You never forget.They say once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. Turns out the same is true of driving the little MA carts at the grocery store. (in case you were wondering, MA stands for Mario Andretti) I haven’t driven one in years…since my right knee turned on me. But today, I jumped on one as if I had done it all my life. I didn’t knock anything over or run anyone down, which is pretty amazing considering it has been about 10 years since my knee replacement.
Back then, I tried for a couple of years to avoid the surgery. Doing all the shots possible, and a million visits to physical therapy. I was limping all the time, but determined I could keep going. I kept icing and icing as much as possible, in order to keep walking. Now that I am older and wiser, (haha) I have determined just to admit the inevitable, my left knee has disintegrated. It’s time for a new one. I came to this conclusion pretty quickly this time.
At the beginning of the year, I signed up for a 52 Hike Challenge. Kind of a New Year’s resolution thing. I wanted something to get me back out and moving, like I had been pre-pandemic. This was just the ticket. Hike at least a mile once a week. Simple. Not too much. You could go as far as you wanted, wherever you wanted, so I could increase my distance over time. It would get me back outside into nature where I love to be. It motivated me, so I signed up. I started short and sweet. Not too strenuous. Paved trails that were a mile or two at most. I kept up each week, even making up for hikes I skipped on the weeks it was rainy.
However, after hike number 5, I woke up the next morning with my left knee swollen like a grapefruit. I figured I must have torn something, even though I hadn’t fallen or twisted it that I knew of. I went to the doctor, who x-rayed me and said, you need a knee replacement.
Before I had my right knee replaced, I had some achiness that came and went. I had good days and bad days on and off for many months. But for the left knee, I was amazed that in a 24-hour period I went from functional to completely unable to walk. Hence, the MA cart at the grocery store. And the temporary handicap sticker. And the crutches. So, if I run into you (quite literally) you will know the story. To the best of my ability, I am hoping to avoid going to a wheelchair, but that is a possibility.
My surgery is in June. Hannah’s wedding is in May, in Seattle. Between now and then I am praying for a miracle. That I will be able to walk, without crutches, down the aisle. That I will be able to participate and not just watch from a wheelchair. That my pain level will be manageable. I cannot tell you how much the timing of this sucks. I have shed quite a few tears because of it. Expectations of how your only daughter’s wedding is going to go don’t include being unable to walk. However, I have learned in my life that hard things don’t always happen at convenient times and that no matter what it is, God is not abandoning me in the middle, but carrying me.