august 8/UGH

Knee Injury.

Day Four

Still stiff. Still sore. Still hard to walk. Still using crutches. Well, just one crutch and hardly at all. Am I using a crutch or it, as a crutch?

Not being able to walk that well is getting old. This is the part of an injury that is tedious. The first day, you’re in shock and you don’t care about anything but getting rid of the pain and the feeling that something is in the wrong place. The second day, you’re a bit elated because the pain is gone and everything seems to be in the right place and it looks like you probably won’t have to go to the doctor—at least not yet—and there’s a glimmer of hope that you might not have to spend months recovering. The third day, you can walk, just a few steps, without crutches and even put a little bit of weight on your right leg. You marvel at far you’ve come in just 2 and a half days! But, the fourth day, that’s when the newness and the shock of the injury wear off. You’re improving, but not fast enough. And it’s hard to gauge how much. You’re tired of icing your knee and getting up very carefully and sitting on the couch or the bed or a chair all the time. You want to walk the dog. To not have to drive the 2 blocks for your son’s appointment. To enjoy the summer day. You worry that you’ve misjudged this injury, that it’s serious and that you’re doing more harm than good. You feel restless and lazy.

Ugh, day four, you’re such a bore!

I’d like to craft a ghazal about my injury, but it’s hard to do a ghazal without sounding forced or too cheesy. Not sure I succeeded, but I tried:

The injury happened on Saturday, so it’s only been four days
but even prior to the traumatic event, there had been lots of sore days.

My knee had felt weird, or slipped out of place, or just not right,
but it still worked. That was then, in the before days.

The days before Saturday, when my knee decided it was fed up with marathon training.
Getting up from a chair too quickly, I felt less shocked, more dazed.

I knew that something was wrong, something wasn’t fitting back into place.
I couldn’t stand up straight. And I wouldn’t be able to for days.

Now, it’s Tuesday and I’m recovering. Slowly. Mostly patiently, but it’s hard.
I ask myself, Sara, how long will this last: months or weeks or days?

Went to open swim. Swam only a few strokes but I knew: bad idea. My knee didn’t want to bend and I was worried that I would be in the middle of the lake and get a terrible calf cramp. No thanks. So, I turned around and got out. I can try again on Thursday.

Knee status: still limping. still stiff, but much better. My optimism continues to grow.

Treatment: Continue to get up out of chairs very slowly. To walk slowly. To move slowly. To be slowly.