In 2008, my artificial knee quit working.
Grumbling all the way, I dragged myself to the KU Orthopedic Clinic to grouse about this predicament. The doctor pursed his lips, peering at my old records from the notorious 2001 Record-Setting Knee Replacement Hospitalization over at St. Luke’s. I studied him with trepidation. The surgeon who gave this knee to me had been the grandfatherly type, adorable, nurturing, a bit philosophical about the limits of my spastic legs. This guy could have been my son and clearly had spent quality time on the jogging trail. I shifted in my seat, feeling the sweat creep down my neck.
Finally, he spoke. Well, Mrs. Corley, he began. When Ted Sandow — I could hear the reverence — gave you this knee, you weighed 105. The ladies here weighed you at 182. That knee is weight-rated. You can either talk Blue Cross into giving you a sturdier knee, or lose weight.
I gratefully observed that he refrained from opining as to the futility of either challenge.
I took the easy route, and dieted and Yoga-ed my way to 140, then 103, over the next eighteen months. My mantra became “Eat less, Move more”. I had never felt better.
Two years ago when Mars crashed into Venus and my life fell apart, I started eating. I had just quit narcotic pain medication after forty-five years of prescriptive dosing, and started this blog. Eating, though detrimental, served me poorly but better than drinking, despairing, or leaving town in the dark of night without providing for the dog or back-up representation for my clients.
Now I am coming out of the Weight Gain Closet. I am announcing that She’s Back. Once More, With Feeling — I’m stopping this gravy train before it plunges into the murky depths of Locked Knee Hell. After yo-yoing up and down all winter, I stepped on the scale today and I’m nearing 118. My friends, that ain’t because of water-weight, hormones (of which I doubt any are left), or glands. It’s because of unhappy eating over the long winter of my decline, and I’m taking charge before that number skyrockets. I’m going public. One-hundred eighteen might seem like nothing to some folks. On my five-foot four frame, it’s still under insurance guidelines and puts me in a size 2(ish), maybe a 4 in some brands. But for this thin-framed, tiny-boned crippled girl, 118 cannot be tolerated.
The resumption of bad habits got me here along with indulgence in a self-pitying internal mantra that pulls me further down every day. That negativity itself threatens me, but in a more real sense, the extra weight poses serious risk to my quality of life, not to mention my promise to my son that I will live to be 103.
It’s the seventeenth day of the twenty-ninth month of My Year without Complaining. I’m awake, everybody! See me? And, inevitably, consciously, hopefully, life continues.
Nothing quite as invigorating as stepping in leopard-print jammies while watching “Tiny House, Big Living” and day-dreaming about living in a Yurt in Half Moon Bay, California.