My post-op consultation was interesting...
"We have cleaned out your knees and trimmed the damaged areas" the young consultant told me "that should help with the locking and falling over, a little" I nodded and thanked him
"As you are aware" he continued looking at me with a grave expression "as you are aware we do not offer knee-replacement surgery until the patient reaches the age of 70. At least 70." I nodded, I was aware, "However you have almost no cartilage in your right knee and the left one is wearing out quite quickly. What have you been doing with yourself?"
I smiled. I spent my early years in a whirl of activity, I took my first steps before I was nine months old. My childhood was spent riding ponies and horses as often as I possibly could. I spent two decades playing squash at least twice a week and, for a few months, three times a day. And then I discovered skiing. These three passions are very hard on the knees, very hard if you throw yourself into them with as much enthusiasm as I did!
"So you have the knees of an 80 year old and for this reason, and because you must be in constant pain, we are offering you partial knee replacements now."
I thanked him and said that I would consider his offer even as I knew that spending 8 weeks off work to recover would be difficult for me to contemplate.
"Look" he said, reading my response in my eyes "as soon as you have had enough of the pain call us and book the surgery"
If I had known, fifty years ago that I would be in this state now would I have been more cautious? Would I have not have galloped across wind-swept moors on fast horses, would I have played squash less competitively, would I have skied more slowly and down less-steep mountains?
Of course not! I do not regret one single moment, I had a fantastic time wearing out my knees and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, if I could. I can cope with the pain but I'm 56 years old and I sincerely hope to ride and ski and maybe even play squash again before I die so I suppose I need (no pun intended) to bite the bullet and book the surgery.
And to prove that there is some mileage left in my knees this morning I walked the dog for an hour and loved every minute, despite the pain.