This Is No Vacation!

Last weekend I took advantage of the sunny 54 degree weather we had and spent the entire day on Saturday and part of the day on Sunday working on the gardens.

First I had two yards of dirt delivered for the new sections of the back garden.  Hubby was supposed to be home for this, but conveniently decided to head into work instead.  This left the task of spreading out the two yards of top soil to Zeb and me.  Not that Zeb’s not any help, but yeah — Zeb’s not much help.  He pretends to do a little work here and there, but mostly he just gets on my nerves.  Typical! So I sent him off to mow the lawn for the first time this year instead.

Once I’d moved the dirt around enough to make me realize I really needed three yards, I decided to start working on the side of the house where I plan on planting some of my tomatoes this year. This is what a section looks like, similar to the one I worked on but smaller, before I spent four hours working on it.

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The first step was to pull all the rocks out.  I needed to do this so I could level out the ground and remove all the garbage and roots from the area.  These areas had bushes in them last year, but Hubby pulled them out last fall so I could utilize the space for tomatoes.

Once the rocks were pulled onto the sidewalk, I leveled the area, dug holes where I plan on planting tomato plants, inserted plastic pots with the bottoms cut off to mark the areas for the plants, transferred fresh topsoil from the back garden to the freshly dug holes, and then began replacing the rocks.  Now if Hubby had been doing this job, he would have just dug the holes among the rocks, not worrying about rocks getting into the holes, put the cut up pots in the holes and filled the holes with dirt.  I not only wanted to make sure that the area for the tomato plants was conducive to plant growth, but I also wanted it to look nice.

The rocks were full of remnants of the bushes, twigs, leaves, garbage, and wood.  Pretty much it looked a mess, as you can see by the picture above.  So before I replaced the rocks, I hand sorted each and every one of them.  A bit anal I suppose, but here is what the finished area looks like:

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A huge difference.  Trouble is, I am paying the price for it now.

Back a couple of years ago I was working on a project that required me to sit on the ground for two or three hours a day for three weeks straight.  During this time, somehow I managed to injure my right knee.  I had no idea what I’d done to it, but after some rest it healed.  Still, whenever I would kneel on my right knee or sit for extended periods of time, my knee would bother me.

For the past month or so the knee pain has been getting increasingly worse.  Hubby and I eliminated arthritis from a potential cause because when I take Tylenol to ease the pain, it does nothing.  I just resolved that I was going to have tough it out.

After my little project on the side of the house, where I spent four hours moving rock, digging holes, transporting dirt, and sitting in my little garden chair sorting through rocks, by Sunday afternoon the pain was constant.  It used to be I would limp a bit when getting up from a chair or the couch, but within a few steps the pain would dissipate and I could walk normally.  Not so anymore.  Now I limp constantly and the pain does not go away.

Sunday evening Hubby decided he’d better do some more research to figure out what was going on. I’m not a doctor person, so unless I’m dying, I’m not going to see one.

Within a few minutes we found something that sounded exactly like what I was experiencing: Medial Meniscus Tear of the Knee. Great! A Diagnosis. The prognosis?  Not so great.  There is no quick fix.  First, it looks like because I over did it rather than pacing myself, I won’t be doing any gardening or much of anything else for at least a week.  The first step towards recovery is to rest, ice, elevate, and compress my knee.

When he told me this, I was sort of thrilled.  It would be sort of like a vacation, right?  NOT!  I don’t do well at rest.  Even when I’m my sickest I still have to be doing something.  It’s day one, and sitting here in the house, looking out at the empty gardens, thinking about all the other gardening tasks that need to be done, staring at all the tiny plants in the dining room — sitting there just mocking me, it’s almost too much to take. Plus cooking will be at the bare minimal, house cleaning is on hold, laundry (seeing as I hang most everything out from April through October) is out, and I can’t even walk Bell! What’s left?

I know if I don’t take this time to let it heal enough to be able to walk on it without constant pain I could end up needing to go to the doctor or worse yet having surgery, so for the most part I’ll be lounging around this week. It will be a good time to make my Gardening To Do List (which includes working on three additional sections on the side of the house just like the one I worked on this past weekend), update my Canning To Do List, prioritize my Spring Cleaning To Do List, and begin working on my Packing To Do List for a cruise we’re taking in June.  Wow, if that’s not enough to overwhelm me, what is?

For the moment though I am going to count my blessings because things could be worse. My knee hurts, but I am confident with rest and a little time I’ll be able to get it to a point where I’ll be able to start exercising the muscles around the tear to strengthen my leg and hopefully fix this problem. A little patience and a lot of work are certainly better than going to the doctor, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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