Last Tuesday was the beginning of week eight post-op for my Left knee replacement. It was also my fourth physiotherapy class at Warwick hospital, and Les had an appointment at the Royal Free Hospital in London for a scan and blood tests. We left Radford Hill Farm moorings Monday mid-day--which after four months of being stuck here in the five mile prison--we've come to think of as our country estate.
We cruised back into town, stopping at Tesco to top up our groceries. I decided it was a good time to try shopping on my own so I took one crutch and our personal shopping trolley and went on my way while Les headed out across the street to buy diesel and top up the boat. My list wasn't long but it took me awhile to pull out a shopping cart, hang our shopping trolley on it so it wasn't in my way and steer the shopping cart with one hand while I stumped along with a crutch on my right arm. About forty five minutes later--job done! I was back at the boat with our trolley full of groceries and no one was maimed or endangered in the process.
We continued on to moor up at the Warwick Hospital moorings--just near the footbridge over the canal about 850 feet before the bottom of Cape Locks and the water point. We set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. and both of us had a restless night's sleep. While my left knee doesn't hurt anymore, I am still keenly aware of the artificial part of it, and after a long day it is difficult to relax, let go of that awareness and fall into sleep. So Les and I tossed and turned...
Up with the alarm and Les was out the door at 7:30 to catch three trains and one bus to arrive at the RFH by 11 am. He started the engine before he left and I washed a load of clothes and did some work before pulling myself together and heading off for the fifteen minute walk over the footbridge, up a short side street and through Warwick Hospital to the physiotherapy department to wait for my class to begin. I decided it was also a good time to try making this walk without any crutches at all.
Physio class for the five of us women with knee replacements, consists of twelve stations in a circuit; sitting in a chair with a small ball tucked between one's ankles and lifting one's legs, standing on a balance board, sitting in a chair and getting up and sitting down repeatedly without using one's hands (bends the knee), peddling a mini set of pedals while sitting in a chair, up and down stairs, sitting in a chair with one's leg resting on another chair just across the way and a set of three pound weights draped over the replaced knee to make the leg completely straight, bicycling on a BIG bike, standing on a trampoline and doing deep knee bends, and other assorted tortures. Each exercise must be done for one minute and forty five seconds. Rock ballads from the 1950's provide background music: Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Wake up Little Suzy, There Goes My Baby, Kansas City--you get the drift.
After completing the circuit we take a five minute break, drink water, have our incisions inspected, our knee circumference measured, along with demonstrating one's ability to straighten the leg, lift and hold it for ten seconds and offer a general report of how we're doing. Then we five spread out around a set of parallel bars for the "dance" portion of our show.
To a bit more rousing music we walk heel and toe, march with knees
|Morecambe & Wise Dance|
Americans will probably not have a clue who these guys are or what the dance looks like. The still picture of the duo will give you an idea--a sort of alternating skip with arms back and forward. Just picture five women with recent knee replacements ranging in age from 58 to 76, dancing around in a circle like the guys in the picture. Les got such a kick out of the idea he wanted to come video us but it isn't allowed.
Finally we finish up to Sinatra belting out "New York, New York" while we do alternating high kicks, held for three seconds and then really high kicks with jazz hands. TA-DAH!!! Are you knackered yet?? Well the upshot of all this is....all my hard work has paid off and I was released to go a week earlier than planned. WOOT!!
Wednesday morning we slept in. I rose first, and jumped out of bed, and while my Best Beloved remained wrapped in the warmth of the duvet, I threw on my bathrobe and some flip flops, climbed out of the boat and started the engine--all without giving my knee or leg a single thought! I swept out the bow and the stairs, emptied the ash out of the stove and brought the fire up, and we sat grinning at each other like mad cats while we ate breakfast and talked about the power of suggestion. I wondered if it was merely the fact the Physiotherapist said, "Great Jaqueline! You are discharged. See you in September," that suddenly made me feel like Tigger on my new knee.
|Manually turning a boat involves pulling it around from the stern.|
I've spend four months in Warwick and the nearby smaller towns and I've seen virtually none of it other than a couple of restaurants and the hospital. Good friends dropping by kept us sane as did our ability to move albeit only five miles total. So Les stopped and moored up in Royal Leamington Spa and we walked into town to see the Sights!
|A view of the Royal Pump Rooms as it was originally in 1814 when it was first built by the River Leam,courtesy of warwickdc.gov.uk.|
|A photograph courtesy of the BBC.co.uk, of The Pump Room Baths on the right, in 1914.|
|Current picture of the Royal Pump Rooms looking back to St. Nicholas Parish|
|This is part of the museum's bit about Taking the Cure which was so popular Queen Victoria visited the spa as a young woman--hence the title "Royal" added to the town's name.|
|The Glasshouse is a conservatory or hot house as we say in the States. What awaits us inside?|
|Fantastic Bird of Paradise flowers greet us as we enter.|
|Airy walkways wander amongst coffee, banana and other exotic trees and ferns.|
|I don't know what species this is but I was captivated by the white flowers.|
|Bright Clivia stand near a hidden waterfall.|
|A goldfish pond offers tantalizing views of the bright fish along with reflections of the glass plated ceiling and the sky.|
|The black pipe is a bee portal! It is blocked in winter and opened in late spring so bees can come and go, pollinating the plants and carrying some back to their hive to make honey. What a brilliant idea!|
|This is the doorstep for the bees on the outside of the building, leading into the black pipe along the wall inside. I wonder what the bee dance offering instructions to this little paradise looks like!|
|There are outdoor walkways and all kinds of fascinating places to walk, bike, rollerskate, jog, climb, and discover.|
|The Mill Bridge over the River Leam. The glass house is directly behind me as I took this picture. the gardens are out of sight off to the right.Below is an inlet allowing river water to flow unimpeded. Great for fish and other wildlife.|
|The view across the river from the Mill Bridge. One can just see the boat ramp in the foreground on the left immediately past the closest house .|
|The church tower from my short perspective.|
|Looking up at a vaulted window.|
|Gothic spires were added in the late 19th century|
|...but the original square tower is still there.|
|This is an 1810 water color of All Saints in the town of Lymington Prior as it was then known. The house in the back ground backs on to the river Leam. Courtesy of Leamington History Group.|