Kneeless in Halifax

A kindly older gentleman called me today to remind me that in four weeks today I’ll be under the knife, having both of my knees severed, chopped off, readjusted, scraped, and reassembled. My surgeon’s office visibly winces when I refer to having my knees hacked off, for some reason. Yet orthopaedic surgery is the most carpenterish of all surgeries, involving saws and electrical sanders and a bunch of stuff that would look perfectly comfortable in a Canadian Tire or Dexter’s lair.

This is when being a nurse is NOT HELPFUL AT ALL. I’ve seen orthopaedic surgeries, I’ve heard about the stunning lack of hygiene in some hospitals, I know about wandering germs, forgotten sponges, wound infections and other multicoloured outcomes. So I’ve got all of that corralled in the back of my mind, to emerge in the middle of the night when I am half awake.

Tossing MS into the mix adds a soupçon of variability, and is why I opted for the two knees at once thing. In a way, it’s a comfort. I have absolutely no control over the MS angle, so it allows me to let the other things go, too. All I can do is exercise and keep as healthy as possible for the next four weeks, take my flu shot, and cover everyone who comes near me in the hospital with alcohol gel.

And hope. With good luck, new knees means years more of walking capability. With bad luck, I’ll be less capable than I am now. It’s tossing the dice. But my knee pain is excruciating enough I am jiggling those dice in my hand, ready to throw them.

So, my dear much older friend, thanks for the gloat. It made me laugh and of course, unless everything goes much worse than expected, I’ll be able to visit you in the home and show you my scars. (Teasing, of course, you’ll outlive us all with your bionic morning drinks)

Inbetween exercises, I’ll have unprecedented hours for reading without guilt. I’ll need to rest, right? And I have a houseful of books beckoning to me.

It’s an ill wind that blows no good…I might even get some writing done!

Meanwhile I look at my swollen unscarred knees and try to fixate them in my mind.

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