I'm traveling today, which of course fills me with agita, especially since I haven't yet packed, and my good knee has been acting up so badly that when I tweaked it two weeks ago doing some mundane task of daily living, the pain was so bad I fainted. Alone at home. I came to almost at once, but that sensation of things blacking out, the world receding, will never not be weird. I think it was only the third time in my life that I had fainted, and come to think of it, each time was because of excruciating pain in that knee, the one that is usually the "good" knee. So I'm going to be a hobbling mess on this trip, where I will be meeting up with the new book team for some events, very exciting stuff, but I will be walking slow, making sure I place each knee at the correct angle, and feeling quietly embarrassed about slowing everyone down.
The embarrassment? It's because I'm fat, and I always assume that people's unspoken thought is that my mobility issues are because of that. The world makes fat a moral issue, it shames people who carry extra weight, it does not consider that it is in fact a chronic medical issue, like diabetes or lupus, which no one gets shamed for. In fact, I inherited my mother's arthritis, which inhibited the free movement of her joints from the time she was in her early forties, and she was a thin woman. I'm sure being fat doesn't help my poor joints, but it's not to root cause. To make matters worse, there is a brand new pain in my left shin, like shin splints, only I have done no exercise that would cause such a thing, but there you go—a hobbling mess.
It was a good week anyway. All the kids came over on Wednesday evening, and that was big fun. My son and his wife seem so happy together, it makes my mother's heart content. My niece who is a college senior in Minneapolis and my nephew who is a college freshman in upstate New York have both been here all week, spending their spring break with their aunt and uncle and cousins in New York, as these siblings both live in Jamaica. That won't be true of my niece for much longer, as she is a brilliant STEM genie, and has been offered a tech world job for good money and residency status. So she will be moving to New York City when she graduates in May, and will stay with us until she and her two prospective roommates, friends who have also been offered good-paying tech jobs upon graduation, can find an apartment, most likely in hipster Brooklyn. All the young people are moving to Brooklyn. Meanwhile my other niece, Dani, who lived here after her graduation and was with us in covid lock down for a while, is giving up her lease in Brooklyn at the end of May to move in with her best friend from college. But that won't happen until September, so she may be back with us till then too. Arrindell Arms looks set to have a busy summer.
Also, happy pub week to Belonging by Michelle Miller! Her friends threw her a big book launch party on Monday evening, and she sprinkled kudos and shine over everyone in her life who has supported her. She really is an incredibly generous soul. I was happy to be there, but I think I won't go to any more of her book events, because the spotlight now should be squarely on her, it's her story, and when I am there, everyone is congratulating me, too. It feels weird. Collaborative writing, once called ghostwriting—I dislike that term but have to admit it is descriptive of the arrangement—is not compatible with too much ego, and while mine is very healthy, I do think that once the book is written, it becomes the subject's turn on the stage, and time for me to step back into the wings, feeling all pride in the work we did, but from the sidelines. Bless Michelle for acknowledging me everywhere so freely, but now it's over to you, my friend. I adore you.
Wish me luck in Washington, D.C. this week. In addition to my blooming anxiety I am also feeling quite a bit of anticipation. I mean, everything could go well, right? And whatever happens, I will be having a highlight experience, being backstage in a world that few people ever get to see. I do love my life, screaming joints and all.
Here are a few pictures people took at the book party. I posted these on social media, but I want to have the record here as well.
I did enjoy the photos, and no, you are not 'fat'! We all get rounder as we age, even when the number of pounds on the scale stays the same. And I hear you about the arthritis and the knees. I have had one replaced and am, shuddering, contemplating the second round. In the meantime, braces help. I have a neophrene sliding sleeve that helps and allows me to move, and a full-on brace with a hinge that requires baggy pants but helps a lot. Nothing helps the fingers. My husband's grandmother used heat - boiling hot dishwater, for one thing. And I had a physiotherapist who had a bowl of warmed wax that you stuck your hand into.ReplyDelete
Make the agile young things do the housework while they stay with you ... and rest the knee while they do it.
It's so cool that your nieces have you in your life. People who know and like their extended family are so fortunate, the cousins can be each others' support teams. I am sorry to hear about the good knee turning on you. One bad knee is certainly enough. Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful.ReplyDelete
Stay well on your trip and by trip I don't mean trip and fall! I understand about the knee business- i went on an noninflammatory diet , semi, because i am undisciplined and snapped right out of knee failure. Just saying, try it- no carbs no sugar anti inflammatory veg ,chicken and fish- it is an easy try... AND there is advil...Good luck on your travels. Oh and by the way if you think you are FAT, sorry, you are not in the club, woman! You are not even on the waiting list.ReplyDelete
Sorry about the anxiety and the joint pain. I wish I could advise you how to navigate that and ease your mind, but I'm sure you know better than me. I have no doubt the trip will be worth it and the worrying will prove worse than the journey.ReplyDelete
Our public library will have it soon! Looking forward to reading Michelle's story. Love the double portrait of you and Michelle celebratingReplyDelete
I am SO, SO sorry that you are in pain. Nothing in life is quite right when we hurt. At all. Please be so careful and please know that people are going to adore you, going to appreciate you for your skills and talent and light. Because we are somehow-sisters, I know you don't really believe that. But try, my love. Try.ReplyDelete
And big congratulations on the book just published and the one that will be soon.
I am so sorry that you had that pain, and I so hope that you are feeling better. You are a truly beautiful woman in every way. Hold that in your heart with every breath you take.ReplyDelete
Enjoy your time with your nieces and I love the book party photos.
Take care of yourself and stay safe!ReplyDelete
so sorry you are having trouble with your knees. and you look lovely to me, not fat. and how wonderful to have your work in the shadows celebrated. sending good vibes for your trip.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear of your pain -- I relate on many, many levels with all that you've said here and offer my support and camaraderie and love.ReplyDelete
Oh boy, knee pain! My left knee is my 'good knee' (surgery back when) and my right knee is, well, my other knee. Limping around ain't fun at all. But I did have an appreciation for all the other limping people. I have a friend with one leg. I didn't even know until I met him in person. I just don't know what life is like for others, esp when I make up stories..Congrats on your new books!ReplyDelete
Hi, I’ve been reading you for a couple of years now. Adding my 2 cents in late: whenever I see someone plumper with mobility issues, my assumption is that the difficulty of movement has caused weight gain. OliviaReplyDelete
Osteoarthritis sucks, big time. I've only touched the tip of the iceberg with it and I already know it's awful. All the women in my family have it and my oldest sister just had a hip replacement, to be followed shortly by another one on the other side.ReplyDelete
As for weight, I agree with Olivia above, the lack of mobility, leading to the weight gain. I was listening to a radio program about weight and hormones, there was a doctor from University of Calgary on the program, and he says that obesity needs to be treated as the chronic health disease that it is. Weight gain and obesity (I'm not saying you're obese sweetie) involve a multitude of factors, including hormones, and we can't just exercise our way out of it. He also talked about post menopausal weight gain, which I have and I'm not a fan of it but I think I'm going to have to learn to live with it. I look my mum now:)
Here's the whole program.
Beautiful photos and smiles--focus on that, and not your waistline. You are gorgeous.ReplyDelete