(Plinky prompt: What do you do to stay healthy?)

Feh. Although at least I can answer this without gym guilt.

 Right now my main exercise routine comes under the Taoist philosophy of wu wei–do nothing, and everything shall be done. It’s making me crazy. This is me, being healthy on my butt. I’m the one transcribing New York Public Library menus (http://menus.nypl.org/ — kidding aside, it’s for a good cause) as part of my attempt to amuse myself while anchored to my couch.

And why, you ask? It happened like this:

I have arthritis in my knees, partially a side effect  of an endocrine glitch, hyperparathyroiditis, which is the adult form of rickets. Being quite heavy hasn’t helped, and I am solidly middle-aged on top of it. Thus, I’ve become used to being in pain when I walk. But by the spring of last year, it had become damn near crippling, and I limped my sorry butt into orthopedics.

The nice orthopods gave me cortisone shots which made me feel as if I were Gene Kelly doing a number entitled, “I Can Walk!” I continue to have a spiffy response to it, and every three or four months, I go in for a tune-up. Unfortunately, I’m one of those curious little souls who ask questions, and at tune-up #1, it was, “By the way, what’s this funny shooting pain?”

(ominous music)

Well, Skipper, it’s a sign that your Achilles tendon is considering going blooie. You hurt it over a year ago, but ignored it because everything else hurt too. It’s grown a lump the size of a large prune. ‘ja think that maybe you shoulda looked into this before?

I limped out in a boot, and was told to come back in six weeks. That was in the very beginning of last September, eight months ago.

It was the black foam variety, and after about a month it fell apart and was flapping like a pirate boot. They put me in an Aircast that was a smidgy too small because that was what they had.

(Re Aircasts: See the pic; they’re the things that look like part of stormtrooper costumes. The small weighs four pounds, and the medium five, which is like clumping around with a bag of sugar stapled to your shin. They have chambers which can be inflated to fit snugly, and three massively no-nonsense velcro straps. And every single time I would think of the shorter, heavier, infinitely less-cool-looking foam thing that had disintegrated, I would put it on with big chirpy love.)

Happily, when I went back for my checkup the prune had diminished–but now that it was gone, there was obviously a walnut underneath. Another month or so.

And for five months, I would go in every month or so, and the damned thing just refused to heal. Finally, the PA and I both saw the hand writing on the wall, or the toe scrabbling weakly in the sand, and the attending came in and said that I either spent six weeks booted-crutched-AND *O*F*F* it–or there would be surgery, which would entail the same thing anyway.

(more ominous music)

I’d seen a blog the night before (complete with oversharing pictures) about the horrors of this procedure, and I just . . . sort of . . . stopped after a while. I’ve had (really) over a dozen full-throttle abdominal procedures (girly stuff mostly) and think autopsies are kewl. But it looked like ow-ow-ow-ow-ow, so even though I know damn well you don’t blog if you have a normal outcome, I decided to be uncharacteristically compliant. I am now on a couch in a corner containing seemingly everything I own so I don’t have to fetch it. (You have NO idea how much you walk around at home until you hurt yourself.)

At least the new Aircast fits, which is a vast improvement, but it’s about a pound heavier, bringing it up to five pounds. The lump is getting smaller. But at five weeks, I’m not completely hopeful. One way or another, I see the truly spiffy PA in about ten days, and I will *not* be doing the Gene Kelly on my way out.

I want to dance. Hell, I want to walk. I want to not have carrying things up and down stairs to be tactically planned–it was enough of a pain in the ass without the boot, but at least once I was on level ground . . .

. . . it hurt, and I keep forgetting that. But I walked and danced anyway, and because pain is for weenies (as we are told by everything remotely associated with athletics), I toughed it out. I Just Did It . . . and now I’m Just Sitting On It.