Writer’s Block: Catch Me If You Can!

By Corinne Wnek

The light at the end of the unpredictable weather tunnel is finally emerging after a long, snowy winter. People are coming out of the house after dinner these days surveying their lawns and wondering if the rose bushes survived the killer cold of January. And look!  Here come the daffodils, another sure sign that we are on the road back to warmth and barbecues. Ah spring, the season that brings nature and humans back to life!

I notice that I move a lot faster in the spring, too, and that’s saying a lot because I’m quick. By summer, there’s no catching me. I’d like to think this is so because I am pretty physically fit for my age and because it’s also true that once a dance teacher, always a dance teacher. ‘Move’ is what we do. When you factor in that I’m also a Type A personality with just enough ADD thrown in, well that answers a lot of questions about me.

I still do my barre stretches every night, work out routines and lift weights because I feel better being active. For me, a ‘slow down’ is like other people’s push to the finish line. But that was not the case almost two springs ago when life changed dramatically and I was stopped cold, like a freeze frame in a movie.  As Yogi Berra would say, “the pain was painful and it hurt a lot, too.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The onset of pain in my right thigh area worsened at an alarming speed.

Some days it was almost unnoticeable and then without warning, I could hardly stand up, much less walk. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but this was different. This was unbearable and nothing helped. Theories about what was happening to me ranged from a severely pulled muscle to God finally teaching me a lesson in humility. Nah. Couldn’t be that, I thought. I’m the most humble person I know. I was counting on the pulled muscle until the x-rays told a different story.

I finally got the answer I wasn’t looking for. I had an appointment with Dr. David Rojer, a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon, who said he could give me back my mobility. But the price was a total hip replacement, not debatable, and the recovery could take a couple of months. From that moment on, I didn’t hear anything else he said although I was sure I saw his lips move. I pictured myself in one of those motorized “Jazzys” that you see advertised on TV and then added ‘panic attack’ to my list of pain. As the pain grew even worse, I packed for the hospital. Maybe God was out to get me after all.

But Dr. Rojer, who is also the medical director of the very excellent Joint Replacement Center at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Rahway, delivered on his word to make me well again. In fact, the whole team of this center including the program coordinator, the nurses, the physical therapists and even the housekeeping staff were just that special. This group was tight and smooth, much like my new metal hip. Today, I am relatively pain free.

But what I remember most about this whole experience was that on the day of the surgery, just before I was given anesthesia, Dr.Rojer came over to me, took my hand and said “Now don’t worry. I promise to take good care of you today.” What an understatement. What a guy.

Now, about going through airport metal detectors….

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