I didn’t quite know what I was in for when I said okay to a double knee replacement.
I thought that by December (my surgery was mid-September), I’d be much more mobile than I am now. And I for sure didn’t expect the pain to be persisting to this degree.
But here I am, hobbling around with a cane.
And with bursitis in both hips.
I had bursitis in my left hip before surgery – caused by my knee. Now I have it in both hips – caused by my knees!
My biggest challenge in healing since surgery is straightening my knees. That’s no surprise since I’m not flexible and never have been. My muscles and tendons are stretched tightly to my bones. So my knees aren’t straightening very easily now. And that bent position puts pressure on my hips. Thus the bursitis. Which often hurts lots more than my knees!
The good news is that my knees are bending well. I attribute that to the fact that bending is a part of daily life. Every time every time I sit down, every time I get in my car, I have to bend my knees.
Nothing in my daily life stretches them, though. Stretching has to be intentional. And because it hurts so much, it’s hard to make stretching my intention as often as it needs to be.
I am improving, though, even when it doesn’t seem like it. If I look back a month, I can see the improvement.
But it’s so incremental that sometimes I think I’m making no progress.
Then I have to remember that I had major surgery on both knees. Six months after I had another major surgery – a hysterectomy. That’s a lot for a close-to-60-year-old body to go through.
That’s a lot of healing to undertake.
And to close out this physically-challenging year, I’m having a dermatologic in-office surgery on Wednesday.
Why not add another scar, right?
Why not add some more healing?
That surgery came about from what I thought would be a routine visit for the dermatologist to look me over and declare me okay.
But that’s not what happened.
He decided that a blue nevus mole on my scalp, one we’d been watching for a few years, needed to be biopsied. He cut out the mole and sent it off to the lab. The results were that it is a “cellular blue nevus,” the type that can turn into melanoma (though it’s not cancerous or even pre-cancerous now). The recommendation is to cut more out to be sure it’s all gone. So Wednesday I go back to have a bigger hunk cut out of my scalp – and to be stitched up. Again.
But I’ll gladly choose that over melanoma! (Even though at this moment it almost feels like too much – too much after this year of surgeries).
It’s a fitting end to a year of scars. Four inch-long (a couple a bit longer) ones from the hysterectomy. Two long ones (six inches on the right and seven plus inches on the left) from the knee surgery. And now one I anticipate will be two to three inches long – to make sure I don’t develop melanoma.
After all of this surgery in one year, there’s a part of me that thinks next year should be better. That I’ve had enough of scars to last quite a while.
But I know that’s not how it works. There’s no promise if you have a tough year that another won’t follow.
The best I can do is to try to have a good attitude (on most days) and take it one day at a time.
One step at a time.
One scar at a time.
One moment at a time.