Do Bees Even have Knees? Adventures in Knee Replacement Surgery!

A saying we've all heard, but really...do they have knees? (they kinda do). The saying itself refers the height of excellence (good, high quality), typically heard around the 1920's, in today's terms slang.  Not that bees have anything to do with this blog post but the saying kept "buzzing" in my head as I was writing this. 

dobees.jpg

So now that I’ve decided to add a dash of adventure to my life, I have to rethink, re-organize, and plan how to get this completed.

One of my biggest hurdles is my knee.

In August 2001, while covering the Football Hall of Fame events in downtown Canton, Ohio for The Repository (local paper), my knee broke. Not because I was a klutz (which would be normal for me); but because genetically I have shit knees. Up until this point, I abused my knees, took the stairs, covered basketball kneeling on them, really treated them like crap. They have officially paid me back!        


Arthroscopic surgery repaired and fixed my knees which allowed me to continue on with life. UN-fortunately as it happens, because I genetically have shit knees, they aged significantly and are now 90 years old instead of the 46 years that I’ve been on this earth. When I turned 34 years old, I fell on my knee again, this forced me to go see a doctor regarding the pain. He did an x-ray and flat out told me I needed a new knee. I was told my best option was to put it off for as long as I could. It’s devastating to know that the pain that you’re in limits you from doing all the things you enjoy in life.

I can no longer hike. I can no longer walk all day. I start looking for the next place to sit for a quick minute. When you constantly have to think about where I’m going to sit when it hurts, it truly makes doing anything, a chore. I have to plan out the shortest route to get from point A to point B and hope to God that there’s close parking when I arrive. I dread hour long rides because by the time I get to where I’m going my knee is so stiff that it takes five minutes to get out of the car.

But I don’t look like I’m in pain and I get questioned a lot because instead of crying about my pain that I have on a daily basis I smile and try to enjoy the better aspect of every day life. There is not a day that goes by that my knee does NOT hurt. But why in the hell would I focus on that?

I don't need to be any more miserable than I am. What is really forcing me to do this now; the pain has really increased. If I thought I could handle this for another year or so I would wait.

I am scared shitless about this surgery. I have had more surgeries than most in their lives, but this, this scares me. I know I'm going to be ok, but...there is that little nudge of fear in the back of my mind, telling me all the bad things that could happen. (trust me...I have a creative mind; you don't want to know). It's less than 2 months away, I have all my appointments lined up and I'm ready to sail into this recovery.

Relearning how to walk...dealing with pain I've never felt. It's scary BUT...but I know I am going to be so much happier in the end. I've been thinking of getting a tattoo over the scar once it heals. I've seen some interesting designs that feature it as a sign of strength, which to me is a really cool idea.

 

In dealing with HMO and insurances; I have gone through the process of getting therapy, Cortisone shots, gel shots, and now have finally been approved to get full knee replacement surgery. My surgery is scheduled for the end of this September. The docs reaction when he saw the X-Ray, “If I could replace your knee tomorrow I would”; this told me how bad it had become. I was initially approved in March but due to a health issue regarding my thyroid; surgery was postponed until the thyroid was normal and under control. I will go see my general doctor to make sure I am clear again for my surgery in September, hopefully all goes well.


While I am going through recovery and therapy, I plan on spending down time, clearing the clutter, selling off those items I do not need to want. This will allow me to pocket the money to save and pay off debt or use it as my remodeling fund.

I could like everyone else, go into more debt and just purchase a new truck and trailer but that is asinine. The entire point of this adventure is to do this in a budget and afford to live in LA. Spending more time with experiences than just working to pay for my apartment. I've spent time researching, looking at RVTrader every week! Reading, listening, and watching walk-throughs.

Last week, I test drove a couple of trucks. There is always something to get done.

I am going through my clothes that no longer fit, cleaning out closets, trunks and decor that just really collects dust. I’ve spent the last 6 months also working on weight loss. Once you’ve broken your knee it becomes really easy to put on weight. I’ve been working on getting in shape as best I can with a knee that hurts everyday, I have not experienced a day with no pain for the last 5 years. The levels may be different and some days I walk better than others. But I ALWAYS, always have pain.

My thought every time I get that immediate stabbing pain that sends as massive volt up my leg... Sept 27th. is getting closer every day.

As Baz Luhrmann once sang*;

Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding
anniversary...
what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s
— Baz Luhrmann, Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

*originally an essay written by Mary Schmich, and published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune