Well ..now I’ve done it..finally tore up my knee so bad it’s going to have to be replaced. The pain of bone on bone has just gotten too much for me to bear, so it’s off to the hospital for me. I have put this off for entirely too long.
I tore up my knees years ago when I was a cop in Houston, but in those days you just healed up so fast that nothing seemed to stop you from one day to the next. About thirty years ago, I had my left one fixed and have put off thinking about doing anything to the right one for all of these years. The therapy for the first one was hard enough and I really didn’t want to go through that again unless I really had to.
Now I really have to. Last week or so I took a trip to Philadelphia which involved trains, planes and cars a lot of walking, too much as it appears. I came back limping and had a miserable weekend waiting for the doctor to see me last Monday. I’ m thinking he could just clean it out and all would be fine, but that’s not going to be the case. Nope, he said mine looked worse than his and he was leaving that afternoon to go and have his fixed.
I’ m sure having some terminal illness takes the wind out of your sails, but having my knee replaced certainly set me back a notch or two. First of all, it means I have to finally give up my car. I love my car, but it sits really low to the ground and is difficult to get in and out of. A practice that I am sure has not helped me over these past years. I have a theory about getting older and driving. I believe that driving a smaller, faster car makes you more alert than if you drive one of these large floating boat vehicles. At least this is my story and I’ m sticking to it. But the time has come for me to give it up and buy something a little more sensible as much as I hate to do so. I suppose the next step is to take away my drivers license in another fifteen or twenty years. You can just gas me when that happens. As it stands now, I’ m hobbling around much like Walter Brennan used to do on the ‘ Real McCoy’s’ while waiting to see when they will take me for surgery. I’ m sure the operation is different than it was thirty years ago, but I just don’t like hospitals or being operated on, I don’t suppose anyone does.
This whole exercise has gotten me to wondering why we try to put off the effects of aging for as long as we do. For example, I know that I need hearing aids, but like a lot of men my age; I keep putting off buying some. I keep thinking my hearing will get better, even though I really know it won’t. Not being able to hear really well is difficult but not impossible. You can get by and fake a lot of it, but you do look like an idiot sometimes when someone asks you a question and you answer wrong and they have to repeat it just to see if you are crazy or what. Poor hearing causes you to nod and smile in a lot of the wrong places. Here you are in the middle of a fairly positive conversation, you’ re catching most of the conversation and being agreeable then you start to lose the volume and you smile and say something like Yeah, I’ll go along with that.’ You know you’ve screwed up and they repeat the question which could be something along the lines of . ‘did you hear the news about the guy trying to poison the New York City water supply Worse is when they don’t repeat the question and just walk away. You have to chase them down to figure out what you missed.
I will say I’ m getting a lot of attention and limping does allow for you to board the plane first without guilt. I won’t use a wheelchair at any time in the near future if I can help it. The cane is ok’ I like canes’ not w a walker’ a cane. As for the sports car, well, we’ll just have to see how the knee heals and then take another look at what I could drive. I’ll bet there is something I can fit into.
Remember growing older is not an option but growing up is.