Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Aspirations of Red

Something's not right. Each day, although my knee is not getting worse, it's not getting better. The last two days, I've been back at work, sitting like I should, keeping my leg elevated like I should, taking my antibiotics like I should, but my knee has increased in its swelling during this time. The pain hasn't gotten worse, as in "intolerable, excruciating" pain but it has been at a sustainable "distressing, constant throbbing with occasional piercing" pain. Because of the swelling, which I HOPE is not from the bacteria restating its claim, my flexibility and mobility are severely reduced. Being an independent, aggressively physical, active type of guy, I feel like such a gimp inching around on my crutches. Throw in the character flaw of impatience, and you can understand why my situation is has now escalated well beyond "frustrated." I'm beginning to get downright angry.

If only I wasn't so tired, I might let out a mighty roar. Staying positive, going to work, smiling through the pain and discomfort, all requires strength and energy, strength I do not have and energy I am rapidly running out of. At some point, you would think that my bad luck with these "routine" surgeries will run out and that "law of averages" would prevail. Getting another improbable infection from a standard arthroscopic procedure is horrible luck, but additional complications during a standard treatment of a staph infection of a joint goes beyond bad luck. It's as if Providence is administering my punishment for me being such an awful guy . . . . oh wait. I'm NOT an awful guy. In fact, I think I'm a pretty nice, upright guy. So why all the unfairness? I can't answer that.

What I DO know, is that as bad off and unlucky I seem to be, there are people in this world in worse situations than I who are, perhaps, even more undeserving of their plight. If you want to see the people I'm talking about, just tune into Discovery Health Channel sometime, or watch "Trauma: Life in the E.R." There you'll find a man known as "the human tree," a man whose warts are so bad, and cover so much of his body, that he looks like walking bark. Then there was that guy in the E.R., a lumberjack, who fell off some machinery and had his leg partially severed. Yeah, those things actually make me feel pretty good. By focusing on the things that are good about this whole situation, like having a wonderfully supportive wife and understanding, helpful children, realizing how valuable I am at school to my students, and . . . . . . nothing else.

With so many others out there who would do anything just to be in my condition, like Tony Romo and his injured pinkie finger, it helps me get through my own misfortune, and reminds me that even though misfortune never does (miss), pain and fortune is all relative. I've just got to remove my blinders and enlarge my outlook. Easier said than done, though, especially as I lay in the dark each night for hours and hours on end grumbling and moaning shifting positions desperate to get comfortable. It is THEN that I think of that guy somewhere on this planet who has no eyelids who sleeps on his back on a bed of nails with a bright halogen lamp beaming down on him from above. Although it doesn't help me sleep, it make me appreciate the fact that at least I'm lying awake in the DARK.

Sleeping tonight will be a very arduous task once again. With doctor's permission, I'm going to try a pain killer/Benedryl cocktail to see if that won't help me to doze off. Additionally, I've got an emergency appointment scheduled with my surgeon tomorrow to aspirate the inflamed knee. Hopefully this will not only relieve the pressure caused by the swelling, but hopefully the fluid comes out red and not yellow. Red means "blood not yet draining from surgery, it should heal fine on its own not and I'll be able to sleep at night," while yellow means "infection is back and another surgery is immediately required to irrigate the site again, and I'll have to miss more school and/or spend more time in the hospital."

Who would ever have know that I'd be praying for blood. In what other context is Red so supremely superior to Yellow? Although that's a rhetorical question, I will have plenty of time tonight as I try to sleep to formulate an answer to that (in between moans and prayers for red, of course.)


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry things are not working out. I will be praying for red tomorrow.

You are right -- you are not a bad person and you do not deserve this !!

Please keep me posted.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you looked mighty exhausted today by eight period, but you still taught leaps and bounds better than anyone else in the school (that's why Mr. Presley stayed for like an hour [either that or he was trying to brush up on his function transformation skills]). Maybe tomorrow you can bring a bed to school and put the Elmo on your lap and nap/teach (Hah!). At any rate, get better soon and hope for the best!

kwkorpi said...

Thank you both for your kind words.

Anonymous said...

Hope all goes well today and that you see some progress with the knee.