Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hobbling Through the Holidays!

I'm not the kind of guy who heads to the doctor at the drop of a hat. In fact, if I'm in good enough shape to get around under my own steam, things aren't bad enough to require an encounter with a medical professional. That's my policy and has been for decades.

Having said that; it should come as no surprise that after a recent knee mishap, I rubbed some dirt on it and carried on. Well, not exactly, but I did opt to self medicate. I don't need no stinkin' doctor. At least I hope not. Still too soon to tell.

I'll provide the 411 on exactly what happened in a followup posting, but the important takeaway is that my knee was wrecked and I still had a Chrysler trip to Austin and a my annual trip to my sister's in New Mexico over the next 10 days.

My Austin trip was just 50 hours after my knee “went south” with an early-morning flight out of Greenville on Tuesday. I grudgingly invested $30 in a cane and managed to get myself where I needed to go on Sunday and Monday. First thing Monday morning I texted the Chrysler's trip planner and facilitator. Explaining my situation, I offered to bail on the trip rather than be a big P.I.A. Chrysler wouldn't hear of it, promising to take good care of me.

True to their word, Chrysler bent over backwards doing just that. I was babied, pampered and catered to. I sort of liked my new status. I was never really worried.

My major concern was my plane change in Atlanta and getting to baggage claim in Austin. I knew I wouldn't be able to alley-oop my rollerboard into the overhead on the plane; so, I decided to check it. Still not convinced I could hike the mile and a half usually required to change planes in Atlanta, I requested wheelchair service.

Here's the thing, once I was past the huge bruise to my ego, I fully embraced the whole wheelchair thing. It was great. Normally I get to board right after First Class with the other 50-to-90 Medallion members who are always part of any flight out of Atlanta. But at least I don't have to board with the commoners with their paper-bag luggage and chickens under their arms. (I made that part up.)

The best news ever: Roll up in a wheelchair or hobble up wielding a cane and you get to get on the plane ahead of First Class. Sweet! I could easily become accustomed to both the wheelchair service and preboarding.

I had a wheelchair meet me on the jetway when my plane landed in Austin and the attendant took me all the way to baggage claim. As we moved along the concourse I waved around my cane shouting, “Make a Hole! Precious cargo coming through. Make a hole!” Not really, but I considered it.

I didn't bother with wheelchair service on the trip to my sister's in New Mexico a couple of days after my return from Austin. I drove over and flew out of Atlanta, knowing I'd be at the airport in plenty of time to get myself where I needed to go. I flew to Denver, picked up a Volvo V60 Wagon delivered there for me and drove to my sister's some 450 miles south in Los Lunas. I managed to get myself from the plane to baggage claim without any assistance, but still took advantage of early boarding.

Although I had injured my knee almost two weeks earlier, the week I spent at my sister's was my first real opportunity to get off it and give it a rest. I spent most of the time in my brother-in-law's recliner asking for stuff like cookies, eggnog and anything else I could think of. Yep, I could get used to this.

My first order of business when I finally climbed out of the recliner was to head to the drug store to buy a knee brace. I spent a whopping $15 on that. (For those keeping score, my total investment in this injury so far is $45.)

The brace makes a remarkable difference. My knee is much more stable. I have no clue if the injury is such that it will heal itself, but I am hopeful. I did aggravate it a bit at the Denver airport as I checked in for my return trip. It had begun to feel pretty good up to that point.

Oh, well, I'm going to cross my fingers and think happy thoughts. In the meantime, I'm going to try a light workout at the gym on Jan. 2. It'll be my first time there in three weeks. If you hear a loud snap and a girl-like scream, come a runnin'.

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