Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “body parts.” Pick a body part and talk about it. 

Every morning I wake, crack my eyes open, make the universal groaning noise and recite words in a language I do not speak about being grateful for knowing that the Spirit endures and for one more day my soul is returned to me, with compassion, for another day of living. Then, in my second language, which is sarcasm, I whine, “What, you couldn’t have returned my knees to me along with my soul? Would it have killed you?” So far, I’ve not been hit by a bolt of lightning for those thoughts. So far.

I cringe at the thought of that first walk from the bed to the bathroom. I know that probably everything will be better in a few hours, as the synovial fluid starts forming in the joints. I smile at knowing about synovial fluid, thanks for that knowledge past life anatomy class. For now though, it is the painful bone-on-bone crunchy walk. As I wince and swear, I remember those days, really not that long ago, before those two catastrophic, idiotic falls (such a klutz!) that started the downhill grind on my knee cartilage when I still thought I was pretty sturdy. I was careful. I knew all about ergonometrics. I lifted with my legs. My nice, sturdy legs. Never a petite flower, and also not a hot-house delicate one either, I always rather liked my strong, shapely legs. I never really ever thought about my knees. I should have. They really did a good job for quite a while, and they were quite unthanked.

My best friend died from lupus. She lived in chronic pain. I always wondered how she did it. I still do, even though I too now live with chronic pain. I guess that’s how you do it. You just… live with it. Until you can’t, or the Universe pulls your plug, like happened to my friend.

My knees caused another fall, a few years ago, and now I have a metal elbow and a left arm that doesn’t straighten all the way, and kind of has a weird range of motion. That’s because that fall caused soft tissue “degloving” (if you are squeamish, don’t Google that), and so I have ligaments screwed into the bones. The list of body parts previously taken for granted continues to grow.

So while in the bathroom, you know, on that first morning trip, I sometimes think about how my body parts are betraying me. You hear that phrase tossed about, “my body is betraying me.” I get that thought. Body parts do weird things as you get older. Parts you never thought about suddenly decide to make themselves known and often in really stupid ways. Truth be told, though, my body hasn’t betrayed me; I’ve betrayed my body. Body parts I’ve never thought about? I should have done some thinking about them. We take so much for granted — until we can’t. Does that knowledge propel me forward to do better? Oh, sometimes. But again, truth be told, it is easier to get frustrated with someone else’s foibles than to deal with my own. It is really simple for me, having never smoked, to want to throttle a person close to me, who smokes, for taking stupid risks with his lungs. (I stand by the judgement stupid though! Get a screening ffs!) I’m pretty sure other people want to throttle me for my own stupid behaviors. That’s a common human thing, that other people are easier to critique and fix than ourselves.

If I spend enough time in the bathroom, I am reminded of other things I learned in anatomy class. Do you know they still can’t program a humanoid-style robot to successfully carry a cup of coffee across the room? The number of motions that have to be done, the micro-adjustments, simply haven’t been able to be replicated yet. We humans do that every day, and at the same time we’re doing that we hear things, our blood circulates, the burrito is digested and the paper cut on our index finger heals. I still think it wouldn’t kill the Universe to restore my knees, because heaven knows if I’ll ever get metal ones to match my elbow. But all in all, yeah, have to say, I’m grateful — and thanks for another day, all things considered — even if I’m not always successful at carrying that cup of coffee without spilling some of it. Maybe I’m a bad robot? Cool. That would explain a lot.

5 Comments

  1. Do you know they still can’t program a humanoid-style robot to successfully carry a cup of coffee across the room?

    I did not know this.

    My grandmother used to say that she was an old machine, gradually falling apart. I always used to respond – no, you’re a human being… and I would comfort her. But the truth is that she was right.


    David

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  2. We do certainly take health for granted – until things go wrong. I think I’ve been very lucky as far as knees are concerned. Miles of road running and even a huge twist of the leg while skiing a few years ago have somehow failed to damage them – so far… Sorry to read about yours though. But it was a great post and fitted the subject nicely. 😊

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  3. Knees do give a lot of problem, don’t they ? We think about our body parts when give us problems. The other day I watched many ladies climbing down some steps and they were having problems! While reading a book, I sit cross-legged on the floor, it helps 😊 take care.

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    1. We, as a group of humans, do tend to only think about things when they complain. It isn’t the best system, but it is the common one. It has been shown by many studies, that if you can get down on the floor, if you can open your hips (such as by sitting cross-legged), it has a great benefit. Enjoy your reading. 🙂

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