So THIS week has arrived, the week when I get new knees! I've always had bad knees, creaking and cracking since I was a teenager. In more recent years, it's gotten harder to walk, to stand, to sit, to climb stairs----shoot, most of those are practically impossible now. I've missed out on so many things the past few years, and my quality of life has been affected. It's meant that not only have I not gotten to do things, but often my husband has missed out as well, because he's chosen to stay with me rather than to go and do what his legs are strong enough to do. Three weeks ago I bit the bullet and visited an orthopedist who agreed it was time, and scheduled my surgery for Friday.
I. CAN'T. WAIT.
When people find out I'm doing both knees, their first reaction is usually shock. Then I explain my reasoning:
- I was scarred by having my wisdom teeth removed over three different surgeries----I'm all for "one and done" now.
- I know this is going to be hard, and I don't want to do one knee and then put off getting the second one done.
- I don't want to miss two recovery periods from work. Let's get this all done at once.
Several have asked, "Did you injure your knees? Did you play sports in school?" Oh, that is such a funny one! Ask my brother, who once said as I was attempting to play tennis, that he was going to make a movie about un-coordination, starring me! So no, no sports injuries.
I'm ready. My bag for the hospital is about packed, I've been doing my pre-op exercises faithfully to strengthen my calves and quads, I have a borrowed walker, a GORGEOUS hot pink, roses-covered cane for when I'm progressing, a safety bar in the shower, a new shower mat so I don't fall, and a shower bench. We had taller toilets installed (ahh, should have done that long ago!). I've got projects ready and stored in a chest next to my chair so I'll have things to do, when PT isn't here 3 times a week! I have books downloaded to my phone.
I'm ready. As I sit here at 2:00 AM with a heating pad on my knees, as I have every night for the past several months, I look forward to sleeping pain-free. I know that won't happen immediately, but from everything I've read and heard, the pain after surgery won't be IN my knees. I should be able to feel a difference there immediately. Of course there will be other pain from incisions, etc., but they have good meds for that. The PT's will have me out of bed and trying to walk just a few hours post surgery, and I'm determined to do everything I can at every session.
This weekend we ran a bunch of errands to get ready. We parked close to stores so I didn't have far to walk. In some stores I stayed near the front while my husband went to find what we needed way in the back of the store. I struggled to climb in and out of the car. I strained to stand up from the pew in church. But NEXT week....
Yeah, I know it won't all be better immediately. I realize there's a lot of hard work ahead. But my theme is now "NEXT week." A while back, as our granddaughter was grasping the concept of time, anything that had happened previously was described as having taken place "LAST night." So I'm adapting her phrase, changing it to "NEXT week," to account for all the things I'll be able to do with my new and improved knees.
Knees are mentioned a lot in the Bible, most often as "kneel before the Lord" or "fall on your knees"----just the thought hurts! (till NEXT week....). But I found several other references that fit:
Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;
Job 4:4 your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.
My favorite life passage is Hebrews 12:1-2a:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
As I read further in that chapter tonight (this morning?), I found verses 11-13a:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet.
I'm ready. We've cleared paths, readied our house, and I'm focused on the discipline it will take, no matter how unpleasant.
See you NEXT week!