Chapter 21 – Rehab the Hard Way

Chapter 21 – Rehab the Hard Way


June 22

They told me it would be a long recovery …

They did not lie … and one has to give them credit for being upfront about all the gory details. 
Really, a little too much information if you ask me!

Getting back to anything like a normal life has been hard work, and has involved learning how to lift and tote without the use of my abdominal muscles or the ability to bend and retrieve anything below knee level.
Tricky stuff when you drop a sock as you try to put it on 
… or a slice of onion goes astray during the chopping process
… or the morning paper slides from its plastic sleeve as you retrieve it from the front stoup. 
Not a pretty sight using one’s toes to lift and retrieve … but it saves searching for the clipper-picker-upper-thingy that has proven so useful … if only I could recall where I last used it!!!

However, like so much of what we discover, there is an upside to the down. 
In this case, it is the glorious weather we have been enjoying for the past couple of weeks. It makes lolling about outside, doing not much of anything, more of a treat than a treatment. 
So, to rest and give my body a chance to heal is not a hardship at all.
Rather than trying to accomplish much of anything, I have given myself the afternoons off as long as the weather holds.

Also having a comfortable chaise on the patio adds to the general feeling of indulgence.

I keep telling myself it could be a really expensive spa hotel in Italy and I could be resting after a day of touring vineyards or learning to cook some fabulous concoction while watching some delicious Italian Chef demonstrate the power of a great presentation … if you know what I mean … there is nothing quite like the demonstrative Italian male.

Having said that, I must admit that as much as I am enjoying the R&R, I have had some difficulty in adapting to inertia. I really want to hustle my recovery, so as to get back to a semblance of my old life.  
But there really is no rushing this phase.
So, learning how to close my eyes and do nothing for even a short span of time has been a challenge. 
To a large extent, my achy body limits me and keeps me under control, so that by now I have learned to just do nothing.

I read, recently, that it is very difficult to do nothing. 
How true.
How true. How true! To sit and not read, or not talk on the phone, or not write, or not play a computer game, or not make a list of things to do, or not write a new update, or not make a new toon drawing,or not research some obscure something or other,
or not do anything at all … it ain’t easy. 
In fact, I am proud of the fact that I have gotten really good at doing nothing.

I must admit to the occasional backsliding … the making of mental lists and drawing of mental pictures and the reviewing of possible scenarios that might lie in the future. However, as all these prove fruitless in the end I have learned to ignore the urge to accomplish something, and take pleasure in the here and how.
I sit and drink in the visual world around me, and learn to relax and doze away the afternoon.

Really … just close your eyes and give the brain a rest from stimulation and cogitation. It may prove more difficult without the aches and pains to keep you company, but I promise with practice it gets easier.

It also helps that it is perfect mimosa weather, and there really is nothing like the clink of ice in a glass to slow you down, and bring on visions of the good life!

A-h-h-h-h-h …Time for a nap!


This really was a slow-motion series of days and weeks. I was still unable to lift or pick up or bend over or function normally. I could not drive, and so relied, still, on the kindness of friends and neighbors. The good news is that my needs were small. And the even better news is that my friends are almost universally good cooks. Yum.

I was able to do my own grocery shopping as long as I had a ride to the store.

I had a wonderful wardrobe of long, flowing, non-binding dresses that I dressed up or down depending on the destination.

I never actually wore the ugly green dress beyond my immediate neighborhood, but I got compliments from strangers on my exotically patterned dresses from the thrift shop. I learned to mix them with my summer vests and tank tops. With my newly curly hair cut short, and my big round tortoise shell glasses, I looked like an elderly Harry Potter dressed in drag.

My friend Bonnie was a doll … she came to tend my poor bedraggled garden … to dead head and weed and whip them all into shape. The neglect had really done a number on my rose bush and other perennials. It was a pleasure to see them all perk up and resume a cared-for look. And in the back-patio area, my green and white shade garden gave me infinite pleasure as I sat and did not much of anything.

I am reminded, in re-reading this update, that there is really nothing wrong with making it an annual holiday …  Call it THE BACK-YARD CHAISE LOUNGE DO NOTHING HOLIDAY … to be taken anytime the weather is perfect for doing nothing. The weather should be warm and dry, and not too humid. A slight breeze helps to keep off the skeeters. A neck pillow and a tray with necessities, as well as a visor and sunglasses.

Aside from those basic needs, the only preparation for this vacation would be to make sure that the fridge has something suitably scrumptious to eat that does not involve cooking, and that there is ice and orange juice and Champagne on tap.

One can’t let the mimosas run out!

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