I was out for a walk eighteen months ago when my knee it went boing
. This was the climax of the Chartham to Canterbury walk, and most likely achieved when climbing over a gate and putting feet in opposing directions. I've been careful about exercise since, wary about boing again, not wanting more pain.
And this Easter vacation has been about trying to wind down, before the study leave kicks in, whilst wanting to Get On. I know how I deal with being tired. It makes me tired. So mostly I keep going, and keep going, and that is that. Stopping is usually the mistake. I thought I had programmed in down time this term, but it does feel full on in retrospect, and even times away have not been down times. Hotels are not offline.
There's been a kind of non-specific flu-ey sorta thing around since Easter, and Easter was weird because of the need to tidy up and having a bit of a panic attack having suddenly felt very content and belonging. Friday, despite feeling shit, I went up to London for a meeting, and afterwards spent three hours with a Phd student at St Panx Bux. I took a slower route home so I didn't have to walk this end, and retired to The Doves for some binging.
Next day: ouch. Not only did I all but sleep through the day, but the knee was aching again. I had a bath and bought a paper, and then limped to the bus stop to see a comedian. I discovered the shop was shut and the cafe didn't do sandwiches, so foodwise I had to made do with two fruit salads, a giant biscuit and a small tub of Pringles. I nearly left the comedian at the interval. I ignored instinct and went back to the pub, but the person who I thought wanted to talk was not there after all. Hobbled home. Slowly.
More pain Sunday. Watch Doctor Who
(I fear I am too far oerstepped now to give up) and nearly got stuck in the sofa. Laminate floors are a nightmare when you are having difficulties standing up. Feet just slip. I can get into bed, but by a sort of somersault - getting out is more complex. My right leg will not bend - I feel like I have glass paper at the top of my leg. I take more of the industrial strength paracetemols I have from last time. I've slept for about half the day.
Laptops are no use without a proper lap, and rested on a chest is hard to operate. I can't type clearly enough without seeing the keyboard. Not from this angle.
Monday I make a doctor's appointment, but he can't see me until 7.20. Some of the day I can spend in bed. The news is dull - or too surreal. A volcano. A LibDem landslide. I seem to hear the same three programmes trailed. I know In Our Time
is on line. I thought it had been for years. There is, of course, the toilet - and I cannot easily sit down. I can however ( look away now )
. Dressing is fun - left foot will go into trouser leg, right foot... will hardly lift up and clear the cloth. When it does I can't bend down to pull them up. Socks will have to do. These shoes don't get tied, but need loosening to fit. Eventually I know it's time to go - but to deal with the OCD I have to make sure the door's shut and locked before I phone a taxi. It's a bit of a shuffle to get in - I have to pick up my right leg. The driver cheerfully tells me how bad damaged knees can be. I manage to sit in the waiting room, and to stand again, and eventually have to hobble through. It's the doctor I saw for my Bp three or four years back - the supposedly empathetic one, who forgot to tell me about fasting before blood and urine tests. It doesn't seem as bad as it might be, but it be slow.
Monday is another early night and Tuesday I face the issue of one or two trips to town - I have a therapy session, but not til four, and I need to get the pills he's prescribed. I don't want to go to come back, or hang round, but I need to leave enough time. There's also the matter of whether I've enough cash for a cab. I stay in bed in the morning - seduced by a nature programme which dropped the item it has trailed all morning. A documentary on madness in nineteenth century literature has the gall to be called Madwomen in the Attic
, despite a) only one of the three spend time in an attic and b) they've interviewed the coauthor of The Madwoman in the Attic
and not thanked her for the title. I receive a second email warning me a parcel may be delayed due to the volcano. I'd thought it would be coming from the UK? I specifically ordered one for the speed of it. Tilda decides she likes sleeping on my right knee. Geroyafookeeurgh is my repeated response.
I find a time when I judge it safe to call a taxi - leave the house, lock the door, call a cab - and it's only after I'm in that he suggests I could have gone in the front. I ask to be taken to the bank, but he forgets, and goes to Boots - but fortunately it's under a fiver so I've the money to pay. I fill the prescription, then limp to a sport shop for a support bandage. I explain I need to know where to look because I don't want to hobble all over the shop - and I discover two kinds, both out of reach. Eventually I get the goods and hobble to therapy. I should have cancelled. Three flights narrow stairs. Yah. Even normal stairs are difficult: raise left foot and push, pull right leg and together. Downstairs, lower right foot - try to avoid adding weight - lower left foot together. I ponder whether it's quicker to walk home or for a taxi from there. Not much in it, but my hobble is slower, despite being much better today. Sitting down clearly hurt. There's a taxi I can climb into, and it gets home quicker than envisaged -- there is not much of a rush hour. Now to take three pills in five hours... Tilda seems to be happy to let the incomer eat her dinner. She is being lazier than I.
I've sat for an hour or so at my desk on Tuesday, Wednesday afternoon I spent there, answering student emails, trying not to gnash too many teeth. We have our first volcano excuse. The radio was dull - with a comedy which makes you wonder how they can produce diamonds like The Vote Now Show
and this dross, much ruder and unfunnier than the comedy which apparently used the word wanker at 6.30 recently. The parcel arrived, from Greenwich, and hasn't been under a volcano as far as I can see. I have a degree of bend in my leg I didn't have yesterday, but my back is complaining - either from too much lying or twists to sit up. Getting out of bed can now be done in less than five minutes. It takes a certain amount of work to straighten my leg again, but it's not as painful as it was yesterday. Tilda has been skittish all day, but shows no sign of wishing to engage with invading cats. She does, however, view my leg with some desire. Maybe there is some magic cat cure she can provide. Maybe not.