I attended a school concert last night, and afterwards, I saw the mother of a student; I noticed that she was holding a walking stick. The following conversation ensued:
KID'S MOM: And how are you?
ME (looking at walking stick and pointing at my own knee brace): I'm OK--maybe having a similar time as you?
KID'S MOM: I just had the lower portion of my spine removed.
ME: You win.
I'm still improving day by day, still hoping that said improvement can prevent me from having surgery; we'll likely know for sure on Friday afternoon. And listening to the kid's mom talk helped me keep my own situation in perspective; at this point, I'm driving my own car (painlessly) and missed a grand total of three days in the public schools (and no college days at all) because of the situation. At this point, there's not much room to complain.