A few days ago, I think I might have ‘obliterated’ what is, for me personally, one of the most significant blogs I’ve written in a long time…. with humour! ‘These days have been kneeded’…. Many of you are aware of the chronic condition that osteoarthritis has inflicted on my knees over the past 16 years or so. More orthopaedic surgeons and doctors than I can shake a stick at, have told me that I only have one course of action ahead – become titanium man, and have both knees surgically replaced.
I’ve battled with that, as you can doubtless imagine, having prayed for literally hundreds, well into four figures in fact, of other people’s osteo-attacked knees, and seen just about all of them healed, mostly instantly: certainly all in the last four years, when mine have been at their worst, and I’ve been determined to shove the arthritis back in the enemy’s face on their behalf. Having experienced their pain on a daily basis, I don’t wish that pain on ANYONE. It really is excruciating. There have been days when I’ve sat in my living room at home, wanted something from the kitchen, all of 5 metres away, and thought, I can’t get up and get it yet….
I’ve battled, too, with the prospect of surgery: hips are pretty straight-forward, but knees have a significantly lower success rate, and I don’t know personally anyone who has had even one knee replaced, who is glad that they had it done. Let alone two knees. It’s also impossible to live alone, as I do, and have replacement knee surgery, especially in a house with steep, narrow stairs going to the (only) bathroom & loo, and bedroom….
For the past few years, I’ve heard surgeons tell me, ‘You shouldn’t even be able to stand up on those knees, let alone move’ – and other similar, really helpful comments! I’ve been determined that my life wouldn’t revolve around surgeon’s observations, and pain killers – heavy duty stuff the doc gives me, 8 a day of one, 2 of another: I’ve ‘survived’ generally on 2 of one, and 1 of the other…. and the quarterly cortisone/ steroid injections right into the knee (yes, it makes you squirm while you’re having it, too! – and it really IS the oddest sensation). Sometimes, those jabs work, normally for little more than a few weeks, maybe 6 if you’re lucky. Sometimes, as with the last ones I had back home in the UK, my knees were actually WORSE immediately after I’d had them.
When I arrived here, I’d battled again (!) – two weeks….even as little as a few days …. before I flew to Colombia, I thought, I just can’t go, can’t do it. But I WANTED to be here: and I knew I HAD to be here, for Thanney, though I’m sure he could have looked after himself ;), but when the third member of what would have been our Irish trinity couldn’t come, I knew it was a must.
I saw an orthopaedic doctor here 18 months ago, and he gave me cortisone injections – I’d have to say that they were among the best and long lasting that I’ve ever had. He also gave me anti-inflammatory injections to help the muscles. I pre-booked ahead of this trip, with another surgeon, for the day after I got here: more nice needles in the knee, and the anti-inflammatory injection I can buy over the counter in the pharmacy…. the injections didn’t really do anything, perhaps just took the extreme edge off the pain, which was both disappointing, and worrying for the rest of the trip. Preaching is something I just can’t do sitting down: and I’m the only preacher on this trip! Thanney was listening to my bones cracking even as I was standing still!
BUT THEN……Wow – THANK YOU, GOD! And I’ll make this another blog post!!