I don’t want to be a bionic anything.
I am attached to my own flesh and bone. But when I walk, my knee joint grinds bone against bone and that’s when the neuropathic fireworks begin. The cartilage in my left knee is gone. Aging and accidents and osteoarthritis have taken a toll. God’s own caulking compound in my knee has worn away leaving a raw set of nerve endings that hurts so bad it makes me want to whack a white whale.
So tomorrow I go to the University of Miami Hospital where a surgeon will replace my flesh and bone with titanium, ceramic, and ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). I’m getting a new knee. I’m going in for an anatomical refit.
I have been assured that knee joint replacement surgery is hardly more complicated than filling a tooth cavity. More than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. With an aging population and obesity on the rise, demand for total knee replacement surgery is expected to exceed 3 million by the year 2030. Note to daughter Lilly: Forget about sailing for a living and consider orthopedic medicine–ka-ching!
Recovery is said to be quick. A healthy person can be ambulatory in six to eight weeks, if they pay attention to the counsel of their physical therapist. Pay attention? Heck, I’m thinking about moving in with her! I want my legs back.
I would never consider setting sail across three oceans if my boat was in any way unseaworthy. Likewise, I feel I have a responsibility to myself and to my family to be physically fit for this voyage. I need to be kneeworthy.