Friday, May 18, 2007


I just realized that I have an anniversary of sorts coming up. On Memorial Day weekend in 2000, I turned to walk across the room to the table for dinner, and something went "pop" in my left knee. That was the last day until sometime in 2006 that I could walk without any possibility of pain. We had planned a 3 week tour of New England in the fall of 2000, and I did it on crutches, with my left knee in a brace. A hideously uncomfortable brace, let me add; even custom leg braces do not fit well on fat thighs.

Three surgeries, two painful rehabs, and five years of weight training and water aerobics later, I have two working (artificial) knees, I can walk better than I have in years (even before the "pop", my knees were compromised - the first X-rays showed advanced osteoarthritis in both knee joints; the "pop", although painful, was actually incidental, a torn meniscus). And, by the way, I'm in better shape than I think I've ever been in my life.

Does this count as lemonade? I think it does. Strangely, the state of California still considers me permanently disabled; I got my 2007-2009 handicapped placard in the mail this week. I don't need it; I wouldn't dream of using it now; but there it is. I'll have to ask my doctor about it.

I think what I'm trying to say here is, we never know what's going to happen, or when; and all we can do is cope with it as best we can. Am I proud of how I've coped with this? You bet!


  1. Hmm. I may have to look into artificial knees (or at least one) at some point, after having this happen to mine.

  2. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Hey, great story. Cute dog. thank goodness for advances in medical science. What would have been the result 75 -100 years ago? Now, that is scary.

    I had a newish, to us, kitten dash across my forehead one morning while I was enjoying a lie in with the alarm clock turned off. Those little hind claws do take purchase. I told people I'd walked into a rose bush branch, because what really happened sounded, well, contrived. Plus, I looked like someone had taken a knife to my forehead.

    She's turned into a really nice cat. Although, I now clip claws at regular intervals, and yes, occasionally she still dashes around like a mad thing. She just doesn't use my head as an obstacle course any more.

  3. Linkmeister, that is a truly spectacular home disaster story; glad to hear you came through OK. And the dog. You wouldn't think having a tendon cut would cause arthritis later, but I'm never quite sure how these things work. It astounds me that door didn't have safety glass. As for the leg brace, I remember it well, I stumped around New England in something very like it.

    Boggart, 75-100 years ago I wouldn't be functional at all (arthritic knees apart, in the '20s and '30s, treatment for thyroid disorder was so unusual that Dorothy Sayers used it as the plot device in a Lord Peter Wimsey short story), so let's just not go there. I've been a history buff all my life, and also profoundly grateful, no matter how interesting the periods sound, that I didn't have to live there.

  4. From a distance of eight or nine years it's funny. At the time...