As many of you know I have been convalescing for about three weeks following my knee replacement surgery. I certainly appreciate all of your kind notes and “get well” wishes. Your kind words of encouragement have been both helpful and inspirational.
This column will deal with some thoughts I have had during this time. Obviously there has been much to talk about on the national and international scene, but I am pretty sure those matters will still be there in the weeks to come. So, I am going to deal with matters much closer to home.
First, I want to tell you all that the VA has come through for me once again. From the time I first visited my primary care doctor to the actual surgery took much too long, but it was handled. I am being treated under a program known as the “veteran’s choice.” This program allows me to be treated by local docs and the local hospital. Otherwise I would have to travel hundreds of miles to a VA facility both for the surgery and the rehab. That would have been unbelievably difficult. While this is not perfect by any means, it is workable. I am grateful for this benefit that is one of the results of my military service.
The second matter that I want to discuss is just the miracle of modern medicine. I have been sitting here in my recliner feeling sorry for myself. This surgery has been painful. In fact, far more painful than I was prepared for. But now, it is just a matter of dealing with the pain and getting stronger.
In my more cogent and thoughtful moments I have the opportunity to reflect on what has happened to me. My knee was destroyed by use and abuse and seventy- plus years of toting me around. In a matter of about two hours My highly skilled surgeon removed the arthritically damaged tissue and replaced it with synthetic material. My knee is now better than ever. All I have to do is be patient, do my therapy, and very soon I will be better that new. This would not have been possible just a few short years ago.
Two years ago, I had my right shoulder replaced. If you didn’t know it had happened, you couldn’t tell. These surgeries are absolutely modern medical miracles. I am grateful for these miracles.
Many of you, my readers, are dealing with medical issues of your own. We are all very fortunate to be living in this time. Medications, treatments, and all things medical are getting better all of the time. Dreaded diseases are being brought under control. We are able to live longer, healthier lives because of modern medicine.
If, like me, you have occasion to feel sorry for yourself, take a moment to reflect on the miracle that you are a part of. It’s going to get better. I promise you.