I’d like to ask that you indulge me one last time in sharing my knee surgery experience with you, not to be self-serving but to share with you what I’ve discovered. Two weeks into this venture, I’ve learned a few things about acceptance, dependence and humility.
My husband and children have had to do pretty much everything for me since the surgery. I can’t even carry things for myself, because I’m on crutches. I am not even allowed to drive yet. All the attention and chauffering were kind of nice at first, but a few days of not being able to do anything for myself had me stir crazy, frustrated and whiny.
First thing Monday morning, I endured a two-hour physical therapy session. It’s humiliating to sweat and work just to step on and off a small platform and pedal a specially-made stationary bike, because pedaling a normal stationary bike is beyond my ability just yet.
The piece de resistance is the fact that I had to ride “the scooter” through Kroger yesterday. I felt short and helpless and yes, disabled. I didn’t like it. However, did you know that, as a rule, the bargain items are located on the lower shelves? Check it out next time you’re shopping; you might save a few bucks.
I can tell you a few valuable lessons I’m taking away from this experience. First, I will never again occupy the “handicapped” bathroom stall in a public restroom. It’s more roomy and convenient, but it’s also inconsiderate of those who really need it. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.
Second, I will demonstrate patience and gladly offer help when I see people in public who are at a physical disadvantage for any reason. I could tell yesterday that I was inconveniencing a few shoppers because my scooter didn’t go fast enough. Some people were actually rude about it. That of course inspired me to gear it down even further, and to back up a lot.
Third, my husband and children are fantastic. But I already knew that.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently-released book, “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. Her next book, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear is eagerly expected this summer 2012.