Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Christmas Wishes Do Come True

The day is finally here. Today, in less than six hours my husband will go to surgery to get his first knee replacement. The second will be scheduled as soon as he makes it through the several month recovery from the first. With this surgery comes hope. Hope that one day, he will walk with far less pain. He will be able to do many of the activities he has given up through years of having Rheumatoid Arthritis.

For years, a unique request has been on his Christmas list. Often it's depicted in a picture, one year it was a tree that had knobs that appeared to be knees. Another, it was frogs legs with MS Paint drawn arrows pointing at the little green knees. Each year, it was there. Often we would chuckle out of the creativity used to request said knees, but down deep, it always made my heart hurt.

So, this is it. A Christmas wish that is being fulfilled.

I'm excited, but I'm also apprehensive. This has been a major decision. Not only will he be getting new knees this year, but also a hip replacement. Each surgery carries it's own set of risks and of course, painful recovery time. Our life is changing in so many ways right now that I sometimes, for a brief moment, want to yell for the ride to stop and let me take a breather. But, time is precious and not something that should go to waste. There is no time better than now, today, to do this.  I wish it was as easy as buying a car though - and car buying is far from easy. But, buying new knees is far more difficult!

Over the weekend we had a very difficult experience. At first, I wasn't going to write about it. I spoke to my Weight Watchers group about it and was going to leave it at that. But, my blog is honesty, so I'm going to share it here as well.

On Saturday we decided it would be a nice family fun day to take the children to the Magic Kingdom. Since it's in our backyard and we have means to get free admission, we thought it would be a nice thing to do right before he went to surgery. He's been in much pain with the knees but our plan was to just walk from handicapped parking into the park (requires the monorail or ferry boat) and then rent the ECV in the park for him to drive around. We were psyched! Even though we live so close to the parks, we actually haven't taken our children. Well, correction, our nine year old has been once to the Magic Kingdom but he was a baby when we went the first time. Honestly, due to the husband's inability to walk long distances and my previous weight making an outing to an amusement park painful, we have avoided that activity. We also have wanted to keep it special for the children and I just don't think they would view it as magical and special if they went on a regular basis. Anyway, I digress.

We arrived at the park around noon. We were able to get a very close handicapped parking place, loaded our youngest children into the double stroller and set out for an amazing day! About halfway to the ferry boat loading dock, and right when the kids spotted Cinderella's castle, it happened. His knee locked up completely, he was in unbelievable pain and he had instant swelling. I helped him to a spot where he could sit down but lifting or moving the leg, moving his knee, was impossible. We sat for a short while waiting to see if he would get any relief and unfortunately, the answer was no. I went to a gift shop that was at the front and rented a wheelchair. With his arms around my neck, my arms under his, we were able to pivot him into the chair. We allowed a few more minutes to pass before making the ultimate decision to go home.

I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it is to tell a nine year old boy, a four year old little girl and a two year old little boy that loves castles and just spotted one of the most amazing things he's ever seen; that we are going home. All three handled it very well. My daughter sobbed for a moment and then with lots of hugs and whispers in her ear that we would be back, she stopped, as she said she didn't want to make her father feel worse than he was already feeling. They love their father. They were concerned for their father. That love and compassion shined through and I have never been more proud of my kids.

The injury is pretty severe. The last few days have been extremely difficult. The bruises just keep appearing, first behind the knee, then down the calf, now the blackness has set in his ankle. Fortunately, this is the knee that he is having replaced today and the doctor took x-rays and there are no broken bones. It is suspected that he tore his ACL just from the stress of walking on the severely eroded knee. So I suppose, in some ways, if this was going to happen it's great that it did only a few days before surgery.

So yes, new knee=hope. Hope for a day in the fall that we can recreate a magically day that our family can enjoy, without pain! Hope that my husband will soon be able to reclaim much of his life back as a mobile, 36 year old man.

Goodnight friends. In two and a half hours we will be waking to go to the hospital. I am going to try to get a few winks before the big day is here.


  1. I'm happy for your husband. You two are in my prayers that everything must go as planned with the surgery and good luck with the recovery period. God bless

  2. My prayers are with your husband as he receives this wonderful gift! I will also pray for the surgeon and staff as they perform the surgery and take care of your man. I hope the recovery goes smoothly and he is up and pain free soon!

    Hugs to you and the family too, I know it must be stressful worrying about someone you love and seeing them in so much pain.

  3. I posted a comment but it disappeared. You are your husband are both in my prayers. Take care of yourself so that you can better care for your loved ones through all this. When all is well and you come back to DisWld I would love to surprise your kids with some special magic. We'll talk soon.