Edith and I have been having lunch every Wednesday since we met a few weeks ago. She's cute and funny and was a member of the first graduating class of the School of Performing Arts in New York City. In the dance program, she was in the same class as Edward Villella and Arthur Mitchell, both of whom went on to do pretty well. She has acted and directed theatre and choreographed in Manhattan, Kansas, where she and her husband were on the faculty at Kansas State University.
She and I have fun together, and are talking about putting together a two-woman show.
It was time to have her over, so last Wednesday I invited her to lunch here. We were to meet at noon, and when she wasn't here by 12:15 I went to check the email I had sent; maybe I had made some mistake in the time or in the directions I gave to my house. I had given simple, easy directions -- but I had put the wrong street number! A typo, but one number off can make all the difference in the world. I looked up from the computer screen, and there was Edith, driving away from my house!
I didn't think twice, but started running after her. You see, Edith and I are not of the cell phone generation, and though we both have them, I didn't have her cell number (and she didn't have her cell with her anyway). This was one of those rare times when using a cell phone would actually been the best thing to do.
But there I am in my flip-flops, running as fast as I can half a block behind her on Bay View Avenue (now Bay View Street, but I like the music of the old name better), with Edith driving as fast as she can to get to a telephone to find out exactly where I live. Luckily when she got to Fairhope Avenue she slowed down to ask a passing car about the address, and I was able to catch up with her. Winded, I climbed into her car and we both discussed how stupid I was.
We had a good lunch; she liked my house. As usual, we found a lot to talk about.
It wasn't until Saturday that my right knee began to feel strained, sprained, or bruised. All I know is that I gradually became aware that something was wrong. Well, little things go wrong from time to time, joints ache, pangs occur where they were not before, that sort of thing. I didn't think twice about it, and went on my regular trip to the gym to stretch and strain some of my muscles before they atrophy. By the next Wednesday, when Edith and I went shopping for groceries at the fancy store in Mobile, that I realized my knee was getting worse rather than better. The next day I limped slightly on my way across the floor at the gym and a man clearly 10 years older than I stopped me as I started on the elliptical machine.
"I notice you having some trouble with that leg," he said. "Working out on that is the worst thing you can do."
I began discussing and dismissing my symptom, and said I was treating it with ibuprophen, when an old lady joined the conversation saying her son had problems with his knee that turned out to be a torn ligament. Surgery was the only answer, but they have great lazar stuff now that will fix it right up. I stopped the elliptical and thanked them, and went to a trainer to ask about the knee. He recommended that I see a physician as soon as possible and stay off the machines until I had the go-ahead from a doctor. The knee was swollen and looked bruised.
And I had a reprieve from the five-day-a-week workouts! I called my doctor, who can't see me until Tuesday. I've gone easy on the knee, and it is actually getting less painful.
The moral of the story is as you get older it is not a good idea to run on the pavement for any reason. It also might be "Carry a cell phone at all times and learn the cell phone numbers of all your friends and make sure all of them have their cell phones with them at all times." It also may be any number of other things which I can't think of at the moment. Maybe the bad knee has nothing to do with that foolish sprint on Wednesday. But it is getting better and I have permission to vegetate for two more days.