15 March 2011
6 keeping it real
lest you conclude that life around here is all mocktails and glamor, let me go ahead and say that, despite my mother's admonishments of many months ago, there's a pretty high chance i am dying of gangrene.
in new york, when there was time enough to laze about and devote excessive attention to personal hygiene, i noticed my knee was in a bad way. that the knee that was torn to bits in a fall back in january and which- slow healing or not- should undoubtedly be healed by now was, judging from the snot-like fluid seeping from the still-open wound, in fact, maybe not.
horror is perhaps the most accurate descriptor for the doctor's reaction when my stilettos and i totter into her office on monday morning and i lift my skirt to reveal my knee.
she does not understand how it can have gotten so bad. how i would not have noticed. how an infection necessitating a round of antibiotics and two topical creams could have set in without the precipitation of significant pain.
we've had this conversation before. my dud ears have elicited the exact same lecture of you are a grown-up. you should be better at identifying pain by now. consulting my chart, the doctor remembers my nerve damage and, squinting deep into the half-healed ridges lining the canyon of what used to be my kneecap, she wonders aloud whether i am experiencing some sort of small-scale nervous system fail. whether various regions of my body are, one by one, going numb.
she says this and, amused by her own great humor, laughs a laugh of such force that it sends shock waves into her hand, which quivers, tearing a q-tip from the piece of my flesh to which- through a fateful combo of antibiotic cream, cotton and probing- it has become deeply embedded.
quickly, her eyes dart to my face as though to verify that i am about to die of the agony. her disappointment that i'm not is palpable.
instead, i sit there, upsettingly placid, my skirt hiked up over a wound from which a variety of fluids have now begun to seep.
i feel both very old and very young. this is not at all what i had thought growing up would be like. the gradual cessation of feeling and bloody knees.
filed under: we all fall down