Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with an Orthopaedic Surgeon concerning my knees. Like everyone who has prayed a lot, and been prayed for a lot, for something, I have to fight down the unasked – and unanswered! – question of God: why have I seen so many knees healed in the years that mine have been at times unbearable, but – AS YET – mine aren’t healed. It’s a slippery slope once you allow any form of doubt in, and so this week particularly, I’ve been praying extra hard for them!
If you don’t know, two injuries, one 9 years ago in Colombia, and another 4 years ago, in Romania, have left my knees with osteoarthritis. Something that can be a big plus can also be a big negative: I have (I’m told by doctors) a very high pain threshold. That can be useful but it can also mean I do more than is good for me depending on what/where pain is! Truth is, I’m a typical ‘bloke’ and thought I could ‘walk the pain off’….the big PLUS is that, when I pray for people with any form of arthritis now, my empathy and compassion for them is in a whole new stratosphere! I used to think arthritis was just a small hurt that came with getting old….yeah, I know, I was VERY wrong…..!
My GP doctor is insistent that I need both knees replaced, as is the specialist orthopaedic physiotherapist at one of the big hospitals in Belfast. And so, tomorrow’s appointment, at which I’m STILL believing I can tell the consultant that my knees are healed, is to get the final (human!) nod for replacing them…
Replaced knees don’t always work: in fact, I understand it’s somewhere around 40% that do. Hips are up around 90%, so it makes that surgery somewhat easier. 40% doesn’t seem like good odds to me: the strange thing is, though, that this week, my knees have been awful….. I put it down to the enemy having a go ahead of tomorrow. But then it occurred to me: a podiatrist, last week, gave me new inserts for my shoes, as over 9 years, the knees have caused me to walk in such a way that has flattened my feet.
I think it WAS wisdom that suddenly connected these two things: so yesterday, I stopped using them, and today, the pain has been considerably less. Thank you Lord for that bit of wisdom! Now I need more for tomorrow! To have a knee done, is (again, I’m told) 4-6 months out of circulation for the surgery and rehab. The first few weeks you’re pretty immobile. Problem! I live on my own, and I have the worst staircase imaginable – not only for someone with crutches, but even for young healthy people, who find it a real problem!
So I’d really appreciate your prayers, as if I WERE to have both done, it really means 15-18 months off the road. When you live on gift support, that’s a hard thing to justify, and might be difficult to resurrect in 2016! So I’m asking for your prayers – for healing, but also wisdom, as I believe I’m going to have to tell the consultant that I won’t have my knees done if it’s replacement that she recommends. Then I’ll be totally thrown into God’s care…! Not such a bad place to be…. I would, however, after 9 years, be very grateful to walk without pain, especially on what always seem to be interminable hikes through airports, down long corridors often with no seats….and as I don’t plan to retire (I can’t, anyway – no pension!!), it would be nice to have the next 30-40 years airport-pain-free….!
Thank you for your prayers: if God gives YOU any wisdom concerning this saga, please let me know!