Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 13 of 365

Today is an anniversary of sorts.

One year ago today I had my knee replacement. One year ago, I had bones cut, my kneecap removed, and metal and cement put in its place. Because of my young age (44), the doctor had been trying to put it off as long as possible, even though it had gotten so bad I was having to use a cane. Younger folks have a tendency to be more active and wear replacements out earlier, making them more likely to have a subsequent replacement. So in younger patients they often try and put the surgery off and then use a more conservative procedure where not as much cement is used. That was the plan for me. However, once the doctor got into the surgery, the extend of damage required him to take the approached used on older folks and use lots of cement.

So now I might have 10 years - maybe 15 if I'm lucky - on this new knee before going through this again.

But that's not what I'm thinking about today. What I'm thinking about was the hope I had going into the surgery last year. The hope that the excruciating pain I had before surgery would go away. (It did.) The hope that I'd be able to walk without a cane again. (I can.) That I'd be able to get up and down as I worked in the garden. (I still can't.) But the pain is better. Much better.

Heading into that surgery, I was hoping for a better life. I would never have expected that the knee surgery wouldn't be my only surgery of the year. That two shoulder surgeries would still follow. And that a year later, I'd still be doing physical therapy (although it's shoulder PT).

And here and now, today on this anniversary day, I am still hoping for that better life.

But I know that hoping isn't going to get me there. I have a new knee and two new shoulders, but becoming the bionic woman isn't necessarily going to give me that better life. Worrying about what I cannot do won't get me there either. Focusing on what I can do? It might get me closer. What I can do is write. And document. And spend my days doing for others. And show that I have lived through the picture I take each day.

So I gave myself an anniversary present today. I purchased a new camera.

These last two weeks of pictures have been taken on an old, old, digital camera. One of the first digital cameras to come out, I'm sure. So now to prove to myself I am committed to this new life, this writing, this documentation, this doing for others, I am putting my money where my mouth is. It's a pretty blue Panasonic Lumix. Has a great zoom, video capabilities, and more that I have yet to discover.