Physical pain - debilitating, blinding, overshadowing. It can suck all other realities into it's vortex and time is measured in before and after. But sometimes the company you keep makes it so much funnier.
On sunny slopes 3000 miles from home, my ski and I got into an argument and three precious knee ligaments bore the brunt of that scuffle. After one very long plane ride home, an MRI and 4 weeks of physical therapy, I was ready for surgery. And my mother was ready to help me.
Surgery Tuesday was all nerves and anesthesia and nausea and sleep. Wednesday was pain and ice and more sleep. Thursday started differently, with swollen toes and an unexpected trip to the doctor's office. Now, you'd think that the waiting room of an orthopedic practice that specializes in knees would have someplace - A.N.Y.P.L.A.C.E. - for a 48 hours post-op girl in an ankle-to-hip brace to sit down. Instead, there was awkward, excruciating, light-headed no place.
I thought it would be better once I headed back. It was not. The nurses were attentive as the physician's assistant kindly started to pull at velcro and bandaging. But my pain meter was red-lining, and I wasn't exactly as appreciative or calm as I should have been. My dear, valiant mother kept telling me to breathe - until the moment that she was quiet. In fact, I noticed that all those who had been working to assess my knee were now scurrying to help my mother.
A chair. Cookies. Juice. Blood pressure cup. All for my mom. She was so distraught over my pain that she started to pass out. So there I lay, all but forgotten, totally unable to move, laughing at my mother whose color was just starting to come back. And that was the best medicine.
The next day, when we returned for my regularly scheduled post-op appointment, a nurse ever so politely asked my mom, "Ma'am, would you like to stay in the waiting room this time?" Classic.