In case you didn't notice, I haven't been around for a couple of months. The good news at least for me is that I think I am back, and the reason I was gone wasn't so terrible. Difficult, yes. Terrible, no. And although not completely recovered, I am making a valiant attempt to get back into the flow of things, since looking at the four walls of my house is driving me stir crazy.
Starting 9 weeks ago today, I began an odyssey that has faced or will face many of us folks as we age. My joints just wore out. No one can say exactly say why it happened, but it did. The pain was intense, my activities were limited, and as I tried my best to meet my commitments around the country I found it increasingly difficult to get to where I had to go. Even walking around the office was difficult, and my colleagues were noticing that I was limping and starting to hunch over to compensate for the discomfort.
Being the good doctor I am (? was) I thought I could fix myself. Lose a little weight, take some of those funky over the counter medicines advertised to make your dog young again, lose a little weight, get my uric acid/gout under control... You get the idea.
My dear wife humored me (she is an ob/gyn but she is still a thoughtful and excellent physician). We established a six month timeline, and agreed that absent any progress I would go see a real doctor to figure out what we should do.
Well, it took the real doctor just a couple of minutes-and a couple of plain old fashioned x-rays (no MRI for me!!!!!)-to let me know I had no cartilage left in either knee or my right hip. A steroid shot in each lessened the pain, but the best route was surgery. So surgery it was: three operations over a period of 7 weeks (that was my requirement) and I would be good as new-or as good as I was going to be.
Well, here we are, 9 weeks later and I am put back together at least most of the way. Still healing from the last knee done two weeks ago, but the major stuff is behind me. I can't tell you how many people have called me the "bionic man". For me, I feel like I have more titanium in me than a jet engine. And I can't wait to start traveling again and get to meet all my TSA friends at the airports up close any probably too personal as I light up the metal detectors.
Like everyone else, there are lessons I learned from my surgical experience that have indeed informed my outlook on life. So I hope you don't mind if I take a moment to share some of them with you. More...