Up from the bed he arose …

Well, these past few days have not been very much fun at all. Let’s decide now to not do this knee surgery thing ever again. Oh, right. I’m doing it again next month. Silly me. Stupid me.

You know this would have been one helluva good “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay if I was going back to third-grade in the fall.

Greetings! Hope all is well with you! Just a quick note to say I’ve been to Hell and presently am on my way back to Earth. Stopped at Mars on the way and can definitively report that author John Gray got it all back-asswards – I saw only women living there. So that’s where they’re from and it’s the men who are from Venus.

Let’s send him a group email, demand a retraction and 100 percent of our psyches back.

Speaking of back, it appears I may be as well. I think I’m going to try this writing thing again later today.

At least, at this point in my recovery, I’m feeling I can use my hands and fingers for something other than to pull my hair out.

Let’s see if we can bend this just a liiiittle more to the left …

Had my first in-home appointment with my physical therapist today. Nice young man. Likes animals, which is a good attribute to have when you walk into my house. Lives in the next town over, very pleasant and seems to know his stuff.

Although the precise historical date of the first use of physical therapy isn’t known, it’s thought to have been in use during The Spanish Inquisition.

After the small talk, the vital signs and a couple measurements … “All right Mr. Waterman, let’s see if we can get a better idea of where you’re at in your rehabilitation program. Nothing big or strenuous, I just want to get an idea of what we need to do to get that new knee and you, up and running. OK?”

Sure. Sounds like a plan. And by the way, it’s Glenn. No need for formality here. And since my dogs haven’t eaten you, they must like you too. Although we did feed them just before you got here.

“Ha – that’s good to hear. So great, Glenn, let’s start off with some stretching so I can get an idea of your range of motion.”

Let’s do it.

4:01 p.m. They say you learn something new every day. And I do believe it’s true. I never knew I had a group of freckles on the back of my right knee that, if you look at them quick, damn if they don’t resemble Teddy Roosevelt, mouth full of teeth and all. Fascinating.

Physical therapy, in the wrong hands, can cause some disastrous results.

Of course I’ve never noticed these birthmarks because I’ve never actually seen the skin on the back of my right knee. Until now.

“OK, Glenn, let’s see if we can determine the flexibility range of your hip flexor …”

I attempt to answer him but what I think is my left shoulder blade is blocking my mouth.

“Good Glenn, that’s very good. Now just hold it there, hold it, hoooooold it …

4:11 p.m. I’m not certain but I believe at this point I am beginning to see stars. Either that or the sun is glinting off of my fingernails. Which hand? I don’t know.

4:13 p.m.: At this moment, I confess that there is no federal deficit. I accidentally picked up the wrong lunch bag when I left the cafeteria at The National Treasury during a tour a few years ago and when I got out to the car, I found it had $14 trillion dollars in it. I was too scared to bring it back inside, so I buried it out in my backyard. Sorry, America.

“Very, very good! A few more weeks and I believe this leg’s going to be strong enough to help steady you when the other knee is replaced,” he chirps as he heads out the door and I struggle to regain consciousness. “See you again on Wednesday!”

They call me Mr. Waterman, kid, I mumble, a mouthful of elbow still stuck in my teeth.

Mental note: Don’t feed the dogs before Wednesday. Let’s see if they can determine this guy’s range of motion.

Walk a WHAT with no shoes???

But I don’t want to walk down there.

“But don’t you want to see where you’ve been for the past few days?”

I know where I’ve been, I even know where I am. I’ve been in a hospital that slipped me a Mickey the other day, took my knee out, put in a replacement made of LEGO™ building blocks, and sold my old one to some rich Chinese guy who ground it up and smoked it and now believes that his gout is cured and his penis is three inches longer.

“My, don’t we have an active imagination.”

Mister, considering the pain I’ve been in and the rock-em-knock-em medications you’ve been feeding me, I been living on imagination and saltine crackers.

“Well, considering that, you can’t really believe all of what you just said.”

Yeah, you got me there. My knee wasn’t as young as it used to be. Guy’s probably only going to get two inches.

People in hospitals don’t seem to quite understand what they do. They cut you open, saw or gnaw out a part of you, put in a fake piece, close you up, put a big band-aid on it, put you a room and then come back fifteen minutes later and ask you if you want to go for a walk.

And what’s worse, they so, so damn nice about it.

So, this is my world for the moment, and you’re welcome to it. It ain’t so bad, really. Food’s decent. Drugs are excellent, which probably makes the food decent. All the damn clothes don’t have anything in back, though. These folks definitely are ass people.

l’ll be leaving here in a few hours, which means they’ll be lighting up the “Vacancy” sign soon. If you happen to be limpy or gimpy, c’mon down!

Remember, there’s a couple million more rich Chinese guys where mine came from.

I fought the pain …

… and the pain won.

You know, walking is vastly overrated. You’d think by now we would have come up with a cure for it. I mean, I’ve walked all over the place for more than 50 years now, where else do I really have to go?

Been there, done that. It’s about time that people and places started coming to me. Yeah.

For two days, I’ve been staring at a large piece of me – my right leg – laying as if it were dead to me. They call it a pain block. Freaky feeling for sure, but it had its advantages. First and foremost, if I didn’t feel my leg, I also didn’t feel what had been done to it.

I found out what that was around 2:30 a.m. Woke me up out of dead sleep. If my knee had a face, it would have been Al Pacino’s Tony Montoya, smiling up at me.

“Let me introduce you to my leeeettle frien’!”

I called for backup. Grabbed the TV remote/light-turner-on-er/GET ME A FREAKIN NURSE NOW thingie. They anticipated my call. There was a button marked PAIN.

“Can i help you?”

Oh yeah you can – either you can get the number of the ambulance that just ran over my leg, or grab the nearest sterile hand grenade, pull the hypo-allergenic pin and toss it in here! Latex gloves optional!

“I’ll bring you something for the pain.”

God bless you – anything, as long as it’s lethal.

“Oh, Mr.Waterman, you’re so funny.”

Nice to know I can maintain my sense of humor in the face of such excruciating adversity. I ought to have them rolling in the halls when they have me try walking later today.

Anybody know the words to “Tears of a Clown”?