Knee Deep in Pain: Lessons Learned from Puncture Wounds

Two weeks ago, I underwent a procedure in which I never thought I’d be forced to endure: knee surgery. A meniscus repair and lateral release has resulted in yours truly being flat on her back with a hugely swollen knee wrapped in ice.

Ugh.

While I appreciate the surgeon’s care, I’m not sure he fully prepared me for the post-op reality and that I’d be so immobile. These last two weeks have crept by ever so slowly for this writer of words. I’m usually high energy and firing on all cylinders. Nowadays, not so much.  Due to the type of surgery required, the healing time is another 4-6 weeks. Sheesh. I wasn’t prepared for that, not to  mention the onslaught of physical therapy appointments required I keep.

But in my physician’s defense, he didn’t know the level of arthritis in my knee, let alone that a lateral release would even be necessary.  He could only make  that decision after he used his instruments and got a closer look. For those of us not well-versed in orthopedic procedures, a lateral release is a minimally invasive surgery used to correct an excessive patellar (knee cap) tilt. It involves cutting through a tight retinaculum (connective tissue) so that the kneecap can slip properly into its groove as it used to.  Painful to say the least.

Here’s hoping that Angie gets her groove back. (pun intended)

In reference to my healing, I probably should claim a bit of the responsibility. I’m guilty of ignoring a few medical instructions and tried cutting back my landscaping in anticipation of winter. (Hey, it needed to be done) I’m also guilty of standing on my feet too long so I could focus on prepping wood to be used in my Fall/Winter jewelry line.  Quite simply, I decided that I had important stuff to do that could not wait.

Wrong.

This author-turned-designer is learning a valuable lesson after experiencing a little setback with her leg: I can’t be stubborn, press on and do things that might not be in my best interest.  Of course, I’m not just talking about listening to medical advice in how to minimize swelling of a knee. It goes way deeper than that. It also can pertain to how we live our life. 

We often tell ourselves that regardless of what others suggest (others that may know us well), that WE know what WE need more than ANYONE. So rather than turn a listening ear towards another’s valuable viewpoint, we take matters into our own hands, convincing ourselves that we know what we can and cannot tolerate.  Have mercy.

Often, our over-confidence gets the better of us and we end up in pain, alone, or very regretful of past decisions.  Our pride gets swollen to such a level that it effects our ability to be vulnerable, heal properly, and admit our mistakes.

Yours truly has been guilty of such actions and I have a feeling I’m not alone. It’s life. Sadly, many of us must learn lessons the hard way—by lying flat on our back, immobile, and forced to do a little introspection. I can’t help but believe that God knows His children so intimately, that He knows which ones can and cannot tolerate such emotional means of lesson-learning.  

Good gracious, I have no choice but to assume God knows that this stubborn Scottish lass has to be quiet and still, all while her knee gets iced and her heart gets thawed.

Perhaps it’s time for you to be quiet and still as well?

Those that know me well are keenly aware of my love of music. From the Counting Crows to the Black Crowes and even the Casting Crowns, I enjoy every genre. I cannot imagine life without lyrics that are written to tug at our heart strings. 

While writing this blog, I listened to the song Hard Candy, by the Counting Crows. While it has an upbeat tempo, the lyrics are deep--typical of writer, Adam Duritz.  Below is an excerpt, or better yet, try listening to the entire song.

"And when you wake the morning covers you with light,
and  it makes you feel alright;
but it's just the same hard candy you're
remembering again…”

If one looks online at what fans think this song is about, the response is quite synonymous: it’s about yearning for something sweet in our past which ended up being bad for us. 

For sure, sometimes lessons are hard. Just like hard candy...Perhaps I can offer up another analogy.

This is the time of year when all stores gear up for the holiday season. When I was a little girl, my grandparents would do the same, eagerly setting out beautiful glass containers filled with hard candy. I’m sure you remember the kind. Colorful ribbon swirls, pieces that looked hand painted, or rectangular striped little pillows that looked like glass?  It seems like yesterday that I’d sneak into my grandparent’s tempting dish before dinner and grab my favorite kind: those round hard pieces that looked like red raspberries, filled with yummy goodness. Delicious.

It’s been years since I’ve seen that variety at grocery stores and the very memory of it makes me smile.  But would I purchase that candy again?  Probably not.

For if I think further, I’d also recall the time I failed to allow the hard candy to dissolve in my mouth. I hastily crunched into it, a chunk slid down the wrong way, and I got choked and totally frightened. I paid a price for not slowing down  and savoring it the right way.

Hard candy lessons present themselves in a wide variety.

Perhaps I’ll think on that a bit more as I lay here and wait for my leg to heal.  I need to patiently allow God to be the great physician and decide what type of medicine or candy I need in my life. And yes, it requires far greater patience than that of an eager little freckle-faced girl who got caught with her hand in the candy jar.

Here’s to all of us having an appetite for the right things.

Brightest of Blessings,

Angie