The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

February/March 2005 Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best Very Short Humor!

The Truth About Arthroscopic Knee Surgery


Rita Coleman

Frankly, if you look closely at the knee, you can see it was never meant for surgery. Even though it's a workhorse of a joint, there's not much meat on it. But if, after years of sports, falls, slips, and twists, You've done it in, your only hope is an arthroscopy.

The orthopedist assures you it's a minor affair. "You can walk out of the hospital," he says. "In three days, you'll be back to normal."

It is only after your anesthesia has worn off that you comprehend what has been done to your meatless, sensitive joint. Ever the brave one (after all you did not sustain knee injuries by passively looking on at life), you courageously hobble from the recovery room to your waiting car. You down pain pills in hopes of the instant recuperation you have been promised.

When miraculous healing does not occur in three days, you continue your hobble–hop, grabbing couch backs and towel racks as you go. When you sit, you aim your competent side at the intended chair. When you try to rise, you rock back and forth like an arthritic elder, gathering momentum to boost yourself upward.

Your household becomes an alien imitation of what you call home. The carpet is littered with dropped items–a pencil, a tissue, a magazine. All stay where they lay.

You attempt forays into the kitchen that become exercises in timing:  you must finish cooking before your knee develops its own throbbing heartbeat. If you're having a good day, the spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad will be finished at the same time. If not, you eat lettuce and forego the rest.

As far as hygiene, your toilette is laughable. Trying to shower and make yourself presentable before your strength wanes is a futile exercise. By the time you blow–dry your hair half dry, the good leg will tire and, like a worn–out child, need to be put to bed.

The family dog questions your ability to nurture. You randomly pet his head as you hobble past and pat his back when he sits near. But, now that you no longer stoop to rub his belly, he feels rejected and becomes sullen.

Any attempt to snuggle close to a loved one is best left to the future. No amount of bending and twisting body parts will move you into close proximity. A quick peck on the cheek in passing is the best you can do.

Knee surgery is not for whiners. It takes a sense of humor to recuperate. Remember that you have one and you'll be good for the duration.

©2005, Rita Coleman

Rita lives in the country near Xenia, Ohio, with her physicist husband (What do physicists really do?) and two, alpha, tortoiseshell cats. (Both excel in hissing and swatting.) Rita is a poet/writer who loves long walks on the nearby bike path, her knee arthroscopy, a faint memory.

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