Color by numbers

From Happy Color – Color by Number

Even before my recent knee surgery, a special piece of equipment was delivered to my house. I was to use it in the first couple of weeks recovery to help regain range of motion in my new joint.

It is called a Continuous Passive Motion machine. It basically is a motorized cradle that you lay your leg in, and it ever so slowly lifts your leg, bending at the knee until it reaches a pre-set angle, bending it past the position you would stop on your own because it hurts like a mofo.

To get the full benefit of this lovely bit of medical wizardry, you are expected to sit with your leg in this contraption for as much as four hours at a time… twice a day. I was also informed that some patients actually sleep in it.

I was not such a good patient. I managed one session of four hours and thought I would lose my mind before ever realizing the full benefit of my new knee. My sessions typically lasted between 2-3 hours.

To while away the time, I turned to different games on my smartphone. I could play just so many hands of Solitaire or solve so many Sudoku puzzles, or match Mahjong tiles. Then… I found coloring apps and an obsession was born.

I could color and take my mind off the immense amount of discomfort I was in, and time just flew past… that second part not so much, but if the image I was coloring was large or intricate, it did help pass the time.

The apps I’ve enjoyed the most are color-by-number. I’m not a gifted artist and if the choice of colors is left up to me, well… it’s not pretty. With a color-by-number project, most of the fun is finding the numbers. I don’t care about the colors, I want to see that number turn off to tell me I found all the 8s or 23s.

It plays to the analytical left side of my brain. I like a good puzzle, and these have helped distract me from a difficult part of recovery.


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