Knee Replacement: A Distant Memory
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
My how time flies. It is so very hard for me to believe that three years has gone by since my knee replacement surgery. In that time, I have learned so many things throughout the re-cooperation process. First and foremost, I cannot believe how pain free my daily life is now. I can instantly flash back to every step that I took having a wince of pain that made me limp. Stairs were extremely challenging, especially going down the stairs. The pain was more severe because of the extra stress in the downward direction. Getting in and out of the car was not only painful but had to be done with strategic movements. Anything aggressively athletic was basically off the table. Golf, even though not an aggressive sport, was painful because of the walking to and from the cart. If I was on the floor for painting, cleaning or whatever, getting up and down would be exhausting. Ironically, I had no one to blame but myself for “kicking the can down the road” about having the procedure and so wish I had the surgery sooner.
Another thing I learned is how resilient your body is and how it heals. I remember seeing the incision when changing the bandage for the first time. It was nasty looking. Now, I hardly have a scar and with my hairy legs you would never know the scar was there. That is probably more information than you want but what the heck. The healing process not only involved the incision but the physical therapy to get the range of motion and flexibility to its optimum. There is no substitute for doing the therapy and there is a direct correlation between the commitment and the results. It reminded me of a diet. You eat and drink what you want while sitting on the couch, you gain weight. You eat sensibly, watch your calorie intake and exercise, you lose weight. Such a simple concept.
It is easy to forget pain. As I go about my daily routine pain free, I very often forget that I ever had the surgery. That is a good thing, a very good thing. I will never run a marathon (I never could before anyway) or be a racquet ball champion. I share these thoughts with others who have been contemplating some joint replacement procedure. Surgery is not fun, but the results are worth it. Moving forward in life with a smile on my face and my head held high is much better than limping around in pain with a frown.
I mentioned about getting down on the floor. Now with our grandson Kyle, I seem to be spending more time on the floor than in recent years. I get up and down from the floor, pain free and with a big smile on my face. The rest of my body is telling me something else about the aging process but that is another issue altogether. With the nicer weather finally here, I am looking forward to getting back outside and doing some bike riding once again. Life is good.
A friend of mine recently had a hip replacement. When I checked in with him to see how he was doing, his comment to me was “a life changing event”. I agree totally with him and if you are pondering any type of joint replacement, in the words of Nike, “Just Do It!”
Until the next Tom’s Take…