Today I had an appointment with a new orthopedist in the office to which I’ve been multiple times before. Each one has different specialties. I’d been to the hand/arm guy, and I’d been to one of the sports/hip guys. This one is new to the practice. His specialty is sports and also joint replacement. He was kind and seemed knowledgeable, once he tracked down my radiology pics and reports. We agreed surgery may be needed down the road, but, for multiple reasons, it’s not on the radar right now. Surgery is never ideal for me. It’s too depressing to get into all the whys and better to just leave it there. So, the treatment plan was set as a shot of cortisone into the knee and a physical therapy plan. My referral for that went through so by the time I got home I’d missed a call and it was too late to return the call, to schedule my assessment/intake. I’m hopeful it will help ease some of the excruciating pain. The shot combo of the anti-inflammatory on Monday and the steroids today seems to be working for now. The bad is that I’m running a low-grade fever tonight. I’ll keep an eye on it. I know that can be normal after steroids, as I’ve had them in the problem hip in the past. We’ll see how PT goes, and meet to discuss other options if it gets to that point. I was overall pleased with how the appointment went. At least he didn’t look at me, say “you need surgery, but I won’t do it,” as that has happened to me before. I’m glad it went a different way.

Immediately after the ortho appointment, I went next door to the building where I get my weekly blood work. It was uncharacteristically crowded. I waited about an hour before getting called back for my jab in the arm. The phlebotomist was one of a few regulars I get. There are others who pass through, mainly because there’s a big merger and change going on with the area’s medical providers. Nearly all locations have been affected, even if they are only somewhat affiliated.

I decided to go see Mom afterward. The hospital is across the highway from the medical complex where I’d spent all morning. I paused, took a walk to settle into the nearly pain-free sensation in my knee. I breathed in the dry, warm spring air and thought about how difficult things have been. Today had been going better than many days lately. I needed to reflect on that. I had a snack in the hospital cafeteria, played some turns in my word game on the phone, and gathered my thoughts before heading up to see my mother.

She was awake, alert, and cranky as anything. I had started a dishcloth in the morning. I’d cast the first few rows on before leaving the house. I worked a few rows sitting in the ortho waiting room, and again in the exam room before the doctor appeared. I pulled it out of my little orange polka-dotted project bag, which was tucked nicely into my red purse. Mom admired the yarn, commenting how happy it looked. It’s a cotton ombre of light yellow, pale blue, and white. I explained it was just one of my stash for such projects, and she nodded. Several of my creations are utilized regularly in the kitchen. A few have started to fade and wear out, after more than five years since I’ve added to the home collection. They get heavy use, and machine laundered. I think they’ve held up well over time, but adding a few to the rotation isn’t a bad thing. Next time I go through the drawer, I’ll see about getting rid of a few more worn-out pieces. I knitted quietly and listened to her complain. We caught up on some local news stories such as the reports (and viral photos) of moldy meat in breakfast sandwiches in our county’s high school and a rare, overnight shooting in our small county resulting in a woman being charged with attempted first-degree murder of her husband (they’re supposedly going through a divorce) – with the children in the house at the time of the altercation and shooting. Someone came in from Mom’s church, visited for a short time, and left. I knitted on the whole time. I reached the midway point of the cloth, put it away, and left in the late afternoon.

I stopped on the way home for a cold drink, parked at a little cabin and park close to the house, sat in the car and cried… for a while. I could fib and say I don’t know why my emotions took over and needed to spill out, but the reality is life is completely overwhelming. It has been for a while, over a year… it’s just all hitting non-stop lately, and even with not-so-bad moments, the rest is just too freaking much to bear. After a good, hard cry, I sat there a while longer to chill before returning home. I was sure Dad would be there, and that I’d have to pretend to be flexible and upbeat until he was to leave for a meeting for one of his several civic groups. I was surprised to find only the cats when I got home. He walked in a half hour later, and explained he wouldn’t be going to his meeting. It threw off my whole evening.

It shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s “HIS HOUSE.” I just live here… exist here… it feels horrible sometimes. Most of the time. I am suffocated and barely hanging on in some ways. I try to keep going and make the best of it. I’m just barely getting through each day, each hour… always waiting, hoping for moments or hours of quiet, time to reflect, sleep, write, knit. Or – shocker – DO nothing at all. I don’t even remember what that’s like. I’m always in physical pain, I’m always worried about the next life-sustaining medications I need to take… I’m not eating right, I’m not sleeping restfully. I am losing not just my mind. I’m losing myself. I’m losing my parents. I’m losing track of most things…

I started feeling ill and realized I had a little fever tonight. I sat and knitted some more. I finished the dishcloth. It’s kind of a simple, boring project. I might take a photo of it anyway, because sometimes simple, in the middle of all the draining and complex stuff is needed.