I'm not a bit superstitious. But I do love to
study folklore and folk beliefs. And I've always
had a special fondness for the number 13. Many
a time I've won a door prize or had other good
fortune thanks to that number. Plus, I'm just a
contrarian, and am drawn to that which others
might reject. (I won't say that I retired during
Miss Nora McNeill's 13 year as my principal
because I thought it was lucky. Rather, the
entire 13 years were lucky!)
So I thought it appropriate that 13 days before
I am to acquire (at a cost quite dear) the first
new knee of my life. FirstHealth was kind
enough to call me just a few minutes ago and
assure me that from the convenience of my
own telephone I could max out both my 2015
deductible and co-payment. Wow, talk about
customer service. Of course, I couldn't pass it up.
Thanks to some fine friends plus a little (more)
good fortune, I've already accumulated most of
the implements of torture-- I mean instruments
of rehab. Here they are, assembled and ready.
First, of course, is the handy ramp that we had
built last fall. It has been a terrific addition, even
if I had no knee problems. Visitors love it, and
it is even a play space for the grandkids. But in
just over two weeks, it will be more fully appreciated.
Several years ago, when I thought I wouldn't
need new knees until my 70's or so, I came upon
this "cadillac walker" for $20 at a yard sale.
Since then, I've loaned it out to several friends,
and now I will put a few miles on it. It's as
good as new.
A church friend bestowed upon me this
bedside toilet. There's no room beside my
bed, so we'll find an alternative location.
Someone said "How about down at the
tree house?" While it's true the tree house
is lacking such an amenity, I think I'd (k)need
to frequently replace the wheels on my walker.
Another dear friend passed this shower stool
to me. Along with my non-skid rubber mat,
this will make my sponge baths a breeze.
No showers until the doctor says so.
Finally, my favorite.
This is the walking cane of my great
grandfather, Joseph Alford Loyd, who
died in 1935. He was 6'4", four inches
taller than me, so this cane is right for me.
Also, it is made of uncommon "wormy
chesnut," once the most plentiful hardwood
in the southern mountains. The chestnut
blight, which continues to this day, prevents
chestnut saplings from maturing, though new
shoots continue to sprout from old stumps.
For this reason, there is a finite quantity of
items made from this sturdy, attractive wood.
In fact, the dulcimer that Judy gave me, hand
crafted my my pastor, Reverend Max Gilmore,
is made of wormy chestnut.
A home health store found me a rubber tip
for the cane that fits perfectly, so I will be
honored to use it as long as necessary.
I've already had my pre-op session at
FirstHealth, and am gradually checking off
items on my pre-surgery to-do list.
I've had great encouragement from many
friends and family members who have already
had knee replacements. And a lot of friends
who haven't had a knee replaced look at me
seriously and ask, "Are you sure about this?"
Yes, at least 13 days away, I'm sure!