Fighting with my Knee

Next month, July is my birthday month. I will be 54 years old. My nephew turned 10 the other day, and he is full of energy and excitement because he is now “in double digits.” Good for him. My other little nephew is six months old and full of energy too. One of my nieces turned 21, and I have a niece who is 50. In October, my brother will be 60.

I’m throwing these numbers out because it is fantastic and beautiful to age. With age, you become wiser about life and about the world, but with age comes the wear on the body. Since I was 16 years old, I have battled problems with my knees; in high school, I ran track and injured my right knee. My mother took me to an orthopedic surgeon, and he told her, “By the time she’s 50, she will be in a wheelchair.” My mother did not like what he had to say. She frowned and responded, “Oh, no, she won’t!” The x-rays revealed that my kneecaps were tilted. It was a crazy picture!

In the mid-80s, I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in my right knee. In the 90s, I had surgery to shave the back of my kneecap only to discover I did not have cartilage in my knee. With weight gain, the pressure on my knees became more significant and unbearable.

I’ve lost over 50 pounds, but the damage to my knees is still there; I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees; however, the right knee is worse since I had the two surgeries. I am on medication for the pain, and I get very drowsy with it. Although I am on Celecoxib, the pain is more severe than ever! I wake up in the middle of the night with hot, searing pain going through my knee. When the orthopedic doctor pushed on a specific spot on my knee, I slapped his hand away because of the pain.

This week I am going to get an injection in my knee that will alleviate the pain for three months, according to the booklets I have received in the mail. I am apprehensive yet hopeful.

I am not that old. I consider myself young to the point of feeling youthful and happy. I have diabetes controlled by diet and exercise; I am heart-healthy, I have seasonal allergies, the onset of asthma with cold weather. But, what I realize is that the knees are a valuable part of the body. The slightest movement could cause someone to fall if their knees are not working correctly.

I have a charming, comfortable home that is a two-story. So, I have to climb stairs. It’s not so bad a climb, but in the case of weak knees, going up the stairs is like climbing Mt. Fuji!

I am hopeful about my knees. The left knee has arthritis, too, but it is not as bad as the right knee. I wear the most comfortable shoes: Crocs, Birkenstocks, and Nikes. But the best is going barefoot in my home.

The battle with knees has been ongoing for a long time. Yes, aging plays a particular part in the pain process, but again, you’re as old as you feel.

Brain: 25

Knees: 95

Wow. Looks like a basketball score.

Author: L.S. Watson

Hi. My name is L.S. Watson, and I'm an English teacher at a charter high school. I enjoy traveling (my favorite places are Rome and Paris), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. I have a lovable yet stubborn Yorkie-Poo named Chuy.

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