Thoughts from therapy…

Dear Friends,

I’m at the rehab facility, checked in by admissions, checked out by physical therapy and settled into my private room.   After  my first knee surgery,   rehab had me paired with a delightful,  interesting  80 year-old roommate and we talked most of the time we were not in therapy.  I do miss the sweet company of Miss Betty, but the new policy of private rooms for all ortho patients will leave me, I hope, with time to write some blogs, do some smocking and read some good books.

According to my surgeon, the knee replacement was routine and “almost boring,” which is good from his perspective. As I raised my eyebrows at this comment, he reminded me that no patient wants her surgery to stand out in the doctor’s memory. Of course, as the person whose leg was at the other end of the bone saw, I would have to say that this particular  surgery is quite memorable.

I have met some lovely people,  each with an interesting personality and personal story.  One such person is Carole, a very caring, dedicated hospital nurse.  I brought all my own pillows, with embroidered pima cotton pillowcases so they could be easily identified as mine.  Carole, probably around 55 years old,  commented that she too had a sewing/embroidery machine but she was going to sell it.  She had never gone for the lessons and had never sewn a seam, nor stitched out  a single embroidery–she just didn’t have time. 

Women sew for a lot of reasons, but I sew because I must.  I suspect that is true of most of you readers.  I’ve heard from ladies who have no little ones to sew for, so they make clothing for foster children or for sick babies in the hospital or for their friends’ children or grandchildren.  These  are all busy women, women with jobs and homes and husbands and yards to care for.  But they sew.  Because they must.

I have given a lot of thought to Carole’s comment. I suspect that if she were not a nurse, if she lived alone in a condo,  she still would not sew.  It’s just not in her heart to do so.  I hope she finds something that she must do, something for which she develops a real passion.   Maybe it is nursing, but if she went to the trouble and expense of buying a top-of -the-line combo machine, it seems there is some void that she is trying to fill, even at this time in her life.

The flip side of her story came from Cynda, a 20 year old CNA (certified nursing assistant). She, too, is caring and dedicated to her job.  When I asked her why she does this for a living (one of my standard getting-to-know-you questions), she gave me  the same answer that Carole did, “because I like helping people.”

When I asked Cynda what she does for fun, I expected she would say clubbing, or running or shopping. But I soon realized that I had grossly underestimated her.  This lovely, lithe black beauty with perfect nails, hair and make up replied, “Write.  I love to write.”  I asked what she liked to write– short stories, poems, a novel?  She replied, “Short stories, essays, poetry.  I want to write all the time.  Even when I come home from work and I am tired (they work 12 hour shifts), I write poetry for a little while.  I just have to express myself.”

Cynda has found her passion and so have we.  I hope some day Carole finds hers, or she might need a different kind of therapy than I am getting here.

Happy sewing to all,


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

3 responses to “Thoughts from therapy…

  1. Oh, Janice, I am so glad that you are up to blogging. I am putting off my right knee replacement, because I know what to expect now. It’s not an easy recuperation. I had home health physical therapy for 3 weeks & then went to PT at a location at the doctors’ building. My doctor sent me home because he said that there were too many germs at the rehab places. I would think that is the reason for the private room for you this time. Are you using the knee bending machine? I hated it at first, but I got to the point that I could sleep while it worked my leg. The company actually let me keep it for a couple of extra days because I loved it so much.
    I hope the next few weeks will pass quickly & the staff will make your stay a pleasant one.

  2. I love the way you put it. Sewing because we must. I don’t have little ones or grandchildren yet, but have 7 grandnieces and grandnephews, and I must sew for them, and my grandbaby hope chest. I do it because I love, to relax, and because I’m miserable if I don’t!
    Hope you heal quickly, and are home before you know it!

  3. Beckie, thanks for all your good wishes for a speedy recovery. As for your second knee, I would encourage you to just do it! My first surgery two years ago was very successful. My rehab was ahead of schedule and the pain/discomfort was very manageable, even for a wimp like me. But this time round, just two years later, everything is different and sooooo much easier. I can hardly believe it. There is a new nerve block they use for the first three days. On day
    #2 post op I walked 240′ in the morning and more than 300′ in the afternoon. I’m in a rehab facility and get fabulous therapy from the little girl who was our back door neighbor. Here it is day #7 post op and I frequently forget to use my walker. I’m not saying there is no discomfort, but the progress is so rapid that it’s easy to focus on that rather than the hurt. Just do it!

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