Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A long and painful journey to recovery

"Tibial Tuberosity Elevation", my orthopedic surgeon Assoc Prof SN chimed almost melodiously when I asked what he was planning to do with my wonky knee. To which I replied quizzically, " Table Testicular what?".

That was about 6 months ago just after I was diagnosed with a severe patella tilt - or for the uninitiated - a shifted kneecap. Years of callousness as a contact rugby player, and even more years of gungho 10km races thereafter were to blame. Compounded with months of stubbornness by skipping physiotherapy sessions after the surgery and pushing myself at the gym in spite of Prof's advice to stop doing weight training, my knee is going through "menopause". Sometimes it plays up with alot of pain, and sometimes it's ok. I think it's still a long journey to recovery. Prof promised that I will be pretty much recovered after a year. However, much as I would like to compete again in the Women's 10km run in a few months time, I might have to sit out this one.

Prof said that I could swim to stay fit. I told him the chlorine in the pool will ruin my hair. He told me to go back to regular physiotherapy sessions, but I couldn't bear to pay $100 to have that physio - young enough to be my daughter - tell me to bend and straighten my leg for 45 mins while she completes her paperwork some distance away.

Thank goodness I am no longer brandishing an ugly walking aid. First of all, it bugs me that there are no brilliant marketeers out there who can develop and market an attractive walking aid that is glamorously bejeweled and matches the modern working woman's clothes. Secondly, I resent that one with a wonky leg has to give up sexy high heels in favour of boring flat shoes that is best worn by nuns and librarians. Surely someone with a brain out there can invent a pair of beautiful fairly high-heeled shoes with great support that can be worn by a semi-paraplegic.

Next week, I will be traveling to Siem Reap for a week long vacation. It would be an interesting test of my patience at the airport security gantry if the metal detectors are set off by my knee implants. Note to self: Bring that medical card that can possibly help explain to these over-zealous airport security chaps that I am not carrying a gun. I will always remember what Prof said to me 2 weeks after my surgery, and when he found out that I went grocery-shopping with my crutches just 3 days after my surgery, " Joanna, the metal implants in your knee weren't placed in there to make you bionic."

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