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Me And Don Joy

When I woke up on Tuesday in the orthopedic wing following back surgery, I saw the name Don Joy written on the whiteboard at the end of my bed.

At that moment I already felt very joyous because I was just taking in the fact that the the all consuming, aching, burning, twanging misery in my back and leg was entirely gone, as if the surgeon had just flipped a switch in my spine.

Who could Don Joy be, and what was his role going to be in my recovery? Each time I woke up and saw the whiteboard, I wondered about him before falling back to sleep.

Don Joy must be some kind of ambassador of happiness from Hawaii, I concluded before drifting off. His role, I reasoned, is to remind me of my many blessings through song and expressive dance.

As I became less disoriented, I concluded that Don Joy was most likely a young, handsome, kind, competent life coach, someone who would assist me with my mental, spiritual and physical recovery.

Don Joy will encourage me to set aside the negative residue  from my bogus orthopedic adventure, and help me reconnect with the real me, the athletic, joyous, devil-may-care me that got left behind.

Together, Don Joy and I will rediscover and polish my sparkling psyche and work to unlock my true physical potential so that I emerge from this shitty experience better and stronger than ever.

Don Joy will comfort me when I get discouraged by my lack of progress, and he will celebrate my small but significant steps toward recovery. He won’t take offense if I am inexplicably cranky or curt. He will keep pushing me to reach my peak.

Don Joy will let me confide in him, and will accompany me on certain expeditions that My Royal Consort might not enjoy so much, like shopping for clothes, or trips to the yarn store. Like me, Don Joy will love the ritual and simplicity of traditional Japanese food, and will understand the urgency of my cravings for sushi and white wine.

Eventually, my pain-free idyll came to an end. I woke up and stayed awake. Vital signs were taken, instructions were given, prescriptions filled, crutches and a walker prescribed. Before I knew it, I was being wheeled down the hall, on my way home.

But wait! Wasn’t I supposed to meet Don Joy before I leave? Or does he come to the house? I asked.

A perplexed look from the nurse. “Huh? You are wearing your Don Joy now, aren’t you?” she asked, and then ducked down to take a peek under my shirt. “Yeah, you’re all set, see?” she said, tapping on the back brace that was keeping my spine from wilting like a dehydrated stalk of celery.

I laughed, ha ha joke, but inside I was thinking WTF? When we got home, I carefully unwound my back brace and climbed into bed. My Royal Consort hung it over the walker next to me, and when I awoke, I saw printed on the back brace a big, white logo that said DonJoy.

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2 comments

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  1. jcnorton says:

    Love that you had some pain-free moments and that there will be many more to come. Even though Don Joy wasn’t who you were anticipating, I am hoping that he, I mean it, helps.

    1. admin says:

      I now have the good sense to appreciate the real Don Joy!

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