Of black holes and silver linings
It’s Thursday? It’s Thursday. I don’t know what day I think it is. I just know I lost a couple in there somewhere.
A couple weeks ago I started feeling pain in the back of my right knee. I had previously had some bouts of stiffness, which made me a little nervous because it was my left knee that I had scoped in January, which meant the arising issues were in my “good” knee.
I was trying hard to just press through, but I was nagged by the thought that things weren’t getting better and my trip to Brazil is looming. I was further nagged by the thought that this was the kind of pain that preceded last September’s event where I was climbing my stairs and felt a strong and excruciating pop in the back of my left knee…an incident which culminated in the surgery in January. So on the way to work on Monday I called the office of my Orthopedic Guy and asked for an appointment on Wednesday morning…which they just happened to have. I just had to make it through the work shift and then through Tuesday.
I made it through the work shift. I didn’t make it through Tuesday.
I was—get this—climbing my stairs…you know where this is going, don’t you?
I collapsed, crying and gasping for breath, unable to bear any weight on my right leg. I could feel it begin swelling immediately. As soon as the Sparkette brought me the crutches from the attic, I made my way to the computer and sent a prayer request message to my church folk in our Facebook group as well as another group of praying ladies. I knew they’d be on it right away.
And boy, was I glad I already had that appointment the next day with the Ortho Guy.
X-rays, evaluation, a big syringe of bloody synovial fluid aspirated from my (thankfully) numbed knee, some cortisone shot in. Ortho Guy felt this would likely be enough to get me going, given a few days.
I went home, still hurting but hopeful. Rest, ice, elevation, anti-inflammatories. Ok, I could do that.
I didn’t count on losing a battle with gravity later that afternoon. I took a tumble with my crutches, feeling like a pinball ricocheting off everything in my personal neighborhood before finally hitting the floor. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what body part took the brunt of that mess. Poor Mr. Sparky…he’s been present for the birth of all four of our children, but I’m not sure he’s ever heard me scream like that. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard me scream like that.
After a few hours of care, the intense throbbing finally began to subside. By the time I went to bed I was taking a few careful steps without crutches. In spite of the misery of the fall, I was already starting to find some relief from the pain that sent me to the Ortho Guy in the first place.
Today I’ve not needed the crutches. The pain has decreased significantly, although it’s still touchy and I’ve still got a lot of stiffness. I’ve been very careful about caring for the knee, and by late afternoon I finally ventured upstairs—one foot at a time like a toddler—for a shower. It was the first time I’d been up there since I left the house Tuesday morning.
Ortho Guy wasn’t particularly concerned that this was an obstacle to my trip to Brazil, and I’m not either. I consider it more of a bump in the road than a roadblock. I’m confident God’s got this.
And this cloud story has a silver lining.
When I suddenly couldn’t bear weight on my right knee, I found out just how much strength was in my left one. The one that has been weak. The one that has still bugged me with stiffness. The one that sometimes gets sore. The one I haven’t been able to kneel on, or squat on, or push up on.
Whatever I’ve asked of it, it’s done. Sometimes with shaking and strain…but it’s done it. A month ago I would never have imagined it holding up this well because of the discomfort I still experienced at times. It’s good to know that 6 months post-surgery, the healing process is still in progress, moving forward.
Who knows what I might be able to do in a month or two? I would LOVE to be able to be able to get on the floor and get up again without making my knees scream at me. I had figured I needed to just forget about that, but now I’m getting hopeful again!
There is always something for which to be grateful. My right knee needed attention and got it in plenty of time to heal before I need it to support me for lots of walking and standing. My left knee showed me that I can ask more of it. Mr. Sparky was able to take the day off to drive me to my ortho appointment, which is good because I really don’t think I could have worked the pedals on the van. The Sparkette was an uncomplaining fetcher of stuff I needed while immobilized. My co-workers graciously and swiftly covered my shifts for the rest of the week so I can rest and heal. My church folk and the dear ladies of a tight-knit but geographically separated group started praying for me right away.
I mean, really…what can I say, other than I am blessed?