July 24, 2020

I’m doing household chores, baby. Yeah…me!


There was rain forecast, I was outside, and I noticed a stapler on our patio table. You know what I did?


I carried it inside.


Let me explain. I got a new knee last week and I’m currently on seven - count ‘em - seven different medications. What that means, depending on the time of day, is I’m either mildly impaired, quietly loopy, or, you know, unconscious.


I’m an extraordinarily fortunate man in that I don’t take any medications in the normal course of events. The downside of that is when I do need a prescription, I have all the possible side effects listed. If the label says “May Cause Drowsiness” there better be a cushion on the floor, because I’ll probably topple over and start snoring. I’m typing as fast as I can here, because I’m already on the ragged edge of not making sense.


By the way, as a side note here, a week ago I knew nothing about nerve blocks, but now…big fan. Big fan. The one in my knee only lasted two days, but I’m in conversation with medical professionals about getting a whole-body nerve block which will last until after the presidential election. I don’t even care what the deductible is.


I’ve needed a new knee for quite some time. I hurt it playing high school football, then had my coach tell me earnestly, “A real player can play through pain,” which may be the dumbest thing ever to say to a sixteen-year-old boy. Next was the motorcycle accident, which is a little fuzzy except for the memory of looking down on the headlight of the motorcycle from above and in front of it, while I was still hanging onto the handlebars. After that was a quarter century of being a hog farmer, which meant that pretty much every day some critter weighing between twenty and six hundred pounds would ram into my legs in hopes of going someplace I didn’t want them to go. So, I wasn’t surprised when the surgeon came into the room after the operation and said, “That was a…bad knee.”


He also gave me some disappointing news. Certain members of my family had expressed the hope that I could save the bad knee, bring it home, and turn it into a coat hook or something similar. Sadly, the doctor doesn’t whack off each end of the leg and throw the joint in the wastebasket. He just used some computer aided magic knife to shave off portions of the bad bones and replace them with glue, titanium, and plastic. No souvenirs possible, although he did tell me that in his career, he’d had two people take home the ball end of their femur after a hip replacement. He didn’t know what happened to one of them, but he knew for sure that the other guy had misplaced his femur and his dog got ahold of it.


That is so disturbing, in so many ways. I don’t know how you rebuild your relationship with your dog after an incident like that.


My wife brought me home the day after the surgery and I’ve been stunningly, embarrassingly, useless ever since. Aside from cussing during physical therapy, my only contribution to the household is helping in the last minute of the daily ten-minute struggle to get my thigh high compression stockings on.


In the marriage equality sweepstakes, that’s not much.


But things are turning around. This morning, I was able to grab the stockings when they were only calf high, instead of over the knee.


And this afternoon…brought in the stapler. And the staples – in one trip.


Baby, I’m back.


Copyright 2020 Brent Olson

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