March 9 Entry: A Prisoner of Pain

I got to sleep in a little this morning after a restless night, because I had inquired in advance about the breakfast menu and knew I couldn’t eat breakfast with everyone else. Walter, Jasper and Lucy all walked to the shop for breakfast, while I stayed in the cabin and ate emergency rations. I headed out on foot to reach the shop in time for devotions, knowing others would be headed that way too, and sure enough I was offered a ride before I had even walked halfway to the shop.

Afterwards, I was again offered a ride back to the cabin. At this stage of the game my muscles are adapting to the constant stair climbing—but my arthritic joints are not. I love being here, but there is a great deal of pain involved, and I knew that would be true before I came. So anyway, as I climbed the 42 stairs to our side of the duplex, our neighbor Ray was out on his deck on the other side watching me struggle up step after step. When I reached our deck at last, he had three words for me: knee replacement surgery.

Then he had a lot more words to add! It was difficult for him to watch my painful progress up the stairs because he knew exactly what I was feeling. We had a lengthy discussion based on his years of injuries and literally dozens of surgeries. He has had both knees and hips replaced and has broken his nose over 20 times! I am going to research some of the things he mentioned to me and see if I can get some relief without surgery, which is beyond our means for the time being.

Meanwhile, I knew I’d be stuck in the cabin for the foreseeable future. There was no telling when Nonie might be arriving with the spare Toyota key, but I hoped it would be by midafternoon. I got a load of laundry done and took a shower and was getting ready to call my dad on the cabin phone when the power went out.

I couldn’t work on my computer with no power so I was forced to take a nap! Later, with the power still out, no one arrived to take me to lunch so once again I fell back on the emergency rations I wisely brought with me. I did feel a bit like a prisoner. My joints were so painful I didn’t think I’d be able to make the walk to the shop until supper time.

Finally the power came back on and I was able to call my dad to figure out the details of our meet-up tomorrow. He had been trying to email, call, and text me, but of course I had not received any of it. I am hoping to drive a couple hours away to meet him and my mother for lunch tomorrow.

After that I was able to get quite a bit of geography work done before taking some pain meds and attempting the walk back to the shop. When I was less than halfway there, I saw Walter and Lucy coming on foot in the opposite direction, which could only mean one thing: the key had not yet arrived. By the time we met up and this was confirmed, it was shorter for me to continue on to the shop than to turn back and go to the cabin with them.

Lucy stayed in the cabin and scrounged some supper, unwilling to make the long walk back to the shop. Walter did walk back to have supper with us in the shop. As we ate, I wondered again if I might have to spend the night in the shop, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk all the way back to the cabin. One of the students kindly volunteered to bring me back after supper, for which I was very grateful.

We live such a wild life up here. Since we didn’t have the use of the car, we couldn’t even go to church tonight. Instead, we lit a fire in the woodstove and sat in the living room listening to an audiobook until we were all more or less comatose. The kids were ready for bed before 9:00 and I’m sure I will soon follow them since I hope I will be driving to meet my parents tomorrow.

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