Run for the Roses

On December 3, I had the second of two knee replacement surgeries. I have lived a small life, since then; my days have been managed and divided into sections of strengthening exercise, physical therapy, being strapped into a machine that keeps my new knee moving 6 hours a day, icing the knee down approximately every 15 seconds, and just coping with discomfort and better living through (temporary) chemistry.

I’m at a stage where I’ve created colorful language for having to conduct online activities through a phone. I’m getting around well enough that I’d much rather be engaging in active motion than being strapped into a machine that moves my knee for me. (Which is what I’m doing currently — I’m contorting myself sideways and trying to type on a laptop while my knee flexes in midair at 120 degrees.)

But enough about my life as a contortionist. All that will be behind me, soon.

On the day I came home from the hospital and settled onto the living room couch, my husband looked at me and commented: “do you feel like you’re finally in the home stretch?”

Feeling a bit knobby-kneed, myself, horse.

When he asked that, part of me screamed yes, you better believe it! Not only have I been working toward this very goal for years, both in losing weight and improving my physical well being, but I have been anxious that something might step in at the last minute and stand in my way. I swear on my honor that I bathed daily in hand sanitizer for the final two weeks before surgery; there was just no way I was gonna let even a microbe ruin my shot at finally getting this done.

A bit over two weeks later, I’m on the brink of being done with the immediate hard work after surgery. I am nearly done with the 6 hour a day stints on the CPM machine and I am past the halfway point with physical therapy. I’ve ditched some of the necessary early assistance of bath chair and walker, and I’ve been eying the toilet chair as the next to go. I’m doing well on a cane and I feel more stable on my feet every day.

But now, in retrospect, I no longer see this as the home stretch; more like nearing the finish line of this one race in a series of races, each building on the one before. I’ll soon get my knees to working the way I want, shed the weight I gained after surgery, and finish the rest I would like to see gone.

It’s just one leg of the overall race, though, and not the home stretch. I’ve proven to myself that I am in control of what happens to me, I can mold my own future, I can meet challenges I thought weren’t possible. And as this year draws to a close, I can’t think of a better time to look to the next challenge as this one settles down into its final stretches.

I know what it’ll be, next. Stick with me and find out.


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