Monday, 20 April 2009


I think I might be broken.

I woke up this morning with a bonus left Knee of Death joining the usual right KoD. They have been competing all day to see who can impede my movement more effectively. Left knee is currently winning with its signature vice-like kneecap death grip. It has been toying with me, seizing up when a 92 tram, rare as a unicorn made from waffles, comes into view. Right knee continues its sterling work preventing deep, or even shallow, knee bends. Both of them are working a sort of puffy fluid-filled loveliness, that is entirely charming, especially in a dress.

I have extra twinges in my hip flexors, stomach and forearms, a result of a week picking 20kg of Fingers up repeatedly, because he is delightful and soft and has short, very lazy legs. The knees are a result of trying to beat the hippies to the largest chocolate eggs, I think. Damn hippies. Some of them run really fast, even in their horrid foot shaped hand tooled, cruelty free shoes.

I am broken aren't I? It's my age. I don't bounce back anymore. I don't even walk slowly back. I am stuck in broken corner, clutching my aching bits and hobbling.

The CFO is similarly afflicted. Doing battle with unending evil that is hair washing last night, he turned away from the bath clutching his back with a rictus of old person pain contorting his features.

"What is it?"

"J'ai mal là et là et là"

"Ugh, me too"

We poke the children, all lithe-limbed and bouncy, in the general direction of bed, then slump uselessly on the sofa like a pile of old washing and watch Bones (Alexa, this is your fault. I keep surprising myself finding David Boringenaz mildly attractive and I blame you entirely.). Some of the corpses look more lively than we do. Even the ones in small pieces.

I should have been more careful. I should have gone to see the Dr Kevorkian of Knees for the injections that are so terrible you need an injection to endure them (TRUE). I should have taken the giant horse pills he prescribed me (a whole walrus skeleton in each one! Or something). I should have done more weight bearing exercise, eaten more dairy, kept up with stupid ass Power Plate. I should have spent my youth swimming and running and playing games with fast, terrifying balls with a magnetic attraction to my head instead of sitting hunched in a twisty knot on the sofa with a book and a paper bag of Yorkshire Mixture, the pointiest boiled sweets ever. When the time for hockey practice came, I was sitting eating Nutella on toast, watching Neighbours and sneering at anyone in a gym skirt and knee socks. Now it's payback time.

I put all my faith in Dr Kevorkian being as scalpel happy as his British colleagues, and replacing my knees with convenient silicone and steel castors, so I could roll around on them; like that man covered in roller blade wheels in the Paris métro. Pah. He is a RUBBISH orthopedic surgeon. Shouldn't he be sawing me apart in a macho fashion with blood and cartilege flying everywhere? Listening to hard rock? He should. I love general anasthetic too, it is so soothing and delicious, like floating on a an airborne pony made of marshmallows.

I hate getting older and faulty and the gradual tiny betrayals of my body.

It started with childbirth (MOTHERHOOD SPOILER ALERT: go and look at some baby animals now, anyone who doesn't have, but is planning to have children). I remember with total, horrible precision, hobbling painfully along to the loo, that first night after Lashes was born, pushing my new 9lb hairy alien along with me in its plastic fishtank to rest my weight on. I had never felt so weak and misshapen and BROKEN (umbilical hernia, separated abdominals, puffy, sweating, leaky, never wishing to poo again). I had to sit, gingerly, on the loo for twenty minutes to get the strength to go the hundred yards back to my bed. Nothing just snapped back as I had been promised, and as I had blithely assumed as a young, complacent primagravida.

Then I went and did it all over again, in a fourth floor flat with no lift, carrying the not yet toddler up the stairs balanced on the bump and dragging the pushchair behind me. Then carrying the baby on the front and the still not quite yet toddler on my back. That didn't help much.

Then Paris made it a hundred times worse. I can trace the worst of the decline to Paris. Paris gave me lines, pinched bits and shadows and a new set of aches. The constant attrition of a tantruming two year old in full ironing board mode, a newborn and a pushchair versus the métro, the impossibly tiny lift to the sixth floor flat that the pushchair didn't fit in, the assholes who park on the kerbs, the grass in the park the toddler isn't allowed to run on, the manège he doesn't want to get off. The soul-destroying grind of living in the city of light, being prodded out of the way by elderly ladies with murder in their eyes and pointy, pointy sticks. Bastards.

And now? Now nothing works as it should. I can't just run at full on weepette speed for the tram anymore, for fear of falling over. In any case, I can barely manage a stiff trot at the best of times. I am a wreck. A hobbity disintegrating wreck with holey tights.

Any suggestions? I am thinking a trip to some clinic in Lausanne where they will replace my body with that of some lovely muscular Swiss pentathlete. Either that or I will simply get an obliging Belgian surgeon to take my brain out and place it in a kilner jar until medical science can fix me.


