The good news is I don’t need double knee surgery. The bad news is that my new orthopedist agrees with the previously seen sports medicine doctor that I have strained IT bands, but doesn’t know why it isn’t getting better if I quit running 1.5 years ago. So, another very painful injection, but this time into the actual IT band itself instead of behind the kneecap or behind the tendon or wherever I have had previous injections that didn’t help. Here’s hoping this one helps. He said if it works on the L side, we can do the R as well and then evaluate from there if I should go to PT or what.
I am honestly thrilled that I don’t need MORE SURGERY. Given my life, I should have some kind of medal for all the surgeries I’ve been through and certainly should receive healthy endorsements from the various suppliers of corticosteroids for all the pills and injections of same I have received. But it also is disheartening to realize there’s just one more thing physically wrong with me that is not going to get better overnight. This is what nobody explains to you about aging, or can adequately explain when you are young and don’t have these problems; the body wears out. And the more stress you put on it, the quicker different parts wear out. And the more risks you take (horseback riding fall caused my spondylolisthesis, which causes me pain EVERY DAY), the quicker you get there. It’s not as if I wish I had lived in a bubble my whole life. And honestly, I’ve been much more aware of pain, sickness and my own mortality than most people because I got so sick at 21 years old, and stayed sick for 5 long years. But the physical body failing is to me, much worse than the wrinkles I see in the mirror, or each new gray hair I find (or the ones that fall out with increasing rapidity in the shower and on the hairbrush), or the dark circles that are appearing under my eyes. I don’t really mind those things. But the physical stuff, I really mind. It interferes with my life. I have to take the elevator most of the time. There is only so much playing I can do with my son. The chick at my gym pounding away on the treadmill, who has a face the same age as mine but a body 20 years younger because of her hard work will never be me again, and that’s hard to deal with.
Still, I remind myself. I am lucky, lucky, lucky. Seeing a packed waiting room with about half the people in chairs or with walkers, many with elaborate casts or pronounced limps, I know I am lucky.