Life in the rural south, arthritic knees, late night ramblings and another quote…

As the hunting buggy slowly putt-putted it’s way down the rural road in front of our property the other day, I thought it was a perfect example of the pace of living we rural Florida natives most enjoy. I’m quite sure that the bent toward life in the slow lane is a character trait that was embedded in our DNA over the years our ancestors endured our hot and humid wetlands without the benefit of air-conditioning. Slow moving was a means of survival. For those of us now living on Pollywog Creek it is just pure pleasure.

I was forced to leave our leisurely living for a day in “the city” with Emily today that included a date at the orthopedic surgeon’s office for knee injections – which, by the way, were a breeze. I wouldn’t lie to you, it did not hurt but the teeniest, tiniest bit, and hopefully I can explain more later.

I’m embarrassed to tell you how much I have dreaded this appointment. Pain is not one of my favorite experiences and the multiple testimonies I’ve heard about just how painful these injections are not only contributed to my delay in scheduling an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon, but greatly increased my anxiety in anticipation. Before I ever saw the doctor, my view of knee injections ranked with root canals as procedures to be avoided at great lengths.

And great lengths I took. Remember last year when I went to my doctor for knee pain because Louis said we couldn’t go on vacation until I saw a doctor about my knees and I ended up with a cardiac stress test, a false “heart attack” diagnosis, and surgery to remove my gallbladder without ever seeing the orthopedic surgeon? And we still went on vacation? Pretty clever of me, don’t you think?

By the way, New York City is no place for people with knee pain unless your money grows on trees and you have an unlimited supply of cab money – of which we had neither. And a 1200 mile car trip from south Florida to Texas by way of New Orleans is not only incredibly difficult on painful knees, but on fifty-something bodies one week past gallbladder surgery. Just in case you need to know. (I DID admit that I often learn things the hard way.)

Louis casually mentioned once or twice about how I got my way last year and I pretended not to hear him, but as we began planning two exciting trips between now and the middle of May, the subject of seeing the orthopedic surgeon once again became an issue. And with an all-clear from the cardiologist and my gallbladder where ever it is unwanted gallbladders go, I was now out of excuses.

Six weeks of visits to the orthopedic surgeon’s office, blood work, x-rays and an MRI produced a diagnosis of moderately severe arthritis in both knees (thanks to crohn’s, I’m told) and a torn meniscus from who knows what. Since I’m not exactly a youthful basketball star anxious to return to the court, my surgeon is hoping to avoid surgery on the torn meniscus for as long as possible. I LOVE my surgeon. You know what I’m thinking – dare I say it? Surgery does not fit neatly into my newly established schedule. (!!!!!!!)

He would also like to avoid knee replacement surgery on both knees, if at all possible, and is treating the arthritis conservatively with an arthritis diet that combines the no-sugar, no-grain diet that is best at keeping my crohn’s in remission with daily servings of foods like fresh pineapple and tart cherry juice concentrate (and a handful of supplements) that are rich in natural anti-inflammatory properties. After just six weeks I have experienced a significant improvement – which is great for avoiding surgery, but I still need the injections and today was the day I agreed to it. We leave for our first trip in just two days, and though I’m sure he could tell that I was hedging and procrastinating, even the surgeon agreed that waiting until today was an excellent idea. Did I happen to mention that I LOVE my surgeon?

I was secretly hoping that I would wake up this morning with a fever and in need of another day of recuperating at home that might actually extend until after we had to leave for our trip and I’d have to reschedule my injections for who knows when. Emily had a hair appointment, but she’d just have to go off on our exciting trip with her same hairdo because I’d just be too sick to drive to “the city.” No such luck. A nervous stomach, a cough and runny nose, but no fever.

Well, wouldn’t you know it. I just looked. It is 1:00 am and there is much laundry and cleaning and packing and birthday celebrating to be accomplished tomorrow, so my “knee saga” must come to an abrupt – but hopefully temporary – end. I’m absolutely blown away by God’s grace and kindness and goodness and patience and mercy that He extends toward me in staggering abundance, and I cannot wait to tell you about it – if only I didn’t need sleep.

In the meantime, I hope that you are as blessed as I was by this quote from Tullian Tchividjian – that had absolutely nothing to do with my knees when he wrote it, but had absolutely everything to do with my knees when I read it…

God is clearly up to something big. Don’t miss out. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from this great adventure. ~ Tullian Tchividjian in “It’s Unanimous” (emphasis mine)

Be sure to read the rest of the story and pray for the “great adventure” Pastor Tchividjian and his church are taking.

For those of you who have been praying for me recently – BIG hugs and thanks. I needed to be much better today, and I was. So was my finger. I didn’t even show it to the doctor. It doesn’t look pretty, but I must have just severely bruised the knuckle under the lacerations and abrasions.

Prayer and daytime cold medicine got me through the day. I got my injections and Emily got the cutest hairdo. I wonder if she would mind if I took a picture while she slept. She’s so gorgeous! Better not. Maybe tomorrow during birthday celebrations. Nick was 28 years old today and Emily will be 18 years old on Wednesday while we are off on our exciting trip.

Can you guess where we are going? The weather there yesterday and today was frightful. Cold. Wintry mix of rain and snow and sleet, but the long-range forecast while we are there for Emily’s birthday is…

March 18 – Sunny
43° – 69°
0% chance of rain
Can you guess where?

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