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The Knee and Me

Millions of people have had total knee replacements. I didn't know I'd be next

It was a beautiful summer day in London, picture perfect. My daughters, Erin and Meghan, and I were on the last stop of a ten-day, seven-country European cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. They were giddy with the prospect of exploring the city on foot. They had already mastered the intricacies of the Tube, studied their guidebooks, and were prepared to go. I wasn't. For the previous two weeks I had managed to cope with my very painful right knee — thanks to a pre-trip cortisone shot and lots of pain pills. I had even broken down and bought a wooden cane in Edinburgh. It was beautifully carved, but that didn't help me come to terms with having to use it. But use it I did, out of sheer necessity. My knee, a knotty, arthritic mass of barnacled bone and misaligned cartilage, was getting worse by the day. "You two go on ahead," I told them. "I've seen London before, and I think I'd like to take a day to just sit in the park and read." What I didn't say was that I was heartsick at not being able to go with them and share in the joys of their explorations. But I knew there was no way I could keep up with them. … Back to Article

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