April 2nd, 2004


And I'm not afraid to use them.

I was lying on my back, gritting my teeth. My physical therapist was manipulating my knee cap, a painful process I have already grown to detest. To distract myself, I told him, "Guess what I did last night?"

He kept poking at my knee and obligingly asked, "What?"

"I went out dancing," I said smugly.

He stopped with the nasty poking and prodding and looked up at me. "You did what?"

I grinned, pleased with the reaction (not to mention the brief knee-relief). "I went out dancing! Well, okay, I really just went to the dance club. Saw my friends. Bopped around a lot from my bar stool. And for one song, I even crutched my way onto the floor and stood on one foot, half dancing/swaying for the whole song!"

He was pleased and amused to hear I'd had a good time. He promised to get my knee working again so I could dance properly soon.

Yesterday was one week post-surgery. Aside from one brief venture out to Big Boy Restaurant, I have spent that entire time either in my house, resting on my back with my leg up, or at a doctor appointment. I've done nothing else, gone nowhere. I've seen people, but only because I've had some wonderful friends and family coming by to visit and take care of me. I haven't gone out in public or done anything social at all.

Last night, when F came over, I asked him if he wanted to try a brief bar outing. He was all for it! So we went to my upstairs (where I've only been once since the surgery), and we found my black jeans and a cute t-shirt. I wrapped my knee in an ace bandage, and I took a vicodin. We were ready to sample the nightlife....or at least as ready as I was likely to be.

It was great. I saw several friends, had some conversations, heard some great music. Like I said: I even went out on the dance floor once and swayed to the music (Cuts You Up by Peter Murphy, one of my favorite songs to dance to). I found a place to prop my leg up, talked, had fun, and felt like an almost-healthy person. It was really cool, even if I couldn't stay very long. Naturally I was very tired and sore by the time I got home, but it was worth it just to feel social for a little while.

After I left my PT this morning, my sister gave me a ride home. I asked her if she'd mind stopping quickly at a nearby medical supply store, so we could buy some new crutch handles. (By this time, both of my crutch handles were broken, not just the one.)

Unfortunately it turned out that the nearby medical supply store had moved. But we found a different one on the list I'd been given, still fairly near, and we went there instead.

Our luck still against us, it turned out they don't sell the part of the handle which is broken. They offered to give me the number of another store which might have it. I looked at my old and beat-up crutches. They carried my all over Amherst's campus for months, 11 years ago. I'd replaced the tips 3 times, and needed to do it again. The handles were broken. A couple of people had told me they looked too small for me.

"If I had a prescription for new crutches, could you fill that here?" I asked the saleswoman instead.

Almost before the decision was fully made, I had used her phone to call my doctor's office, and a prescription was sitting on the store's fax machine. She pulled out a shiny new pair of crutches, took my insurance information, made the appropriate sizing adjustments, and a few minutes later I was swinging out of the store with new wheels. Um, sticks. Or something.

Anyway, watch out. I have pretty new crutches. And I'm not afraid to use them.