These days, it’s much easier getting to the doctor’s office down in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I board the F train heading towards Coney Island, go three stops, and transfer to the R train after descending 5 flights of stairs. I take the R to the end (95th street), climb two flights of stairs, and then walk about ¾ of a mile to 97th street and 3rd avenue. Total time: 1 hour. It tends to feel much quicker, however, because I’m either lost in music or pretending to understand what The Economist is telling me about the Eurozone’s imminent collapse due to Berlusconi’s receding hairline. Now let’s take a trip down memory lane and rewind to late September. Same trip, same route. I leave my 4th floor apartment and head to the F train (0.15 miles. 30 minutes). I board the train, go three stops, and transfer to the R train after descending 5 flights of stairs (40 minutes). I take the R train to the end, my left leg balancing in some ridiculous position the entire way, climb two flights of stairs, and then walk (shuffle?) about ¾ of a mile to the doctor’s office (one hour). Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes, and yes, I clocked it each time. Little old ladies on motorized carts drove circles around me and Israel made peace with Palestine by the time I reached my destination. Sweating. Angry. Pain! Is my knee still attached to my leg? I hope so. I was so determined to do it on my own. No taxis, no car services, no jetpacks. In retrospect it WAS stupid, especially since those doctor’s visits only lasted 4 minutes (“How’s that leg? Good? Great! See you next week) but I don’t regret doing it that way. Not for a second.
I mention this because my last trip down to Bay Ridge, this past Wednesday, just felt so easy. Even though my physical therapist believes my knee is 65%-70% of its normal strength, it probably hasn’t felt this good since the morning before the skiing accident back in January. I now have permission to jog, which I haven’t yet tried, and permission to continue strength training at the gym. Jogging and load bearing are OK, pivoting and quick movements are not. You should see my form when doing squats. It’s pretty sweet. The scars are even better. Physical therapy is now reduced to once a week – we’re still working on the knee flex as I still have another 15 to 20 degrees left. It’s also still a bit difficult to stand for extended periods of time without becoming uncomfortable, but it’s an immense improvement from merely a month ago. There is an area to the left my kneecap about the size of a business card that will forever be numb. Nerves had to be sacrificed. Lighting an open flame next to it will be a cool trick for the grandkids, however. My crutches and brace are in the back of my closet – dusty mementos from a time when getting sympathy from everyone, sincere or not, was simply awesome. I can’t ski until late February or early March, no matter how good I feel. Apparently my ligaments need time to properly bond, heal, and form strong connections. This takes time. I don’t mind, though. As my trips to the doctor and this entire experience can attest, I’m good at keeping track of time.
This is probably the last post in this sad excuse for a blog and I just wanted to say thank you for reading along. All five of you, I really appreciate it. If you ever hurt your knee, you know whom to call. Ghostbusters. Yeah, I went there. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Wonderful Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!