Monday, November 21, 2011


There's a children's song that says: "For health and strength and daily food, we praise thy name, O Lord". 
Today I'm thankful for my health.  I'm basically a pretty healthy person.  A few years ago I had both of my knees replaced.  It sort of surprised a lot of people that I had that done, because most people didn't know that I even needed the operation (which I don't know how they could have thought that.)  My knees were okay until I fell one night at a wedding reception at church.  Someone had spilled a glass of water and my son-in-law was on the floor wiping it up.  As I walked in he put up his hand and said, "Be careful, there's water on the floor!"  He really didn't even get that sentence out and I had slipped and fell on one knee with the other leg stretched out in front of me.  It wasn't so much the water that made me slip, as it was my shoes.  I had experienced problems with those shoes before slipping on even a slightly damp floor and should have thrown them away, but they were such comfortable heels that I never did.  Anyway, from then on I had problems with my right knee.  About a year later I was helping with a church service project.  We were digging up fence posts and I was helping.  I stepped wrong and stepped in a hole and twisted my left knee (the one that had stretched out straight when I fell at the wedding reception).  That did it for my left knee.  After that all I wanted to do was sit down.  If I went anywhere, I would constantly be looking for anywhere to sit down.  I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes without being in pain.  But all of this didn't really slow me down.  I still continued to work as a volunteer at our LDS temple where I would have to stand for long periods of time.  I only worked 2 days a week, and would usually spend the day after working at the temple resting up. 

I remember right after I had twisted my left knee by stepping in the hole, we had booked an Alaskan Cruise.  It was a 14 day trip - the first 10 days was on land going all over Alaska and Canada.  We wouldn't get on the cruise ship until the 11th day.  We rode on buses, river boats, trains, yachts, more buses, steam engine trains, more boats and more buses.  Everyday was different and every day was torture.  We would stop when we were on the bus from time to time so everyone could get off and stretch their legs.  I didn't want to get off, but they would make me.  I would get off for 5 minutes and would be the first person back on the bus.  We walked everywhere and even when we got on the ship.  It was a torturous trip.

My knees got worse and worse. I had to use a cane, and after several years, I started having shoulder problems from leaning on the cane too much.  I started having back problems and had got to where I couldn't even stand up straight.  I had been seeing an orthopedic surgeon all those years, but he didn't want to do knee replacement until I was at least 60 years old.  He had already done the laproscopic surgery on both knees, where they go in and scrape your kneecap, but it hadn't worked on either knee.  One day I went in to see my doctor and I told him I had reached my limit.  I told him that I knew that he didn't want to do surgery until I was 60, but that I felt 90 NOW!  I told him my shoulder hurt from leaning on the cane all the time, I literally could hardly stand up straight, etc., and I wanted the surgery now.  He reminded me that you can only have knee replacement twice and each knee only lasts 8-15 years (max).  I told him I didn't care, that I was tired of acting old now and even if I had to be in a wheelchair when I was 80, I wanted both my knees replaced now.  And besides, I told him, by the time I needed a 2nd replacement, medical science would have something new. 

Anyway, I did it.  It was hard, but I'm so glad I had it done.  It gave me my life back.  I'm still slow getting up and down.  I go up the stairs even slower, but I get up there.  I also remember thinking back when I was so crippled up, that the Lord couldn't use me in that condition and that I really needed to have the operation.  Well, he's using me now!  :0)

1 comment:

Delirious said...

You never really appreciate your health until you lose it! I'm glad you aren't suffering with your knees anymore. And I agree, technology will continue to improve.