I need a new knee, and fast.
At least that is what the bone doctor told me. She pointed to this illustration, and told me this is what mine looks like, except without the pretty cartilage to keep the bones apart:
She was supposed to give me a magic injection to make my knee stop hurting, but instead, after looking at X-rays and asking a few questions, she told me that I needed to get a new one.
That means that I am supposed to allow someone I have known for a total of fifteen minutes sever an entire body part – one that I have had my whole life, mind you – and just throw it away. Forgive me if I am skeptical, but my experience with the medical profession has not always been the most positive.
In the vast library of medical journals, the one word that does not appear anywhere is “empathy.”
The way I see it, doctors see a lot of suffering, and because of that they can become
mean detached. A medical procedure that is a big deal to us is just a clinical experience for them.
It isn’t that they don’t care, it is just that they don’t care as much as they should. If this surgeon makes a slight error and makes one leg three inches longer than the other, she will consider it a lesson learned. She will have gained experience. Meanwhile, I will be walking down the street looking like I lost one of my stilts.
I called my big brother to get some reassurance that a total knee replacement was the right thing to do, and in his awesome, sweet, big brotherness he told me, “Be careful of blood clots.”
Blood clots. Somehow during our conversation about how well I will feel after the operation, my doctor failed to tell me that I might get a blood clot and die. Hey, no big deal. Anyone can forget trivial matters like death or strokes.
Which leaves me a choice. Do nothing and the pain will get worse until I can’t walk at all, or do something and maybe die. I think what I need to do is get down on my knees and ask for divine guidance.
And right away, while I still have two of them to kneel on.