I’m always amazed by Spring, especially Spring here in the tundra of the upper mid-west. No matter how deep, dark and frigid the winter is, every year, in late April, sometimes early May, when the last of the snow and ice have finally melted, I look around at the bare limbs on trees, and the uniform grayish brown that covers the ground, and wonder how the hell anything could have survived. But then, impossibly, green buds start to pop out on the branches, and somehow the grass starts to green up. Winter retreats, and I get to witness the renewal of Spring.
I’ve started to think of my impending total knee replacement (TKR) surgery as a kind of renewal. A renewal of not just the ability to walk without pain, but maybe, just maybe, a renewal of energy and vitality!
With any renewal though, you have to go through a sort of death to get to it. And boy, at times it has felt like I’ve been trudging through the valley of the shadow of death, so to speak. In fact, talking to my friends about it recently, I may have taken that fatalistic tone once or twice.
Its scary thinking about death, even a metaphorical one. I’m usually pretty brave about change, but change I’m in control of, and change for the better. If I’m being honest here (and that IS the point of writing these) I’m starting to feel a little afraid.
I’m even starting to worry that I may be overly optimistic about what my outcome will be. What if it gets worse instead of better? What if I’m that 1 in 1,000 that experiences the adverse side effects? What if its not actually my knee that’s causing the pain, what if it’s some undiscovered fatal bone or muscle disease? OR, worst of all, what if… what if this is just how it feels to be 60?!?!
A visual gut punch of just what I’m in for came to my door this afternoon. It came in the form of several pieces of equipment I’m going to need for recovery. A friend lent me an automatic knee icing machine, a shower stool, two canes and a walker. Pretty grim stuff, and I wonder, how the hell am I going to get through this?
But then I remember those impossible budding branches. I had my pre-op checkup and labs this week, and didn’t hear anything back, so I guess that means that all is well, and I really don’t have anything to be worried about. And perhaps the timing really is just right. Spring and renewal is just around the corner.