Remember when you were potty training your kids and every little poop de doop they evacuated was met with rock star applause?
Now imagine that same little tyke is now 67 years old, weights 340 pounds, just had a knee replacement, and finally ended his bout of surgery induced constipation on the toilet in the room next to yours.
The applause was so loud I thought Elvis had flushed the building.
My days here in orthopedic rehab are filled with the squeezing of butt cheeks, the taking of blood, the swallowing of pills, the eating of food, the exercising of limbs, the squeaking of walkers, the hobnobbing of canes, the whining of patients, the arrival of flowers, the departure of ambulances, and the occasional, accidental view of your roommate's exposed derriere on the way to the bathroom.
To fill in the rest of the time, I have been assigned to my own personal physical therapist, a strapping blond woman from Poland who goes by the name of Danuta. She arrives at the crack of 8:00 AM each day with the glee of a prison guard who can't wait for a cavity search. Smiling like a hyena, she shouts, "Goot Mornink Mrs. Linklater!" and orders me to get up and walk to the "gym" for the first of two one hour sessions designed to make me wish I were dead.
Based on how I feel at the end of the day, I think it's working.
Despite all my work, I don't seem to be recovering as fast as some of the other folks. My first roommate, Selma, who was 75 years old, arrived at the facility about ten minutes ahead of me following her hip surgery and she got sent home last Friday, still barely able to get her clothes on and push her walker to the bathroom.
I can not only dress myself, but I can go up and down the stairs -- ta da!! Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. None of this one foot at a time stuff for me. As long as I hold onto the railing of course. But here it is, Monday, three days since Selma's departure, and there has been no mention of my release any time soon. Helloooo?!!
Meanwhile, to suck up to management about how enthusiastic I am about the programs here, I attended a master class in How To Fall. The young, agile, and very trim therapist demonstrated the latest in hip and knee replacement wipeouts to a crowd of surgically repaired old farts, some of whom had been overserved at the pig trough a few too many times. She dropped to the floor and lay there, motionless, to simulate what the proper execution of a fall-down-and-go-boom should look like. It was like an F-14 trying to teach a bunch of 747s how to do nightlandings on a carrier.
Looking up from her spot on the floor at the forest of wheelchairs, walkers, and canes surrounding her, she pointedly asked the many widebodied members of the group, "What should you do next?"
I said, "Stay away from the chocolate."
Something tells me that I probably added another week to my stay.