Health Part 1: It’s Not a Cure-all

Door County-Racine 016 As I get older I want to know WHY a lot more.  Guess I had better get my curiosity settled before it’s too late.  Why does my skin do this, why does my body do such and such and why does it do things now instead of when I’m older. (Thank goodness DD#3 taught me to “google.”)  Okay, I’m older and each decade in the last 20 has chosen to make a profound difference.  Some is hereditary, and some is not.  I don’t think the Orthopedist is exactly right when he said for me to talk to my parents or grandparents, that they must have had arthritis.  Well, yes and no and certainly not feeling it at late 40’s or 50’s for sure.  My guess is, that it has to start somewhere, and I am the genesis. Sorry kids o’mine, but you’re on track-maybe. You just know that yes, your wonderful mom had it when she thought it to be too early!

Almost 2 years ago, I had a total knee replacement.  I chose the right one at first because X-rays showed the arthritis was worse in that one, BUT I switched to the left leg because Arthroscopy did nothing for the left knee except keep it really swollen.  Let’s back up…doctors are not even players…wait, wait all you Drs. in my family! My doctor would not do both knees at the same time for a lot of reasons, although I know he does them on some people, maybe I wasn’t a good candidate, but both knees needed doing and it was basically a coin flip.  BUT, I admit to being vain and chose the left to be the first candidate.  There is a lot less obvious swelling now and I admit, it looks kind of normal. Kind of being a relative term when it comes to me and my structure.  No, none of those cortisone shots worked beyond the 2 weeks, and the “cocks comb” one didn’t either.

Qwill and Furniture 044
This is just after surgery. The other photos of knee are icky

People have asked, “so you can do all sorts of things you couldn’t before?”  Well, no.  I’m sure the Orthopedes would like me to say yes, but mine is realistic.  I can walk farther, work outside longer, go up and down stairs without pain A LOT better.  But no, I don’t run, jump, still can’t understand the math books my DH reads, do weird things and yes, I am super protective when I feel aches and pains in my knees.  I suppose I could have done and probably still can do better with getting on all fours for work in the garden, but it always feels sharp and pointed like I’m kneeling on unevenness or sand.  I never could without a lot of help, get my heel to my butt, I just don’t fold like that.  There are things as explained by the Physical Therapists (bless them, ’cause they are the calm understanding, but necessary folk in this world of recovery), that if you couldn’t do it before, you probably won’t after.  Maybe, but don’t sweat it, just keep moving!!

I live in a weather changing state-humid or cold.  Does that effect my joints? Oh, I’m becoming a believer.  It’s morning stiffness and sometimes a strange pain in a knee, but it happens and I’m in a lot of company.  DH sympathizes but he really doesn’t have the overall joint aches and arthritis that I do-except he’s getting stiff necked. Ha! a pun, but there may be arthritis there for him.  I did have the other knee done almost a year ago,  10 months after the first one.  It seemed to recover faster both inside, swelling and physical therapy wasn’t as bad? hard?.  So, I think it has been a success.  The Dr. said that when it affects your way of life, it was, then it’s really time.    My life is much better now, I have matching scars, though I did ask  when they would go away or lighten because of bikini season and all.  I don’t usually wear shorts-capris being my summer length, but I can walk, go up and down things a lot better.  My life is less impacted by arthritis in my knees.

Having said all that, and now 60, the next decade, the arthritis has decided that I’m really fun, and now I have it in my fingers and hands.  I’m a lucky gal, Arthur wants to stay with me…its a morning warm up cuppa tea, shower and exercise that loosens things.  I’ve gotta keep going as I’ve got another 10 years before the next “excitement” makes an appearance.  Wow! Talk about a learning curve, growing process and all that stuff we thought was just for kids! Pulling up the grown-up socks and off we go!

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