Art, pain, healing

Over the weekend I’ve been talking with Penny about food addiction again … it’s a complicated thing. An alcoholic can potentially avoid alcohol for the rest so their lives, a nicotine addict doesn’t have to smoke a cigarette ever again. A food addiction faces their addiction multiples time a day. Is it hard? Yes. Do we always succeed? No! But we’re not giving up either…

The other pain is my knee. I’ve got really good movement, and a scan on Friday showed there’s no clot in my calf. That’s great news, but does mean we still don’t know why it’s so tight and sore. Last night I slept with only one pillow knee to ankle instead of two. I slept ok but my hip’s been uncomfortable today. I think I can persist with just the one though and let the muscles adjust.

For me, with pain comes art. Actually, art comes with most things; pain, joy, sadness, anger, love and so on. This weekend I made a Teesha Moore inspired journal, starting with a large sheet of Fabriano Artistico paper that I cut, folded and stitched. Not quite my usual style, but a lot of fun.

Facing a fear

I’m pretty good at honest conversations these days, and facing stuff. I admit to my addictive nature, and talk about the impacts. There are still things I put to the back of my mind though.

Today I voiced a nagging fear. I’ve walked oddly for 9 years, mainly with the aid of a walking stick. Now I have two new knees, and am starting to walk without crutches some of the time. Will I walk normally once my knee has fully healed? Do I know how or is the muscle memory gone?

I was under a neurologist’s care for a while. I have some obvious problems, but we couldn’t get to the bottom of it as my “I need new knees” walk made diagnosis difficult. We talked about whether I’d had a stroke when I was put on life support, or have MS. I’ve got a decent sized lesion next to my spine, but we don’t think it does anything. In the end, we decided to wait until my knee replacements were done, as a diagnosis isn’t necessarily useful.

In the next few weeks I’ll need to face it. I might walk totally normally, and it’s so simple. I might need some physio to learn to walk properly, and it’s a bit more work but totally ok. Or I might still walk badly and need to connect up with the neurologist again, and deal with … something …

Whatever the outcome, I’ll cope with it. Having voiced my worry is a really good start.

It’s a miracle

The damage to my knees was severe according to the radiologist and surgeon. I’ve had significant osteo arthritis in my knees since at least 2012, the year I had a car accident which damaged them further. As a result of the bones eroding, my legs were very bowed. It was so bad my surgeon was concerned he might not get either knee totally straight.

It’s just over two weeks since my second total knee replacement. There’s still a lot of swelling and bruises but these before and after photos tell the story…