Hellebores in Bloom

I relish the early spring bloom of Hellebores, a.k.a the Lenten rose. This year I nearly missed it and was pleased to spot it in bloom in the garden next to the local library:


Every spring I’m wary of missing Hellebores in bloom, and I’m not sure why I haven’t planted it my own yard. Buying one and adding it to my garden could solve this longing as reliably as powdered sugar and butter can be whipped into frosting.

Another early spring bloom I adore and is not yet a part of my garden is Virginia bluebell:


Next week my convalescence will progress to physical therapy that is more structured than the simple walking program I’ve been following since my surgery. I hope that this upcoming therapy helps to resolve a disappointing development from last week. For whatever reason, some of my sciatic pains have returned. While these sensations are not as widespread as those from before my surgery, I had hoped that they would not return at all, especially since they’d been absent from the moment I woke up from my surgery.

My surgeon offered me a revelation that stunned me and reminded me of how deeply the human mind can engage in denial of reality. When he visited my hospital room the day after my surgery, I asked him to estimate how long my back problem had existed prior to the surgery, based on what he’d literally seen with his own eyes. He told me that my rupture and other signs of degeneration had begun 10-15 years ago!

Who knows why I assigned so many symptoms to anything but my back during those years. I get legs cramps at night because I don’t drink enough water. My legs will stop hurting if I lose weight. Now that I’ve lost weight, I just need to find the right piece of exercise equipment that doesn’t make my knee or butt feel numb. It hurts to stand in place because the human body was meant to stay in motion. I am not the only woman who gets sciatica during PMS.

Oh well. At least my incision has healed enough that I can return to the animal shelter and take comfort in the company of cats. Before my surgery, I was fond of visiting Morgan, who was wont to ride on my shoulders while anchoring her claws firmly into my coat. At that time, she looked scrawny, with fur that seemed a bit oily. I even had a dream that she was wanted by the authorities in New York City because she had ridden on the bare shoulders of a musclebound tourist and left him with scars down his arms that reminded me of the slash work in Elizabethan clothing.

When I visited Morgan this week, I was so pleased to see that she’d gained so much vigor that she looked transformed, at the peak of health with a fluffy coat:

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