Sunday, September 19, 2010

It happens slowly

As we age we make lifestyle, or quality of life changes, but how much do we really need to give up?  Over time I noticed that I was no longer walking the three miles every day as I had done for decades.  I no longer went for bike rides or rode my bike to the gym.  I no longer swam 50 laps of the pool (the first two summers in Houston).  Yes, I went to the gym every day but was I putting my heart into it?  I saw the daily kilometers on my Camino walks decrease with each passing year.  These changes happened slowly without my being too aware of them.  I made excuses for why I was no longer doing each activity and I believed the excuses myself.  I now see that my knees were dictating my lifestyle.  I avoided going places or doing things because it meant that I would have to walk.  When something was suggested to me I would consider what walking went into the doing or getting to what ever was on offer.

When did I truly realize that my quality of life was compromised and I had to make this surgical change?  It was while I was in Paris after my pilgrimage and hospitalera stint this year.  I had pain walking around Paris.  Although I had been given a SynVisOne® shot the day before I went to Europe my knees were hurting.  I was walking around Paris slowly and with much pain.  I had walked that shot out within weeks, yet the first shot had lasted six months and now this second shot had lasted just six weeks!  I sat on the Hop On, Hop Off bus in Paris and did not want to get off because I knew if I got off then I had to walk.    I realized then that I had changed from being a person who was excited about seeing and experiencing new things to one who was trying to avoid them.  Time to admit you need help Luiza.

I have been helped by Doctor Thomas Parr and his staff at Foundation Surgical Hospital in Bellaire, Texas.  When Dr Parr asked about my pain tolerance he said, if you have walked over 1,000 kms on these knees then you have a high tolerance for pain.  I knew that I had a high tolerance for pain but it was good to have it validated by the doctor.

Because I have been active over the years I am having an easier time of this surgery.  My bone density is good and my muscles remember the workouts at the gym, so the physiotherapy is not hurting me as it would if I had been sedentary.  Jeanette, my physiotherapist, tells me that the range of motion in my knee is excellent and I believe being a walker could have helped that.

So to my fellow walkers out there, never give up walking, have the necessary surgical repairs to your body done that will keep you walking, and always, always walk. 

I cannot stress enough the value of walking.

1 comment: