What I kneed.
There I sat in the middle of it all before I even knew what happened. The swirling waters of my past gushing all around me, and in an instant the air was gone, the panic set in and I was drowning in my own apologies to the doctor standing in front of me. I desperately tossed him my red hot glowing ball of self preservation trying to survive the only way I knew how. I apologized to him for being fat, for wasting his time and pretty much begged him not to be mad at me. I could tell by the look on his face he realized I was losing my shit right in front of him.
The MRI had come back on my left knee and the damage is severe and irreversible, whether it was the weight, the arthritis, genetics, or just a combination of plain bad luck there is only one way out and that is a total knee replacement. I heard those words come out of Dr. Dailey’s mouth and I could feel my eyes close in slow motion as if I needed anything else in my life to go wrong right now. Then in the middle of my self declared pity party I realized there was more, he was still speaking. I forced myself to listen then I came completely unglued. There would be no surgery until I could get more weight off, and my heart broke right there on the super clean wood laminate flooring of the small exam room. After everything, all the struggles, all the weight I had worked so hard to lose, close to 300lbs all said and done with no surgery, no lap bands, or bypasses, just grueling blood, sweat, tears and it’s the same fucking story. You’re still too fat.
Alone in the moment, just me and my cloak of fatness, I could not hide, not from myself and certainly not from the doctor, so I was prepared to face the ridicule , the judgement and the shame, so I took a deep breath and waited, but none of that happened. Instead he stepped into my circle meeting me half way, gave me a hug and told me it was not my fault, that I was not being punished and then he said to me these words…”we will work together and figure it out.” WHAT? No, no, no…. where is the lecture, the dirty looks of disgust, and the head shake of shame? It simply didn’t happen. Once I calmed down Dr. Dailey explained that he wanted the best outcome for me, and that if we could buy some time while I continued to lose a bit more weight he thought the success of the new knee would be better for me than if we tried to do the surgery right now. He injected a lubricant directly into my knee between the patella to begin to form a cushion so the bone grinding on bone would have a barrier. It has been a week since that injection and I am very happy to say it has helped a great deal. It is still very painful but I am not using a cane to walk and I can do stairs if I go slow, no longer sitting down on my rear end to maneuver the stairs.
I let things swirl and simmer all week long, reached out, shut down, and then on Saturday morning as I was walking to my car I looked up and saw this.
I stepped up onto the curb as the searing pain shot up through my left kneecap, my eyes fixated on each word. In an instant the deal was made, my choice rooted in the chalk lined inspiration staring back at me. I will not go backwards in this journey, that place is one of misery and I love myself to much to go back there ever again.
Forward it is my friends. I stood in that exam room and made a promise to myself and to the amazingly kind and supportive force I have found in Dr. Dailey and I do not intend to disappoint either of us. I have some big time goals to reach, the task at hand will not be easy, but the prize is something that will change my life forever. If I am changing my life, then of course I want to share that victory by changing the lives of death row shelter dogs too! My first goal is to lose 25lbs by Jan 23rd, which is a dear friend’s birthday. I will blog, struggle, and succeed and ask for donations to help Recycled Doggies do the amazing work they are so good at. Total honesty in the blog entries and a weigh in every two weeks to make sure I am on track, let’s face it there is a kneed for speed to get the place I need to be! Here we go.