I just finished the home portion of rehab for my replacement knee replacement. I am glad to say that I reached 110 degrees of flex today. This for me is significant enough to record it officially. At this point I am ready to tackle stairs again and that is a precursor to all those things that follow. Maybe even being able to run again, not that I was ever a serious runner. My idea of running is to be able to catch my grandson when he takes off or the ability to cross the busy street in front of my office on my way to an infamous butter burger at Culvers. For the past year, while trying unsuccessful to recover from the original surgery, a fast walk over a short distance was all I could muster. That was far from being able to play Frogger as I crossed a busy street.
All of this has taught me some degree of patience while clearly showing me what I had so callously taken for granted. The knee is an incredible piece of our physiology. One does not think of how much abuse it can take and how much it allows us to do. When I watch football these days and I see an awkward tackle, I can feel the pain shooting through my own knee. As I rehab to get stretch back and as I lie awake at night asking my legs if they would kindly go to sleep, I had to become patient. Not much else to do especially as I recover from the surgery in the dead of winter. I dream of skiing breakneck down the slopes or maybe climbing up a chimney hidden in the rocks of Devil’s Lake. For now, it is literally one step at a time while my mechanical knee begins to replace what I took so much for granted.
I am getting there. Slow but sure, I am getting there. If there is a moral to this story, it is to take the time to treat your body right. Maybe if I had heeded those words and given my knee the water it wanted for nourishment and the exercise it need to stay healthy, I wouldn’t be sitting here trying for 120 degrees. I would be out on the slope, taking a jump here and there or just a graceful slalom turn and my knee would be saying “no sweat, lets do it again”. For now I will be patient and know that soon I will be up to all those normal tasks. Heck, maybe even running.