Lucy Fishwife said...

Poor you! Would recommend FitFlops as apparently (according to their website) they cure ALL leg-related ills, but frankly I think they're just an excuse to wear sequinned glamour that you don't fall over in. Ibuleve gel and DO NOT LET the Kevorkian of Knees prescribe suppositories.

Jaywalker said...

Darling Lucy, I have both FitFlops AND evil disgusting orthopedic MBTS. The knees are cellulite-shoe proof..

Razorkitty said...

I'd come straight back to the UK. They're much more saw-happy here; your knees could be replaced with some form of bionic, high tensile, super glossy steel thingummies immediately. And then you could take a post-surgery, restorative holiday. Yes?

pplongstocking said...

Have you thought about replacing your legs with wheels?

There was a dog that lived down the road from my old flat in London who had an ingenius wheelbarrow device attached to his poor unfortunate, defunct hind legs.
Now, I suggest this most respectfully. I am by no means linking you to this dog.
Its just I remember thinking to myself when I saw him racing down the hill where I lived at top speed, the wind in his flappy little ears, tongue hanging out and a look of "Chariots of Fire" in his eyes.
"Gosh, If my legs ever start giving me jip, I will definitely get myself one of those things".

Hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

Mmh, if bionic knees are not possible, maybe pretend your knees are in this state because of a youth full of competitive sport or the years of ninja training?

Jaywalker said...

Razorkitty - But what about all those delicious superbugs, free with every titanium knee? Hmm?

PP - That made me laugh in delight. Yes! I need wheels for my hindcarriage! My area is very hilly too. I would veritably fly for the tram.

Anon - yes. I like your style. Though my pathetic puffy limbs might give them cause to doubt..

Mrs Trefusis... said...

Yes. you're broken. I think the only way forward is to buy a chaise longue and drape yourself attractively on it, in manner of Victorian Consumptive. With practise you could manage a Violet Cream, and with even more practise, you could host a literary salon. We could arrange ourselves on uncomfortable upright dining chairs and admire your cashmere blanket and swap bon mot. Do not attempt any of this orthopedic nonsense, or corrective footwear. None of it works, I have tried. And people only expect you to be better too, which exacerbates the problem, because you're back to picking up the infants and other unfeasibly heavy objects. The only solution is to go into what used, usefully, to be known as a decline. The only really sustainable state is of invalid. One is brought tea, and is not to be disturbed. I very much aspire to this condition myself

M. said...

Lorraine Kelly cellulipants will make it all better. They have been known to raise people from the dead, in clinical trials.

M. said...

Also, I like Mrs Trefusis' suggestion. Although you will obviously need a baby cashmere goat pulling a tiny pram full of mignardises, as your bedside companion.

Bath bun said...

Apparently rowing works - builds up all the right muscles supporting usesless knee bits in a non-stressful (to the knee, at least) way. However, it also creates enormous shoulders and biceps which may not be so appealing.

Red Shoes said...

I am also broken; may I have a salon invite? I've already hit the migraine pill this morning and my ankle tells me when it will rain. My eyes are crusted and stingy and my neck is cricked from sleeping. Sometimes, I hurt my shoulder blade SO BADLY, just by scrubbing the dishes. Other times, I sneeze, and my lower back spasms. Have I mentioned my previously separated sternum that now has to pop back into place every day or so. Wife calls me "sickly" nowadays. BF calls me "delicate". I say Broken. For me, it all began around age 30. I haven't even had a pregnancy yet. Good grief, to think that it all gets worse after that??? Terrifying. Where is my chaise? And my goats?

Kate said...

we are all going to break apart and die. might as well enjoy it. eat more pastries. the fat will cushion things. and if you drink enough, you won't feel your knees.

Lucy Fishwife said...

I too like the salon idea. Darn Mrs Trefusis for thinking of it first! Can I join? Promise will not wear orthopaedic shoes (even those masquerading as saucy beachwear). Will bring own Charbonnel & Walker fondants.

Word verification = woles. Yet another brand of trendy orthopaedia.

Mrs Jones said...

Ooh, a salon, how fabulous! But only if you promise to have a gorgeous black manservant to hand to waft the air with enormous peacock feather fans while we all sit around on velvet cushions being witty and smoking opium...

Artichoke Queen said...

AQ arrives at salon, cashmered up to eyeballs, in red python Manolos friend bought last week.

BW: 'AQ, how ARE you?'
AQ: [desultory wave of hand] 'Not as good as I look. You?'
BW: 'The Empress is tired.'

I'm in.

screamish said...

ah yes. Only last week I found myself sat on the toilet with a baby in my arms, unable to get back up again, the only possible source of sustenance within lunging distance a bottle of Omo.

