Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Knights Who Say, "KNEE!"

It's been a few weeks now since the Piper underwent surgery to repair her knee. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that some cartilage ended up somewhere it really ought not to have been, and the surgeon was, well, impressed--not in the way you WANT a surgeon to be.

After months of debilitating pain, followed by a fairly uncomfortable post-surgery recovery, the Piper is inching toward full farmerdom again. Last week, she sat in the midst of everyone else's activity and snipped branches down into kindling. Now she is proudly--if gingerly--hauling cartfuls of whey-soaked bread and wilted veggies down to the pigs in the name of "therapeutic strengthening."

The piper is not one to sit still while others work, so these past few months have been especially hard on her, even with WWOOFers cheerfully pitching in to take over her chores and ease my burden of managing the farm alone. She doesn't respond well to requests to slow down, rest, or be careful. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that she's an avid Red Sox fan, I'm not sure how I would have gotten her to slow down at all--thank heavens for the concept of the "DL" (Disabled List). Only after a reminder that "even star players end up on the DL for months at a time..." could she be convinced to lay down with an ice pack for the afternoon. (It also helped that, thanks to the clock radio, she was able to lay there and listen to baseball games!)

She found the first couple of post-surgery therapy visits pretty excruciating. The muscles hadn't been engaging properly due to the inflammation and misplaced cartilage, so her kneecap was no longer being held in place and riding smoothly where it ought to be. The Piper dutifully performed her prescribed strengthening exercises and acquired a special brace to keep the kneecap from "floating."

Last week, she came home from physical therapy with a new look. Like so many other veterans of Wounded Knee before her, the Piper had borne her suffering bravely and displayed tremendous courage and fortitude. The therapist recognized these qualities and sent her home a newly-decorated hero: