It’s been about six weeks since finding myself knee first in the cobbled street of San Miguel de Allende. Since I was walking my dogs, I would love to blame them for the mishap, but in keeping with the spirit of partial truth I’ll admit I stepped off a curb I didn’t know was there.
I would describe this experience humbling, painful, and surprisingly beneficial. Humbling because I had to ask for and accept help from others, starting with the Mexican woman who saw me struggling with the two canines, tears running down my face, and attempting to walk the three blocks back to my condo. She grabbed the dogs, helped me hop along, and offered sympathetic murmurings in response to my gasps of agony.
Painful because I learned, thanks to an x-ray, I had cracked my kneecap and surgery was required. The before and after surgery pain levels were near the same, however the before torture was not lessened with drugs while, thankfully, the after discomfort was kept to a whimpering sniffle interrupted by bouts of upheaving due to allergic reactions to the antibiotic.
The kneecap calamity has also been beneficial because it has enabled me to realize how fortunate I am to have friends and neighbors willing to shop, bring food, and send words of encouragement to this crippled and bedbound ‘fallen woman’.
Admittedly, I didn’t fully appreciate the benefits of this accident during the first few weeks of recovery, concentrating instead on pain management or lack thereof.
But as my mind cleared, I began to bask in the morning naps, the afternoon siestas, and the care and feeding provided by attentive caregivers. Ahhh, life was good.
In fact, I got accustomed to having meals prepared and served while I basked in idleness. That is a luxury I had never experienced, and it was my first taste of how the other 1% must live.
Laziness can be endured for only so long, and stir craziness began to creep into my consciousness. That, my friends, is where I am today. I’m ready to escape the confines of my casita, to get a taste of fresh air, share greetings with folks walking along the streets, and being stimulated by the sights and sounds of everyday living.
This week I started physical therapy, not an endeavor one would choose unless inflicted with a desire to endure pain. The dreaded brace came off, and I am learning to amble with a partially bent knee. My friends are urging me to use a cane, just in case.
I ask you, what exactly does ‘just in case’ mean? Just in case you find yourself heading toward cobblestone facial reconstruction? Just in case your left leg won’t bend the way it has always worked? Just in case you want to look like the elderly woman you are?
Besides, on which side do you use the cane? The side of your weak knee or the side of your unhurt knee?
This ‘kalamity’ has been a learning adventure. Humbling, painful, beneficial and educational. With benefits like these who wouldn’t want to break a kneecap?