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Thursday, March 22, 2007

diary of a mad pasty gimp-woman

ooooof. this recovery business is a tedious thing, let me tell you.

i've been lying on my ass so long that my bed has a massive mr nice guy-shaped dent in it. [i am lying on it now and i just watched an across-the-street neighbor emerge from a house and piss on the graffiti-scrawled fence next to the building. in broad daylight. no bathroom inside?] the days are a blur. i am lucky if i get downstairs more than once and sitting at the dinner table is only tolerable in 30 minute chunks. still, i have made some major post-surgery milestones. here they are:

last wednesday: watched "batman begins," courtesy of netflix. took me about 8 hours because the percocet kept making me alternately fall asleep and hallucinate that i was being persecuted by liam neeson's mustache. at some point in my feverdream, my 20-pound one-eyed cat leaps up onto the bed and lands heavily on my knee. for the next hour i can only see the color pain.

last thursday: made it downstairs for dinner. daughter christens me with new name: Daddy Boo-Boo Knee. i die a little inside when i can't hoist her into the air and fling her around.

last friday: changed the bandages on my knee, which looks like a woman's basketball painted with a bitchin' sunburst design. my left quad is already visibly losing muscle mass. the sight of my pallid, broken body triggers mrs nice guy's gag reflex.

last saturday: consternated and constipated: begin learning the hard way about one of percocet's shitty (or should i say "un-shitty") side-effects. later my wife gives me a shower with my leg encased in saran wrap and a tall kitchen trashbag. least-erotic constipated soapy rubdown of all time.

last sunday: put pants on all by myself! also not very erotic ... later that day: the cat leaps onto my knee again. i invent new obscenities in 12 languages and swear upon all that is holy that i will have vengeance. ever been irrationally furious with a hapless housepet? not a proud moment.

monday: well, now! it seems i have finally grown my first-ever full beard, mustache and all! (stache-spiration: liam neeson in batman begins.) i shave the facial overgrowth into shape a little bit until i look remarkably like a red-headed barry gibb. look out, ladies! ("you can tell by the way i use my walk i'm a ... pathetic gimp?")

tuesday: the doctor told me i'd be out of work for at least a week and he was right. by tuesday my brain (such as it is) felt about 100 percent even if my leg was still a dead-weight rotting slab of roadkill. so i started working from home -- and actually had a more-productive couple of days in bed than i have been known to have in the office (where i have delicious access to cable tv).

yesterday: after eight days confined to my little cave, i decided it was time to venture outdoors for the first time since my surgery. it took me about 15 minutes to get into jeans, a sweater and one shoe (i had to ask my mother-in-law to apply the other shoe ... which was actually slightly more erotic than the shower). my goal was to make it to the coffee shop four short blocks away. despite being thoroughly exhausted just from getting dressed, i ventured forth on crutches. once outside i felt like a lumbering lummox, the littlest beegee. everyone was probably laughing at how ridiculous i looked in my full-leg brace and crutches and gibb-beard. i felt ... tired. i made it two blocks. i could see the coffee shop two more blocks away and--even though it looked like it was 600 miles on the horizon--i knew i could make it there. but then it dawned on me: how the hell was i going to make it back? i was out of breath, my arms ached, my knee was throbbing and i wanted to take a nap. defeated, i did an about face and headed home. i barely made it. i heaved myself upstairs, almost taking a tumble, took off my brace and flopped onto the bed. as i lay there hyperventilating, i see the cat out of the corner of my eye about to jump onto the bed ... with astonishing speed i fling my right leg into the air, deflecting her from landing square onto my broken left knee. she goes flying across the room, lands on her feet and slinks away, dejected. i feel glorious.

today: heading in to the city to get my sutures removed and hopefully hear that there are no massive irregularities going on with my leg. my saintly long-suffering wife has been threatening to change the grimy, crumb-filled, coffee-stained sheets of my sick bed. then, since i haven't had any percocet since last night, i am going to drink a beer and, with a little luck, poop.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard a cheery story this morning on NPR about contaminated body tissues being used in knee surgeries and immediately thought of you. Won't horrify you with the details. Let's just say I hope you got a STERILIZED meniscus (apparently only 10% of patients do) and leave it at that. You have access to cable TV at your office? Dang it, I want to work there. We get no TV of any kind. The grinches I work for see to think that it would cut into our productivity, if you can imagine such a thing. Hang in there, bro! We're rooting for you.

3/22/2007 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

say it with me...COLACE. i was popping several of those a day after giving birth. they will give you sweet, intenstinal relief, i promise

3/22/2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

thanks, RLR. stories about shady tissue dealers and organ harvesters are nothing new. there was a whole scandal in new jersey last year (that even involved poor old alastair cooke's remains), right around the time i was originally supposed to have this surgery. and anyway i did my share of research. some kid who had the same surgery i did a couple years back got an infected meniscus and died about a week later. yikes.

but frankly, i am not too worried about the quality of my care -- pretty much dealing with the best and the brightest here at HSS. the whole reason i've had to wait a year for my surgery is because they've been so careful. besides, if i received any kind of infected tissue i'd probably know it (or be dead) by now anyway.

