Let me just say right up front: I’m having knee surgery next week and I can’t concentrate on much of anything else. Actually, it’s knee replacement, the first of two. And they tell me I’ll be home-bound for three weeks after each one. Counting the minimal interval between knees, I’ll be on injured reserve until September.
People ask if I’m nervous about it and my consistent answer is “no.” I don’t feel nervous, but the fact that it takes up a significant amount of my mental RAM tells a different story. It’s been hard for me to concentrate on normal projects, like paying bills, daily writing, cycling, and paying attention to Cyndi.
Not only that, but Cyndi gave me my Father’s Day / Birthday gift early – a Big Green Egg grill – and it’s even been hard to engage with that. Hard to see through the fog of distraction.
Usually when I get nervous about something my first defense is to start making lists … lists of things to do beforehand, lists of things to take with me, lists of things to consider and think about, and lists of projects to do afterward, and like that. A list is a plan of action, and having a plan to follow is more satisfying than fretting over what I might be forgetting. In fact, having a list in my hand relaxes me. A list lets my brain floaters settle. I know what to do next, I don’t have to keep guessing.
But my list for this surgery consists of only two items: (1) show up at the hospital on Wednesday, and (2) see what comes next. That isn’t enough list for me. I need more. It isn’t satisfying or soothing.
Don’t misunderstand my apprehension. I’m looking forward to this surgery. Or rather, looking forward to life on the other side. I’m ready for restoration, ready to get moving again, ready to stop limping, ready to go to the mountain trails again with my guys, ready to chase God into The Bowl, ready to go on walks with Cyndi, ready to play with granddaughters without my knees being my first concern.
I’ve already been invited to join the Senior Cycling Group that owns the highway on Saturday mornings. “We have several artificial joints,” was what I heard them say.
We just vacationed in Italy, where I calculated I spent 35 hours on my knees over five days. It was brutal by the end of each day, but I decided I could recover and heal when we got home … I didn’t want to miss out on anything. The trip proved to me that I could do more than I thought, especially when doing it with great friends. It also confirmed that knee replacement was the right thing to do. I’m looking forward to many more trips like this one, with less pain.
I’m not complaining - I’m doing what writers do – I’m settling in, and finding my way, by putting thoughts on paper. Nowadays I’m more comfortable with winging my way through the near future than I used to be, but the idea of eight weeks of improvisation is stretching my newfound flexibility. I wish I had a better list.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32