Over the past number of years, I’ve made more than a few passing references to the problems I’ve been having with my right knee. But as I’ve been taking my time coming around to accepting that I would kneed a knee replacement, my body pulled a fast one on me. While I was perseverating about my kneemoania, I started having pains in my groin and without boring you (more than I am) with the details, I’m heading for a hip replacement in a few weeks. Which means that shortly, I’ll be taking my first step towards bionicy.
This hip thingy has been very painful at times and has dampened my usual ebullient mood. And it has turned some of the most mundane of tasks into heroic efforts. None more than putting on my socks. Each day when I awake, there are two things that immediately cross my mind. The first is . . . Shit!, that was no nightmare. Trump is, in fact, the President. That’s followed by my thinking about the pain that I know I’m going to inflict on myself while trying to lasso my toes with the sock that goes on my left foot when I get dressed.
It has also turned me into that guy you see limping around your neighborhood; you know, the guy who you feel bad for because it seems like it’s going to take him forever to get where he needs to go. Ever vain, I’ve tried to fashion my new gait to be closer to Walter Brennan’s in The Real McCoys than to Chester’s (Dennis Weaver ) in Gunsmoke. (See: Note below) I always felt the way Chester limped made him look somewhat mentally challenged, as well.
Despite my limitations, I’ve still been playing tennis. I wear a heavy wrap on my groin, put on the knee brace I have that looks like it was used to get Jews to convert during the Spanish Inquisition and hobble around the court. Doubles only. And I have to say, if there’s been one bright spot in this hipocracy, it is that I’m enjoying playing doubles a lot more than I used to. Before the downfall, I pretty much played singles exclusively. I rarely played doubles and truthfully, I felt superior to those that did. Mr Brooks was so right when he said, “We mock the things we are to be.”
You’re probably wondering (maybe) why I’ve kept you in the dark this long about my latest malady . For starters, I didn’t want to be that person you know who is constantly whining. I have few enough friends as it is. But, in truth, the reason I’ve been freer in writing about my knee than my hip is that I see knee replacement as something needed by athletes; whereas, I associate hip replacement surgery as a result of aging. I know that sounds shallow and stupid but remember who the writer is. But going forward, I’m promising (my hippocratic oath) to be more egalitarian in my discussions about new body parts. By the way . . . did I mention the problem I’m having with my shoulder?
Note: In doing research for the blog, I found there are critics who object to using able-bodied actors portraying characters with disabilities. And Walter Brennan might be the most egregious example of this insensitivity. Apart from his role in the Real McCoys, Mr. Brennan also employed a limp in a number of movies in which he appeared. Most people believed, in fact, that he actually had a handicap.