Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Titah Ain't What She Thought She was

     For the last year, I have been suffering because of achy knees which the othropedic surgeons suggested needed replacement.  At first, I tried to do the stop gap method by cleaning out the left knee.  Brief relief from the pain which came roaring back.  Finally, I decided to have the knee replacement surgery done.  For months, I went to water aerobics to strengthen my muscles and exercise my knees.  Then in weeks before the surgery, I added a core and crunch class to the exercise regime.

     I thought that I was ready.  Guarantee, the day after the surgery, I would be walking, albeit slowly, on the treadmill.

     Ha!!!   Not!!!  I was flat on my back enjoying the pain meds.  Going to the bathroom on the second day was a triumph.  But then the physical therapist wanted me to walk to the exercise room on my crutches...I darn near fainted.  You must understand that I am not a dainty, fragile girlie girl.  Back in the day, I earned a black belt in Aikido and practiced mainly with men.  The thought of fainting or puking from pain is not on my list of behavioral responses.  But there I was in the hallway with my head swirling, my face pasty white and my skin a clammy wet reptilian imitation.  I had to get on the wheel chair for the rest of the way.

     I learned that although the mind is strong, the body is weak!  Weak!  Weak!  A little exertion and I was out like a light.  Physical Therapy is another seque to the story which reiterates the chasm between the mind and the body.  "Suck it up," my PT cheerfully encouraged at the more difficult and torturous exercises like straightening my knee or bending it in a lunge.  Easy for you to say, I shouted in my mind and I gritted my teeth and refused to let the drop of salty water out of my eyes.

     "Things are going to get better," everyone who had any experience personally or second hand reminded me.  My question is simple...."When?"

     I now see why my orthopedic surgeon looked at me with disbelief when I told him that I was planning to do my second knee replacement in three months.  "Are you crazy?" he said.  This is major surgery.  And indeed it is.

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