Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sign Of My Times

"One always overcompensates for disabilities. I'm thinking of having my entire body surgically removed."

-Douglas Adams

Fine. Fine. I'm fine. Really... fine. Well, actually, not so much fine, but rather ok. Yeah. I am ok. I would be better if I didn't feel like such an old lady. And old lady with a handicap placard. It's all the fault of this stupid arthritis in my knees. Especially to blame is my right knee for betraying me in this most painful fashion. The idea of a handicap placard hadn't even occurred to me, but rather it was my Dr.'s idea. You see, the phone rang in my house the other day, and the conversation went like this... "RING, RING." "Hello" I said. "Mrs. Gordon, this is Dr. E's office, do you want to pick up the form for your handicap placard, or do you want it mailed?" "Huh?" I was a little perplexed. Like I said, it had never occurred to me that I even qualified."

After a couple moments of dumb-founded-ness, I thought about it, then told the nurse I would pick up the DMV form later that day. After I cried for a couple moments, I went in the bathroom and looked at the top of my head. Yep, I got some gray. Then I began to check for wrinkles. No, face looks ok. "Is my butt falling?" I thought to myself, but after a quick check I was relived to find it right where it should be... give or take 5 inches. I could be happier with my boobs, but heck, all in all, I am ok for an old woman of 46! So, why was this hurting my feelings so much?

Is it because it is just one more thing, in an already heartbreaking year? Is it because I am in physical pain, every time the temperature dips below 50 degrees? Is it because I am just not the girl I used to be? Well, I already gave up wearing Capri pants, Micky Mouse shirts, and sleeveless tops, because while I believe that one should dress in whatever style makes one feel comfortable, I also realize that at a certain point you have to dress to suit the total you, including your age. So, rather then dress like a hip 80's girl, I now dress like a fashionable woman of 2008. But will the new fashion accessory the doctor picked out for me, make me no longer attractive, because lets face it, can orthopedic shoes be far behind?! LOL.

Sometimes, when I go to the grocery store, I come out in pain, and barely able to walk. Even just 30 or 45 minutes can be enough to make me nearly cry. What the heck happened to grocery stores? Is it just me, or have supermarkets really gotten colder in the last few years? The store I shop at most, Lucky's, has the freezer, and produce section right in front of the door. It's makes the whole place cold. REALLY cold. Safeway is similar. Or maybe it's not as bad as all that, and my knee is just that sensitive. And maybe, just maybe, the root of all my hurt feelings, and apprehension stems from the fear that one day, my doctor will tell me to put my camera down. AHA... fear of the unknown.


For now, she hasn't said anything like that. She and I have discussed all the options. Cortisone shots. Surgery. Quad exercises. Right now I am doing the pain killers, and quad exercises, with the proviso that we keep a close eye on the damage already done to my knee. Sigh. I am already preparing myself for things. Doing my research. Avoiding feeling sorry for myself. Self-pity does very little to improve my circumstance. I suppose, if need be, I will reinvent myself yet again. I did it after I went nuts, I did it again after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and then yet again after Type 2 Diabetes, and once more after Mr. November left my life. Why should this situation be any different... right?
I know I plan to spend the next 37 days educating myself on how to better handle arthritis and being proactive in my life. Why the next 37 days you ask?

Well, my pal Connie gave me some things
to think about the other day, after I read one of her best ever entries on her journal, "Thoughts On My Life And Other Mindless Chatter." In that entry she asks the question, "What would you do if you only had 37 Days left to live? Do my a favor, go and read her magnificent journal, and leave her your thoughts about what the last 37 days of your life would be like, if you knew you only had 37 days left. Connie's writing always makes me take a step back and think about things. She has had some incredible struggles, and she still gets right back up. So many times she has inspired me with her honesty and wit. If you haven't read her yet... you should. Thanks Connie, for giving me something to think about! You're awesome!

What Would You Do? (Thoughts on my Life and Other Mindless Chatter)

"Red Sign"
Berkeley, California
August 20, 2008


IndigoSunMoon said...

Hey babe...
Since my journal is private I will send you a copy of my entry, and you can post it here ok?

Now listen Carly gal. There is nothing absolutely NOTHING wrong with going to the grocery store and riding on a ride on cart. The first time I had to do it after surgery I felt like such a bozo. But after that first time, it was fine. Nobody pointed and gawked at me like I thought they would. They just let me drive by without saying a word. So take advantage of things like that anytime you can!
I'm glad my entry was helpful to you. I ordered the book, even though I couldn't afford it. I really truly believe it's going to give me some epiphanies!! And lord knows I need some eye openers right now.
Love you!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I don't believe for a moment that any doctor who has talked with you for more than five seconds would EVER tell you to put the camera down. The camera doesn't cause the medical conditions. The camera keeps you interested and fighting, and doing the best you can. But if a doctor ever does say such an asinine thing, you have my permission to give him hell - and then leave, camera in hand, taking pictures all the way home.