I went to see the fireworks last night at the soccer fields in Belmont. I saw lots of people I know and love. As I was moving over the uneven grass with my chair, on the way to the best spot, a sharp pain in my right knee said hello. After sitting a bit, I went for a hobbling walk with two wonderful kids. It was fun to talk to them. But then it was time to sit down and await the light show.
The sky was full with bursts of colour. I especially liked several explosions that looked like the multiple blossoms of a rhododendron. So cool.
Alas, all good things come to an end. As I got up to leave, the knee shrieked. In the dark it was hard to see the subtleties of grass contour and I paid for my missteps. For awhile I held on to the top of a low fence as I muddled along. Not good.
The strangest thing was that I smiled through it all. Despite the pain, I felt peaceful. Somehow I knew that all would be well. I crawled into bed and strategically arranged my legs for comfort, trusting that life would continue working.
Early this morning, there was trouble in River City. Rolling over sent shoots of yuckiness through the bod. “All right, that’s enough. Go to Urgent Care in London.” I’m getting better at obeying those commands.
Walking in the bedroom was in slow motion. I tried to keep my right leg straight and pretty much dragged it along. Still I was fine in the head. Remarkable. I then took the most careful shower of my life. Images flooded back of the ruptured tendon I had in 2003. That produced a tendon transfer surgery and 17 weeks on crutches. Then those pictures floated away. I remained calm.
Once I was shoehorned into Scarlet, driving was fine. I parked in the garage at St. Joseph’s Health Care and began a tedious shuffle towards the door of Urgent Care. How humbling to be so slow, to make sure there were no cars for 100 metres before crossing the street. I felt very old … so why was I happy? I don’t understand me.
As I reached the receptionist, words unfolded in my head: “Be good to them, Bruce.” Well, of course. That’s why I’m on the planet. And I followed through with that intent. I made the triage nurse laugh and she made me comfy in a wheelchair. I also shared chuckles with the X-ray technician. Plus the doctor (“Call me Danielle”) and I reflected on the mysteries of the body while she expounded on the meniscus, a collateral lateral ligament strain, Tylenol, Advil and ice. She told me that I wouldn’t damage the knee any more by walking on it, so I said no to crutches. “It was a pleasure to meet you,” she smiled, as we said goodbye. And the same from me. Thanks for helping me, doc.
I’m happy. I’m icing. I’m medicating. And I’m going to the visitation tonight for a dear friend and neighbour. Bill deserves my presence, even a limpy version.