This Monday I go into the hospital for my fourth implant. I have already had a right hip, left shoulder, and left knee done. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last replacement. But, I do have two more joints left and “you never know”, as my mother would say.
When I mention the above to casual strangers they label me as “bionic”! I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, but I don’t particularly feel bionic. Yes, when the surgeries have good outcomes, you are better off, and to a degree I am. However, more often than not, I feel like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. I also wonder why it never dawned on me that the excessive aerobic exercise, cycling, racquetball and weight-lifting would eventually do me in?
Moderation has never been one of my strong suits. If I like something, I become completely invested in it. I taught exercise and aerobics until one day I thought if I saw one more person do a leg lift, I’d scream. Then I went on to weight-lifting. I wasn’t content with just doing weights to condition my body. Oh, no, I had to power lift. After all why shouldn’t a five foot woman try to outdo the guys in the gym who looked like buffed Gorillas? Oh, I forgot to mention , I started dancing lessons when I was four. Needless to say, I have been a movement machine for years and my body finally said, enough already time to chill.
I had signals along the way, lots of clicking in the knees going down stairs, my shoulder would ache for days at a time and my hip started to reduce my ability to walk properly. But did that stop Ms. Tarzan? No way! I kept going like the Energizer Rabbit because it’s my nature to never give up.
Well, I finally gave up when I could no longer go even a few steps without excruciating pain. Voila, I got a hip implant. I recovered quickly and was fine for several years, and then the shoulder and knees started sounding more and more like a creaking door in a bad horror movie because I went back to my old habits.
Thank God, for modern medicine and great Orthopedic Doctors. They have certainly made a lot of people able to function better and I am grateful to the ones I chose. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from becoming “bionic”, is that I can engage in exercise and not become obsessed. I no longer have a need to prove how much I can do or how.