Amidst all the positive strides and progress, I feel it’s time for a not-so-nice, but still realistic post. So…I feel as though I’m almost hitting a rehab plateau, or I’m just the ADD with wanting to “get back” that it seems like nothing can heal or cooperate fast enough. Or maybe I’m just a little cranky cause every stranger I have to spend more than 10 seconds next to–be it in the elevator, on the train platform or in line at Jimmy John’s–asks me, “What happened to your knee?”
To which, I reply, “I recently had knee surgery.” (Hence the massive black brace and crutches!) Then, they ALWAYS say, “Oh, that sucks.” So, please, do me and my fellow crutch-sporting, knee-brace bearing ACL victims a favor: don’t remind us how sucky our current situation is, and don’t strike up a conversation unless you have something worthwhile to contribute or you can honestly say, “I know how it feels.”
On the flip side, not every commuter and Jimmy John line hopper in Chicago is a captain of the obvious. Some people actually say (and do) some nice things. Here are some positive interactions that have come when people spot the brace:
-I found I massage therapist who is a triathelte, specializing in sports injuries.
-Free cookies at Jamba Juice
-Pre-op, I got SEVERAL surgeon recommendations.
-Love advice: A homeless man told me no one would ever marry me if I was broken.
-Strangers will tie your shoes and carry your bag.
-You can wear tennis shoes into otherwise chic and pretentious nightclubs with over-the-top cover charges and strict dress codes.
-Drunk guys at the bar see the knee brace as a challenge on the dance floor and try to get you out there.
-Skiers seem to be keen to other skiers with injuries…we also like to share the best places to ski.
-Prepare for a whole lot of advice, too. Because everyone’s best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from the kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night–or at least saw him tear his ACL. I guess it’s pretty serious. That last bit was borrowed from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He was quoted with saying, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” What that means to me in my recovery is that I shouldn’t forget to take the time to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come. The little victories are so worth it. And if you don’t celebrate them, then who will?