April 23, 1998

Scars and Thunder

It surprises me just how slender and tiny the scabs are for the surgery. Just a slender thread of a scab for the slice they took in the front of my knee to cut out the bit of patella tendon (did you know that those two words 'patella tendon' are on the cover of the latest Wired?) and four little dots, one for instruments, one for the camera, and two for pulling the tendon through and setting the screws. Just little bitty openings, the whole affecting much less skin than any spill I've taken in a soccer game has. I remember entire palm-sized sections of skin getting ripped away; and here, something that affects far more, inside, with so little evidence outside.

It amazes me.

Did my exercises last night, showered, and one interesting phenomenon of the whole experience has been that I'm shedding the skin around the damaged knee. Not beautifully like a snake, but just flakily like a human being. Yeesh. So I used a Garden Botanica body scrub that had loofa bits and corncob bits and mint and was a good exfoliant (i.e. it takes your dead skin off) and rubbed it well over the area that was flaking badly. When John read the ingredients he was rather dubious wondering aloud, "Okay, just how *much* skin is this going to take off?" It worked. My skin's now more normal. Yay!

One thing I've realized is that the exercises really are slowly working on getting the joint to flex better, strengthening the muscles and getting me to work through motions that I normally wouldn't. The good part of that is that my body is getting some flow-through from it all. The bad part is that it's not nearly as much as I'm used to and I'm very sure, already that my cardio-vascular system is starting to wimp out.

I mean, it's been three months since I hurt myself.

Just realized that last night. It's been three months. Only two weeks since the surgery, but it's been a quarter of a year already. John and Satish are plotting to get me up to Camp Muir on Mount Rainer by the end of June, early July. That might actually be possible. A long way up, that. A good thing to aim for, I think.

Especially with an hour and a half to two hours of conditioning every darned night.

Went to sleep on a painkiller, got up around 2:30 am to take another and then around 5 am got woken by a flash. A long while later there was a deep rumble that sounded like it was from the horizon, but Fezzik picked up on it and started barking at it. He isn't scared of the thunder, sometimes I wish he was, instead he wants to challenge it. Odd dog that, afraid of nothing. So for the next long while, the thunder and Fezzik are playing dueling-thunder rites, with Fezzik winning in that he was louder, closer up than the thunder was. Yeesh. John and I tried to get him to shut up, but he just wouldn't until the rain started to hiss down sounding more like buckets of water being thrown against the roof and walls than droplets.

A few more bolts of lightning and booming rumbles of thunder that I could feel through my body. Fezzik just kept on barking while the thunder went. But when the thunder stopped and there was nothing but the sheeting sound of the rain, he finally quieted. I went back to sleep. John got up, made himself a pot of coffee and then went upstairs to work. He seems to get wakened and then can't go back to sleep.

Dressed myself when I finally woke and last night had also brought the packages from Victoria's Secret that I'd been waiting on. Mom had given me a gift certificate for Christmas and I'd only just got around to spending it, as I had plenty of underwear, but little lounging clothing. So I'd bought a nice long cotton knit sweater in purple and leggings in green and grey. They'd all come at once, and so I decided that, for the first time, I'd just wear the leggings on the now clean and dry scabs over my surgery cuts. No bandage, no gauze anymore, just leggings. The brace fit over it all nicely and it looks nice!

I no longer have the back of my right calf uncovered and showing the world just how black and blue it is. That's nice. It's odd, though, to finally have my legs completely covered for the first time in weeks. It's nice and warm. And the leggings are just heavy enough that I can put an ice pack directly on my knee with it inbetween and just Ace bandage it on without another layer of cloth, so that's nice.

Comfy and looking better than I have in a while, so that's nice.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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