I have been living with an autoimmune disease for some years now, and it has taken its toll on my joints, particularly my knees. I am one of those people who has extreme control issues: in this case, the assumption is that I can control my condition myself and don’t need allopathic medical science to do it with, thank you very much. I went through years of supplements, glucosamine, homeopathy, yoga, meditation, and lately, what I call my “beans and greens” diet, i.e., a mostly vegan diet that stresses vast amounts of green vegetables and little protein. It has worked, in the end, better than anything, and cost a helluva lot less money. But it hasn’t made my joints grow back. So much for my belief that I can control this!
Last week, I went for x-rays, and my doctor said that my knees are in the upper ten percent of the worst knees he’d ever seen. Well, he’s young, but that did make me gulp. He seemed particularly surprised that this was happening at my age, which is a young 57. [Gulp]
So I am going to bite the bullet, as it were: I am going to have both knees replaced, and I am going to start with the one that is worst, the left. I’ll be having surgery in less than two weeks, and I will admit that I am terrified. On the one or two occasions I’ve had surgery in the past, I’ve had, well…interesting…experiences with the anesthesia. Not fun at all. However, it seems that nowadays I can have an epidural and a sedative, which may be much better. Sort of like having a baby, I suppose. I am also told to expect significant pain, and it will take me awhile to recover, during which I will have physical therapy and the like.
I thought I would post here about this process, because there may be people out there who are considering this procedure and might like to know someone who is going through it. I certainly felt that way.
What I can say, at this point, is that I am very aware of what Inayat Khan said about such things: “shatter your ideals upon the rock of truth.” Increasingly, I am finding that what seems apparent to me is not necessarily what is transpiring. In this case, it seems that I am being given an opportunity to adjust my judgments about allopathic medicine and also to find out for myself that I am stronger than I think I am. I began this process with I had my second child at home. Home birth is a great experience in empowerment. The difference is that you get a prize at the end of your birthing experience, and after knee surgery, you get to become strong through pain and difficulty. What a gift!
I’ll keep you posted.
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