I suspect whomever coined the phrase, “It’s hell getting old,” was telling Beelzebub prior to the final calling that it couldn’t get worse, to just go back to Dante’s Inferno and leave me alone.
I was recently reminded of this phrase when I jumped up to push my dog, Stanley, out of the way so he wouldn’t knock my limeade off the coffee table.
Because I am 61, my vertical leap is about two inches these days, so instead of missing the coffee table, I jammed by left knee directly into the corner of it. The table corner shattered and apparently so did some of the cartilage in my knee.
“Did you fall down?” the doctor asked me.
“No,” I retorted, failing to say it was only because I plopped right back on the couch. Somehow, I did not suffer a residual rear-end injury.
The first day it hurt a bit and by the third day, I was cursing and hobbling into the doctor’s office, using my three-iron as a cane to support the softball that was now my knee.
I was told initially it was a deep bone bruise, a sprain and possible ligament and cartilage damage.
A subsequent visit and a painful prodding by the doctor confirmed that something bad had occurred. “That’s why you keep hearing it pop,” she said. We’ll know the full gory details after my MRI this week. The same day I went to the doctor about the knee last week, I had another appointment to remove a cyst from the side of my nose.
The doctor said the cyst was caused by a pimple gone mad and would have to come off. Years ago a pimple would have dried up or gone away for me, but when you’re 61, it apparently means more medical trouble.
So two attendants and a doctor did out-patient surgery on my cyst. I don’t know which was worse, their jokes or the procedure.
They didn’t like my knee injury story, so we spent the time concocting something more heroic to tell people about how it occurred.
They suggested I tell people I was in a bar fight and threw my knee out with a black-belt karate kick.
I said that wouldn’t fly with the wife, so they suggested I tell people I was defending her honor. I suggested they get better material.
So here I am with a brace on my knee dragging my leg around like Frankenstein, while sporting stitches in the side of my nose.
This morning, I woke up and apparently the surgery caused my eyes to swell because I had big, puffy bags under them. I haven’t seen that in the mirror since that one certain weekend back in college.
“You look like you’ve been in a prizefight,” my wife said lovingly.
I told her that was a delightful thing to say to me first thing in the morning after such a grizzly discovery. I’m not sure she heard me though because I was simultaneously trying to get the velcro straight on my knee brace and failing miserably.
I used to wonder why elderly people talked about their maladies so much.
I couldn’t understand why giving a blow-by-blow description to their friends about the latest doctor visit was so compelling.
I understand now.