Posted on April 6, 2017
Good golly. Mother Nature must be furious about something! Her bellowing wind has created a bit of havoc around the region, moving along at howling, fright-train-speed all night long. Wind chimes on both the front and back patios were busy the whole night through. Their sounds are usually melodic and soothing but with these brutal winds its been more like an annoying racket, one that kept me wide awake well past two a.m. It’s nearly mid-day now and though the sun is struggling to win over the clouds that race overhead it’s still a dramatic day on the weather front.
Add to this a blue mood on my part. Nothing serious mind you. Just a wee bit of a grouchiness, the pain-induced variety, due to exceedingly cranky knees. I’m OKAY with that —not the pain of course—but I’m fine with feeling “off.” While some folks can be perennially chipper through thick and thin, there are plenty of us folks who …well…aren’t. That’s fine for a short spell. It’s called being human. Most days a walk in sunshine makes my spirits soar or a randomly selected Spotify playlist has me singing at the top of my lungs and busting moves as I go about mundane household chores. But this morning, after only a short walk with The Poodle, pushing through that brick wall of wind, I’m barely able to make it up a few steps back, into the house, without gritting my teeth in pain. It’s easy to get my knickers in a twist over the silliest little thing when my knees are very cranky. Fortunately Rocket-man gets it and forgives the expletive that comes out when I least expect it.
I’ve been holding on to these knees for nearly ten years since my last knee surgery. My California sports orthopedist advised that total replacement would be the next logical step. Since then, with the exception of one visit to a orthopedist here in middle-earth land, I have abandoned injections (painful and offering only temporary relief). I even gave up using joint stability devices and continued to eschew the routine use of pain medication. Stubborn as a mule, I’ve powered through these past five post-running years with cycling, yoga, swimming, weight lifting and various high-intensity training classes at my favorite workout place. But pain is starting to wear me down. Hanging on to my knees is becoming more difficult with each step. I am not happy about shelving bicycle adventure plans or putting Camino Di Santiago on the back burner for another year. So, yeah… my mood for the past few days has been less than bubbly.
Total knee replacement is a serious procedure.
Though I’m considered a good candidate for it I’m not ready for the risks of bi-lateral total knee replacement. With any surgery there is the risk of infection, but having both knees done simultaneously poses additional risks: slightly higher risk of experiencing a cardiac event, pulmonary embolism, and blood clots. And in particular…I am definitely not ready for disfiguring 10-inch scars on both legs. I’ve no shame in admitting that I’ve got a little vanity going on here. Considering them to be among one of my best features, I’ve always been proud of my legs. They are shapely, beautifully strong and, well… they’ve earned me a complimentary whistle or two over the years. My heart still skips a beat when I think of the early years of my courtship with Rocket-man. Then–and years after–he never missed an opportunity to say “nice legs” whenever I got in or out of the car.
Can you hear it? That sound. My wistful sigh…..
Most of all I am not ready for the real pain. Rehab pain. I’ve read enough in the past few years on the subject to know that it is not going to be pretty. The rehab process will not be easy, even for a seasoned workout gal like myself. The thought of a wheelchair and a walker—even for a few weeks—makes me physically ill. Life will be upside-down for a while. My yoga practice—erratic as it may be at times— can’t possibly be the same after total knee replacements. And, when the dust settles from it all, I’ll still very likely continue to experience pain…just a different kind of pain.
As I look out at the chaos of downed branches in our back yard due to the high winds that continue to rattle my house, and my nerves, I take a long deep breath and then I break into a smile which instantly lifts my sleep-deprived body.
It’s gonna be just fine.
My baby girl is getting married in exactly four weeks!
For now I’ve simply got to grit my teeth just a little while longer. I can do this. Without a doubt, these cranky knees are going to dance at her wedding and they–along with the rest of me– are going to be happy! Period!
I may need to re-think the idea of wearing heels with my pretty mother-of-the-bride dress.
Hmm. So you know what that means?
Shoe shopping with my sis!
So sis…if you’re reading this, get ready! I’m on my way next week so get your shopping shoes on!