Lenten Journal, Day 30

Physical therapy. A synonymous term is “torture.” Today’s session proved that.

I am unhappy I made the decision to replace my left knee with titanium and plastic. The result is far from what I had hoped.

I don’t blame the surgeon. His work is fine. X-rays show everything is right as it should be. The scar from the incision is great, better than the one on my right leg, and there is no deficit of feeling nor any oddball itching, again better than the right leg.

No. The problem is my chronic Achilles’ tendon pain. I feared going in that my Haglund’s deformity and related bursitis would complicate recovery, but I also hoped that replacing the knee and going through the therapy afterward would benefit the ankle and foot. The fear was realized, not the hope.

So in a month at my long-term post-operative consult with the surgeon, we’ll have to explore what, if any, further options there are.

I don’t know if I can draw any Lenten or general spiritual lessons from this experience. I keep thinking about Jesus heading to Jerusalem, “setting his face toward” the city certain he would die when he got there. Was that an act of hope? One of fear? One of duty and obligation? More analogous to my medical situation, I suppose, would be the disciples.

The Twelve really had no idea what was going to happen. Thomas, of course, was convinced they would all die. I suspect others, likely Simon the Zealot, probably hoped the Passover would spark a revolution that would put Jesus on the throne of Israel. They were a community of mixed emotions and mixed expectations.

That’s what I am still, three months after surgery with twenty sessions of physical therapy completed, a bundle of mixed emotions and mixed expectations. So I have two more weeks of physical therapy and then Easter. Whether I will be walking without pain when we get there is a complete unknown about which I continue to have both hopes and fears and, I’m sad to say, the fears right now are winning.