Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back in the saddle

We had a wonderful funeral service for Dad. There was a video featuring some of his favorite gospel music backing photos spanning his childhood, through his “Burt Reynolds” years (he was a dead ringer for Reynolds in his younger days) through his “father” years, to his “grandpa” years. The toughest part to watch was a relatively recent video of him describing his conversion to Christianity. We’d been through so much with him at the hospice that it was difficult watching the old dad. Then my brother and one of my nephews spoke and both speeches were eloquent and touching.

After the service, we headed back to my sister’s house for an old-fashioned wake. Complete with a VERY open bar. Oh yes, the booze was flowin’! A folk/country/gospel band was playing and there was a house full of folks telling stories, laughing and singing along with the band. And the grandkids were not quite sure what to make of their less-than-sober parents and aunts and uncles. There was much giggling, whispering and “Holy cow! Look at your mom!” It was a party Dad would have loved.

And since I had clearly not been through enough in the past week, I got to attend the whole shebang on crutches. Before I flew to Colorado, I had been having some trouble with my left knee. It was mirroring right knee troubles from 11 years ago that culminated in surgery and obnoxious physical therapy. I wasn’t looking forward to repeating that scenario and was practicing head-in-the-sand, if-I-don’t-see-a-doctor-then-nothing’s-wrong behavior. I had gotten to the point where I had decided to schedule an appointment as soon as I returned home, but I guess my knee wanted to make sure I lived up to my decision. I took all of the grandkids to Garden of the Gods so folks could finish getting my sister’s house ready for the wake. We were walking (well, I was limping) around the park when I must have set my foot wrong. I heard a popping/cracking noise and then couldn’t put any weight at all on my left leg. My kids and their cousins had to help me hop back to the car. Luckily, there were crutches back at my sister’s house! I had just enough time to get changed before we had to leave for the funeral. So, add crutches and alcohol together and you can picture me scooting on my butt up the stairs to where the band was playing, can’t you? Sure you can.

Yes, I have now seen a doctor. The verdict is arthritis. Apparently, I seriously aggravated it when I stepped wrong which led to a couple of days on crutches. I’m on anti-inflammatory medication and am hoping to avoid anything more invasive (can you say “needle in knee”?).

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on getting back in the swing of normal life. It’s truly amazing how exhausting hanging around a hospice can be. For something that is not physically grueling, it really takes a toll. Tonight is the first work night I haven’t felt like I needed to come home and just vegetate. Tunnel, meet light. Thank goodness!

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