April 1, 2007
Yep. Four days since my massive reconstructive foot surgery and I’d just like to say that I’ve CHANGED MY MIND. I’ve decided not to do it. I’ve decided that this is not a good time to be laid up and off my feet and dependent on everyone around me for ice packs and coffee and snacks.
You know how we moms are always wishing that we could just GO TO BED? Like, if we were just forced for a week or so to get as much sleep as we could handle, wouldn’t our lives be immeasurable enriched? You know how we’ve always said that?
Except that, well, it’s kind of awful.
I can’t really express WHY it’s kind of miserable, given that my mother is here and taking care of everything with much more efficiency than I ever do on a normal basis, that my husband has stepped up to new heights in the caring for a bed-ridden Barb scenario—and this is a man who took care of me for twenty weeks when I was first on bed rest while pregnant with Jane. Somehow, all of that means nothing when it takes a superhuman effort just to get your crutches maneuvered in exactly the right way to go to the bathroom. Or when showering becomes, by necessity, a group activity—and I don’t mean that in a good way.
I know, I know. I’m whining. I’m whining and all of these people are doing everything possible so that I have nothing to whine about. Ah, but did they know they were dealing with such an overachiever?
It’s not all been miserable. I heard from a lot of people who wanted to wish me well—and that was just amazing. Several of my friends actually brought me plants and flowers and FOOD. That’s been all good. And I’ve gotten some really great time cuddling with the cats, especially our fat kitty Thomas, who has the personality, according to my husband of a cross between a houseplant and a stuffed animal. Thomas, again according to my husband, is really putting an Olympic effort into mastering the 24-hour nap, and right now he seems to want to do that with ME. There is nothing more soothing than a 25 pound cat curled up right against you, purring contentedly, to make you realize how much of your life is spent in wakeful futility.
Another good thing that’s come out of this being confined to crutches and small (but embarrassingly frequent) trips to the bathroom is that I’ve started knitting. Well, actually, my mom has gotten into knitting in a big way and now we’re ALL knitting. I don’t do anything but straight lines but I started this table runner for my friend Lisa for her birthday. Lisa stopped by to bring me cheese and crackers and an Easter lily (which, she very carefully explained, did NOT mean she thought I was going to die) and she dismissed the idea of a table runner entirely by wrapping the thing around her and saying, “Well, you know I have this thing about scarves.” (As an aside, I don’t what I was thinking –a table runner for Lisa!) Anyway, the table runner is now going on MY table and I’m going to make Lisa a real scarf. Which meant buying some new yarn, which meant searching online for yarn stores in town, which meant that I inadvertently stumbled upon this blog of this Canadian woman who is a knitter and who writes a darn entertaining blog even if you, the reader, do not knit. I had to follow the link when I saw the name: the Yarn Harlot. (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/) You can see why. At any rate, she’s given me reason to stop referring to that damn table runner as, “this thing I’m working on that keeps me from going home and taking all of my vicodin at once.”
(Perhaps my attitude toward this enforced inactivity could be better.)
At any rate, I so, so, SO love her blog that I’m seriously considering knitting some socks. You know, learning some stitches besides just knitting and purling. I used to know a lot more about knitting, having gone through a serious knitting phase when I was about 13, but my brain has eaten that information due to the fact that I just never pictured myself as a knitting sort of woman. Of course I never pictured myself as a:
It’s funny how life keeps reinventing us, no matter how much we kick and scream along the way. As an aside (and since this whole column seems to be one, you might not have known that THIS is actually the Official Aside): I could see those screws very clearly in the post op x-rays. They look JUST like the wood screws we used to build our deck. I can even tell that they are Phillips head screws—just in case I need to get out the old Black and Decker and tighten them up at some point.
Anyway, really, I have nothing to complain about. People are going to great lengths to keep me sane and, well, inactive, as per the doctor’s orders. I’ve taken up knitting and discovered that there is a whole Knitting Culture out there with which I was unfamiliar to now. Surely I am building some upper body strength by using these crutches. I’ve had some good time to sit and write and contemplate this turn of events in my life as I transition from a former runner to a Something Entirely Different. I have lovely blooming things all around me and had a visit from seven week old Mirabelle, who reminded me of how new babies smell and who gave me some awfully cute smiles.
I have a new table runner.
But here’s the thing, it’s 3:00 in the morning and I’m HUNGRY. My husband, the saint, who has been sleeping on a pallet (which is a nice way of saying he’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor) in the next room in case I require anything during the night, is ASLEEP, as are most normal people at this hour of the night. He has a bike ride in the morning and I’ve already woken him up once by accident. I don’t feel like I can now call him on the cell phone and say, “Gosh, it’s 3:00 IN THE FREAKING MORNING –can you make me some soup?”
I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.
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(c) Barbara Cooper 2007
Barb Cooper is the mother of Ana (9) and Jane (6). She lives in Austin, Texas and she really wanted some ice cream but knew THAT was a pipe dream.