We have a futon, a bastard Ikea futon that you need to strike yogic poses to get onto and up again. This futon broke me somewhere around month four of my babies' life. They're beginning to make strange grimacing expressions because they see me do one so often they've begun to think it's normal human behaviour.

Titian red said...

Poor BW, the email this am couldn't have come at a less opportune time could it ? If you like, I will get a left and right and then, after suitable quantities of alcohol, you could replace your sad misbehaving knees with new "super genoux d'animeau" (?) yourself, thereby avoiding all risk of superbug in UK hospital.

Red Shoes said...

They're beginning to make strange grimacing expressions because they see me do one so often they've begun to think it's normal human behaviour.Hahahahahaaa*wheezechokegurglegasp* HAHAHAAA!

Iheartfashion said...

As a person who similarly abused my body through poor nutrition and lack of sport in my youth, I can say that joint replacement is not all it's cracked up to be either. I've had one hip done and am headed for a knee, all before age 40...

Mum's the word said...

I have to say that your comments are almost as good as your post, but not quite.
I'm so sorry you're 'broken'.
I've managed to fix myself of late, but still enjoy watching a restorative David Boreanez (sp??) and have also recently found that watching the very manly Kevin McKidd in Grey's can do wonders for the imagination.
My recommendation?
A few episodes of ER/Bones, a favourite bottle of wine while lounging on a Victorian chaise being served by gorgeous black manservant who will waft the air with enormous peacock feather fans (as per Mrs. Jones).

Jaywalker said...

Mrs T - I always rather fancied a bath chair. Can I have a bath chair? I could conceal all manner of pygmy animals under my voluminous blankets.

M - where are our fucking pants. EH, DOCTOR STUPIDNAME? Can I have the goat/pram/mini eclairs even if I get fixed?

Bath bun - you're back! How was the frozen north? Did you get to Bettys?

Red Shoes - you can share mine. We can huddle together and share out powerful analgesics and macaroons.

Kate - wow. you are like a philosopher. Of cake. Also, not so cheerful I think today. Do you need to share some of our drugs and macaroons? Budge up Red Shoes, Kate needs to come in. And Screamish. The goats can look after her twins.

Salon people - I can't run a salon. You have seen my house. I would need staff. And antibacterial wipes.

Titian - that bone looked perfect actually. The Mikado for scale was an inspired touch. With a knee like that I would be ON FIRE.

Iheart - don't tell me that. It's my only hope. Do you think I should give up and just stick to gin?

monk said...

From what we've seen so far, it seems highly likely that your Delhaize sells knees too (I'm not sure whether to be pleased or hard done by that my Delhaize doesn't seem to have mined this particular porcine seam). I suggest you get a multipack. You can have work knees and home knees and make even more friends in the parc du caca

Unfortunately no more skirts or dresses for ever and ever though. Swings and roundabouts

GingerB said...

Of course David Boreanaz makes you feel better!! And the CFO can enjoy the girlies while you look at Agent Let-me-please-be-naked-with-you-in-a-phone Booth. Yum. Did none of you watch Angel or Buffy? Mmmmm, Angel. A perfect choice to watch while you get joint replacement and have to lie about recovering.

Red Shoes said...

David Boreanaz = boring boring boring. I fall asleep just contemplating his boring square face. James Marsters was sooo much sexier and more interesting.

mothership said...

there is a woman around the corner who had all 3 of her children via surrogacy (her eggs, someone else carried them) and she is in disgustingly good shape with incredible posture. She is always trying to encourage me to go on marathons with her or do backwards walkovers at the beach. Hoping she will drown soon.

pinklea said...

This getting old stuff sucks big time. I've had so much trouble with my back, my hips, my knees and now it's my effing right shoulder! I'm ready to get a body replacement some days - perhaps something pythonish so I wouldn't have to move any of the aforementioned joints.

Z said...

But you're all so young. I'm starting to feel that my dreadful decrepit old body is in better nick for its age than I'd thought. Surgery is only the answer if there is nothing else to be done - trouble is that new parts wear out and each replacement does more damage.

My only consolation is that all sporty types I know are in worse shape than I am, as their hamstrings and cartilegey bits are all damaged and they all run to fat once they can't run any more.

Jaywalker said...

Monk - ah, it was Carrefour, you see. Obviously better for body parts. But yes! Good suggestion.

GingerB - I LOVED Buffy, but Angel, hmm. I am with Red Shoes on this one. He is like an unexpressive oblong of flesh, and yet, if I watch him for long enough he becomes appealing. Mystery.

Mothership - she sounds awful. Give her a push

Pinklea - I love the idea of you as a giant slithery coil of python. Do it do it do it.

Z - This is true. All that muscle turned to fat = not pretty. Scant consolation though.