I was in reading my latest Clive Cussler novel and my leg hurt--I just couldn't get it comfortable. I've only recently taken my double-shot of percocet, so there was nothing that could be done other than bear it. I thought, though, that removing the leg immobilizer and loosening up the ace bandage might help, and it did, even if only just a tiny amount.
There it was, my knee, covered now only with a piece of gauze. I know it's too early--heck, I don't get the staples out for another week--but how bad is it, really? I'll try, let's just see how much it will bend. I'll only go a millimeter or two, I just want to know it works, you know?
What a strange sensation. It won't bend.
I can tell it's supposed to, but it doesn't. It's not rigid, but there's no flexibility there, either. Wherever the median is in those two statements, that's the murky reality in which my knee exists. If it were sentient I'd say it moved just enough to let me know that it knew it should, but no further. It felt like it would snap--instantly, violently, and painfully--if I dared any further. It felt like, it flexed like, a thin piece of plywood.
The staples come out in a week. I'm going to have to walk on it, and it's going to have to bend. But right now it won't bend. And it won't get bendier as time wearing the immobilizer goes on.
The only reality I have to face is that this is going to be a very long, painful recovery. The proof--a knee that would snap before it would bend--struck terror in me. I have to turn plywood into a knee.
This is not a movie. It's not a feel-good news story with a happy ending. This is my reality, for several months to come.
Update, 5/2/11: Added the lines about plywood, as that realization hit me this morning.