27 March 2009

The Realization

I have been in pain—no, I didn't say I have been a pain—for a very long time. I've spent decades ignoring pain, knowing it would always be with me, especially if I moved the wrong way or did something the knee didn't like. The doctor asked if I'd had any noticeable pain of late. I said no. Now that I've seen the awful truth in black and white, now that I've felt bone rubbing on bone, I realize there was an escalation in pain over the last year. The knee would sometimes catch and then stick. The pain was intense, but I'd learned to shift the joint back into place . . . even in the water. I guess I thought this was normal for someone with a bum knee. It never occurred to me that this was the beginning of the end of the joint.

And so I wonder: what is it like to live without pain? I have no concept of a life without leg pain. I was of the belief that having reached a certain age, pain was to be expected, especially after a lifetime of athletics. I think perhaps I was mistaken in that assumption. If you're relatively young, fit and stoked, your body easily adapts to the physical stresses you put on it while at play.

Now I'm giving into the pain. That does not mean I'm suffering every day. I'm simply listening to the pain now. This is as good a time as any for us to say our good-byes.


At 3/28/09, 7:10 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Luck is luck,
Odds are odds,
You owe it to yourself to properly "consent" and educate yourself.
Yeah...it's scary, and it may well scare you right out of it. But most likely you will do it and everything will be great.
I would read the stats though and consider the possibilities. At least they won't be going into your abdomen and body cavity to fiddle around.
look for articles like..
Outcomes in Total Joint Arthroplasty as Determined by a Variety of Measures CME
Sis I say this to you as a brother surfer .....
make the drop
with eyes wide open.....

surf on....

At 3/28/09, 7:36 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I will make the drop, Bill. Yes, I'm scared. My brain is full of "what ifs" that I can't seem to quiet. However, I know I can't go on like this (i.e., in pain with limitations) for much longer either.

So, I will make the drop, eyes wide open, knowing it will mean I can surf into my twilight years.

At 3/28/09, 8:27 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

I was talking to Ronnie J the other day - just me and him surfing the Pier. I knew he had just had knee surgery and asked him what it was that brought to realize he needed to see someone about his knee. He said, "I couldn't get up on my surfboard anymore. Too painful."

That will most likely be me. My knees are shot; I know this. I can't run anymore (even on a treadmill) and it hurts to do simple things like squatting down to hug my kid or filling my water bottle at the cooler at work. But, it's not enough to get me in to a doctor yet.

At 3/30/09, 9:51 AM, Blogger pabs said...

Been reading and enjoying your blog...just wanted to add my 2-cents on your upcoming knee replacement: my mother, who is in her early 60's had double-knee replacement surgery 2 years ago and, despite the months of rehabilitative work, is now very happy with her new knees. Hope that inspires you a bit. :-)


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