Midweek days at home- reclining on my beanbag, reading trashy magazines, catching up on TV, books and emailing are something that I can only dream of these days. Of course, when the occasional one does come up, they end up being nothing more than a chance to catch up on loads of laundry, bill paying and invoicing. That is until last week, when I had five. I wasn’t headed off to the beach or on a city break I was going to spend five days at home, not working. No recipe testing, cake making or catering. Nothing.
Having a knee operation is not something most people get excited about. For me, aside from the fact that I’d waited eighteen months on the NHS* to have the procedure- it meant some time off work and four days at home with my mum. Not that I don’t love my job but at home- I’m the boss. I was going to order take out, mark recipes I wanted to try, read and write- it was going to be fun.
Of course, what I had not taken into consideration, when I jumped optimistically onto the operating table, was that having surgery would not be relaxing or fun in the slightest. At least not in the days that would follow after the drugs wore off. As the obsessively active person that I am, only managing to walk ten blocks in five days was more traumatic for me than a coach class dinner on Delta. I live in a 300sq ft loft apartment- people own bathrooms bigger than this (though maybe not in Manhattan). And with five days of barely leaving the apartment, constantly icing and elevating or having the energy to do more than watch TV or read a Jilly Cooper, I wasn’t left with much to think talk let alone write about.
My boyfriend must have known I would go nuts when he took off for a business trip- the day of my operation. Luckily for me, my mum flew in to take care of me for four uneventful, bum-numbing days. Some people would dread the idea of their mother coming to stay without the ability to run or even speed-walk away, but not me. I, was reminded of how nice five star services are. Doped up on anaesthisia and painkillers, Dr. Mum was there to drop my laundry off, make my bed, buy more ice, cook for me, make me tea, rent me movies and she even managed to fit in grabbing my head as I fainted. My friend Courtney summed it up with: “Mom’s love that s***.”
I’m not so sure about that statement but the words ‘love’ and ‘shit’ certainly played a role over the next few days. She had hoped that the drugs in my system would have knocked me out for at least the first day, but for some reason they had the opposite effect. All I wanted to do was bake cookies, but Dr Mum led a strict regime, and baking on one leg was not permitted. Dr Mum also hoped that the drugs might make crave chocolate cake and ice cream- which strangely did not seem so appealing at the time. In fact, the drugs reaped havoc on my food cravings. Every time a meal came around, I would be asked what I felt like and I would stare back, gormless, like she’d just asked me a really tough maths question (9 x 7, for example). On day five I couldn’t wait to get back to work the next day and by the end of my first day at work, I couldn’t wait to get back to my bean bag and get some ice on my knee. Mood swings, are a way of life in which I now have first-hand experience with. I don’t think I’ll be getting too excited the next time I’m told I need an operation but for now, I’m milking it for all it’s worth.
*NHS National Health Service
Griddle asparagus on the stove or BBQ until cooked through and nicely charred. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt.