TKR = a new knee.

I played high school football in my freshman year. During one game in November I was injured, hyper-extending both knees. I had to be dragged off the field because I could not stand up. Within a few days in PE class, I finished tearing my ACL. My very first knee operation took place on December 19, 1971, to rebuild my ACL and perform a meniscectomy on the medial meniscus. That ended my football career!

They didn’t know so much about knee surgery then but I was fortunate enough to have a young orthopedic surgeon by the name of Dr. James Zettas. He passed away January 6, 2016. I remember, at the time, he was very strong! As a young football player, I prided myself on the strength of my legs. Dr. Zettas was able to bend my injured right knee in whatever position he wished and there was nothing I could do to prevent it! His strength was also evidenced when I returned to the exam room, where my parents were waiting, and he took down a plastic model of a knee and showed my parents what was happening with my knee. He stopped mid-explanation and, with one arm, lifted me off the table, set down the model, grabbed my Dad, and then, with two arms free now, he lifted my Dad onto the table and laid him down. It seems he was getting woozy contemplating my knee injury!

Anyway, December 19 was my surgery date. It was also the date my allergy to Demerol was discovered. Apparently, my respiration stopped twice during my operation and I had to be resuscitated. That week following I was in and out of consciousness, mostly being conscious long enough to projectile vomit across the room. They sent me home Christmas Day (or Eve, or…I really don’t remember the day) because I was not improving at the hospital and they thought I would do just as well at home.

I did. I recovered.

Six months later I had a meniscectomy (medial meniscus) on my left knee. The tear probably started at the same time as the other knee was injured, but the very day I was cleared for light sports and in a casual volleyball game, I finished the tear. So, another surgery in June 1972.

Eventually and oddly enough, my left knee wore out before the right. It was replaced in November of 2008. Now it’s time to replace the right. That will take place a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

I am glad my “original equipment” lasted this long! Now it’s time for another new part.

Having been a member of the LDS Church, it would normally be an expectation that such a procedure be prefaced with a Priesthood Blessing for the success of my procedure. Of course, having been excommunicated, it’s not really expected. I doubt anyone at church or even in my family will be asking if I want a blessing.

And I don’t.

It’s all a myth (religion). I trust in medical science. I also know that things can and do go awry but I fully expect to wake up in recovery and to begin the hard and painful work to complete making the replacement successful. In the case I do not awaken in recovery as planned, I have lived a good life! I have a great posterity but do wish they would look deeper into the mythological roots of religious belief. I really do! If my time is up, there is no more time, at least for me. But there are no regrets. I will leave behind a great legacy (family) that I have loved (still do!) deeply.

Now, not to be maudlin, I fully expect success.

And to be writing more blog posts. Aren’t you lucky?!?!?

2 thoughts on “TKR = a new knee.

  1. It’s interesting that I don’t remember a lot of what happened to you during that time. I remember that you had 1 surgery and that you had a major problem with Demerol. Other than that I don’t remember what all you went through. Apparently much more than I ever knew. I hope your surgery goes well and that you can recover quickly. I love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Some of what I went through was unknown to me, until Mom told me. As I mentioned, I was pretty much out of it for a week or so.


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