 60 years old, hairless, and recovering from double knee surgery.
I turned right around, walked down to the bottom, and then headed back up. I did this routine 7 or 8 times before going the hell home.
On Saturday morning I walked 10 blocks to my favorite fruit and vegetable store, which I hadn’t visited in months and that night I went on my first big outing, as my sister and I ventured into Manhattan to see the Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of Conor McPherson’s production of The Seafarer.
We took yet another car service to and from the theater and I managed not to scream at the drivers either time.
It was so nice to be out and doing things, instead of parking myself in front of the TV or the computer. And this morning I went shopping at my local supermarket, after weeks of calling in the orders and having them delivered.
I intend to keep on walking every day. It builds up my leg muscles and, given my luck with car services, it may be my only way of getting around.