I had my knee surgery almost two weeks ago (two weeks ago exactly this Tuesday). I was nervous some reason. I have no idea why as I’ve had surgery before. It’s basically a time jump. You check in, change into your hospital gown, they give you your anesthesia, then you wake up well after the surgery is over.
The doctor gave me an idea of what would happen and what could happen. First, he would arthroscopically trim my meniscus tears and insert some bone cement to deal with my arthritis. Next, he would see if he could deal with my root evulsion. If he could, I would wake up with leg in an immobilizing brace, and I would not be allowed to put any weight on it for six weeks. Otherwise, I would wake up with my knee wrapped in bandages, and could resume walking and physical therapy in a few days.
I was more than a little dismayed when I awoke with my leg not immobilized. I can still feel the root evulsion behind me knee, and I hear the doctors remarks echoing in my memory, “70% of people with a root evulsion eventually need a full knee replacement.” Barring the second coming of Christ or a breakthrough in joint medicine, I’ll be living with this impairment and possibly a ticking time bomb for the rest of my life. I can’t help but feel dejected. Being fit, able bodied, and athletic was kind of a point of pride for me. I also took some solace in the fact that while I would never achieve anything extraordinary with my athleticism, I presumed there’d be a trade off; that my body would be spry and lively into my senior years by not getting beat up with excessive activity from my youth. Now, I wonder if this means no more practicing acrobatics on my trampoline, no more muay thai work outs, if my jiu jitsu training on borrowed time (I’m not even a purple belt). I feel like I might have lost the only thing that enables me to like myself.
We need our trials, though. We need adversity to conquer. You can’t call yourself a dragon slayer if you never slay any dragons. Maybe this is one of those defining moments for my character, so I just have to push through.
Of course, I’m nowhere near back to normal. I’m finally walking normally, and I don’t need a crutch. I was using conventional crutches for the first few days, then the forearm crutches I ordered off Amazon arrived. I’ve since graduated to only needing one of those crutches when I walk, and I’m walking almost normally without any assistance, though I still take one crutch with me just in case.
I can straighten my leg and bear my weight just fine, but the next bit accomplishment is to be able to bend at my knee. Right now, it’s so stiff, I’ve only got about 50% of my mobility in that regards. At least I’ll be walking as normal when classes resume on the 24th, but it’ll take a couple of months before I’m back to my normal activity levels.