… and I’ll have one of these:
So shiny, so alien.
Yes, I’m about to be able to cross one of the big ticket items off my birthday list: knee replacement surgery. That strange, shiny silver business is an artificial knee. It looks a little different from the model my doctor let me turn over in my hands a few months ago, but it’s pretty close.
I have wanted and not wanted this surgery for years. In the last 8 months, however, my knee has been quite vocal about just how much I’ve waited too long to get this done. My doctor said I could look forward to going back to pain-free walking. “Remember what it used to feel like to walk? That’s what we’re aiming for.”
The thing is: I don’t remember what it felt like to walk without pain. My knee has been so bad for so long, this feels like my “always,” not just my “for the last 20 years.” The idea of walking without pain, without worrying that my knee is going to decide to absent itself just at the moment I take a step, is kind of unfathomable right now. Unfathomable … but I’m definitely interested to find out what that’s like.
There’s a question on one of the many forms I filled out at the beginning of my surgery prep. It asks what activities I’m looking forward to getting back to once I’ve recovered from surgery. It only gave six or eight lines for me to make my list. Crazy. There are MANY more than six or eight things I’m looking forward to. Here’s a short list:
- the obvious: walking without pain
- walking around without having to carry my cane in case my knee goes out
- walking in the winter without abject terror of falling
- running (I haven’t run in. 20. years.)
- dancing (should be as obvious as walking without pain … I’m a crappy dancer, but I sure do love to do it!)
- sitting cross-legged on the floor
- getting down on the floor … and being able to get back up again without ridiculous amounts of pain
- taking LONG walks
- climbing hills, climbing mountains
- horseback riding
- jumping / jumping rope
Maybe I won’t actually be interested in doing all of those things … and, too, getting a new knee won’t magically make me be in shape and able to do all of those things immediately, but they are all things I was able to do before my accident. Some of them I did often. Every single one I did without a second thought. Some — horseback riding and mountain climbing — had fallen off my list long before the accident. I do some of these things now, but not easily, not without pain, and not without worry that my knee will collapse if I’m not uber careful. Can I unlearn that level of fear? That’s one of my big questions.
I’m looking forward to finding out.
You can read more slices at Two Writing Teachers