3/22/2007 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Samantha Jo Campen said...

Ditto with the COLACE.

And then stock up on toilet paper.

3/22/2007 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can feel your pain...when our daughter was 5 months old I broke my wrist. Not being able to pick her up for a month was awful. (although not being able to change diapers wasn't so bad...). Not to mention taking showers with a bag over my arm. I can tell you this: it feels good when it is over!

3/22/2007 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Sallyacious said...

Boy does some of that sound horribly familiar. I remember giving a lecture about a week post-surgery. I was still on the pain meds, so my husband had to drive me to school. I can't imagine how I must have looked to my students. I'm not really sure what I said in class.

I also remember my feelings of triumph when I realized I could carry things around the house in a plastic bag looped over one wrist and still use my crutches.

And the JOY of being able to take a shower. Oh. God. The shower.

3/22/2007 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Glad the surgery went well, all things considered, and that you've held onto your sense of humor. Enjoy the beer. You deserve it. But make sure to lock the cat up before you do--you might not be so adept at deflecting her attacks after the beer(s).
P.S. Cannot believe you worked from home. But I'm impressed.

3/22/2007 8:55 PM  
Blogger Catharine said...

The cat called. We did a little therapy. She says she sorry about the landing-on-knee thing, but reminds you that, with only one eye, she lacks depth perception. Also, she'd like me to point out that SHE wasn't the one who, through co-dependency and enabling, allowed her to balloon to a massive 20-pounds. (And she says it's only 18, but then what woman doesn't lie about her weight?)

Get well soon. In a year, you'll look back on all this and... well, because of the percocet, with any luck, you'll barely be able to remember it.


P.S. The word verification is "fclck," which the cat informs me is one of the words you hurled at her in your fit of pique.

3/22/2007 9:50 PM  
Anonymous damian said...

maybe pass some time making a guantanamo style fence from coathangers to place around your knee while you sleep. hang in there!

3/23/2007 12:19 AM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Mr Nice Guy,
So glad you are here. I can't agree more about the colace. Helped this formerly pregnant woman get back in the can again too. Gotta love a 20 lb cat!!!

And I would have commented on your last blog about music, but I was afraid you'd laugh at me.

Best wishes!!!!

3/23/2007 5:31 AM  
Blogger Lesley said...

Real men don't poo.

3/23/2007 5:41 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

catherine, whose side are you on?

all -- thanks for the colace recommendation. but you know what? real men (if they're going to do it at all) get things moving the old fashioned way: LOTS of coffee, lots of multigrain toast and lots of fruit. in a word: BOOM! AWWW YEAH.

3/23/2007 10:48 AM  
Blogger Lay Clerk said...

You have my complete sympathy! I'm currently laid up at home with a ruptured Achilles Tendon which happened while playing badminton last weekend (an old man trying to play a young man's game) and experiencing all the fun and games of the exhaustion of using crutches. Keep in there mate!

3/23/2007 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

coffee is good but colace is better. dude, try it. you're gonna want that special feeling down them thar that coffee just can't provide. enough said.

3/23/2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger The Walshes said...

Get well wishes Mr Nice Guy! Thanks for the heads up about Frida...she fits perfectly into that mix. And really, with a name like Frida can you help yourself from running barefoot through a forest?

As for the coffeeshop....go get yourself some organic fair trade hot chocolate (as if you would buy anything but) and make some homemade mochas. I warn addictive..I can't even drink regular coffee anymore! Way less effort than hobbling down the street on crutches though!

3/23/2007 3:56 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ugh, crutches are the most evil things of all! I have had them a couple of times and always felt like the most out-of-shape wreck on them.

But, wait, can't you get anything you want delivered to you in NYC? I thought that was one of the perks---just snap your fingers and someone delivers you a coffee!

3/23/2007 10:36 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

I truly feel your pain, Mr. Nice Guy. I had a nasty motorcycle accident a few months ago and there was a whole lotta bandage changing and gimpy movements. And the fear in my daughter's eyes was unbearable.

And, after years of football, and the flaring regular pain in my left knee... I'll probably need something like this. Thanks for scaring me.

I'm a new blogfather - glad to have discovered your site. Finally.

3/24/2007 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A water gun should work well on the cat. A super soaker would be even better. Arm yourself and wait in bed. It also works well in training them to stay off furniture...
Get well soon!

3/25/2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger viciousrumours said...

Trust the pregnant women on this one. If you have to get an enema, you'll be wishing you had gone with the colace.

Having had knee surgery, I winced as I relived the pain. I hope you recover swiftly. Try not to kill the cat as this would be hard to explain to the child.

Best wishes for a quick recovery!

3/26/2007 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A secret from the maternity ward... COLACE.

3/26/2007 5:41 PM  

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