Normal is still not quite normal
We’ve been giving to the Red Cross to assuage our survivor’s guilt. If you’d like to do the same, it’s as easy as texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 and you’ve paid back the aether just a little bit.
Here’s a joke to lighten the mood – I told it to you once, years ago:
A father, mother and son from the country goes to the city for the first time. They walk into a department store and are astounded by the amount and variety all the stuff. They marvel at the escalator and all the modern items they see. The mother goes off to look at clothes while the father and son continue staring at things. Presently, they come across an elevator and they watch an old woman walk into it. The doors close, lights change, and a few minutes later, a bell goes off and a beautiful young woman walks out. The father continues to stare ahead but says to his son: “Quick, get your mother.”
It’s not the best joke but it’s one of the few I know.
In any case, been slowly trying to get myself back to normal after the ACL surgery. Weaned myself off the painkillers I’ve been taking for my leg and have been trying to make it to make it to physical therapy as much as possible.
The object in the left in the picture below is actually not some disgusting sausage, it is, however, my disgusting sausage-like leg. The swelling, after two weeks, has gone down a lot but it’s not gone yet.
Moreover, if it looks like there’s no muscle there, you’re right. After an hour of hard working out once a day, my left leg still feels like mush. It’s amazing how quickly muscle atrophies without use.
So, I’ve been heading to this physical therapist near my house. It’s close but to get there you wait forever for this tiny elevator to bring you to the fourth floor. At my last session:
Physical Therapist: Let’s see your bend on your right leg. (measures) 145 degrees, that’s impressive.
Me: Oh, I didn’t know you were measuring it. I’m not actually trying to bend it. (bending good leg)
Her: 155 degrees. Wow. (measures left leg) 135 degrees. So, you’ve got a little work to do.
Me: What are the chances of me getting 155 on the left leg?
Her answer was that they have to make the new ACL tighter so that 155 is possible but potentially improbable.
Here’s the thing:
I’m not very strong. I’m not that accurate. I’m very clumsy. I don’t have much reach. I don’t have much stamina.
What I do have is speed.
I’m very fast. I was very fast. Because I was flexible.
That was my one thing when it came to fencing, kickboxing, wrestling, etc.
Her: Are you ok? Are you in pain?
Me: (shaking head) Oh yeah. I just … ah …
Her: I’m sorry. Like I said, it’s possible still.
It’s silly, I know. I’m almost 40. I couldn’t expect to be flexible forever. And people all across the city have lost everything while I’ve just lost a little flexibility so I absolutely count myself amongst the very lucky.
So I’ll make this pity party brief (and then text more money to the Red Cross) by saying that it’s just that I’ve never really felt old. I joke about it a lot. But I’ve always felt young. And suddenly I’m very aware that I’m not.
Thought of that joke as I took the elevator down.
And the doors close, lights change, and a few minutes later, a bell goes off and an old man hobbles out.