I was 43 the year I had both my knees totally replaced. When I substitute teach elementary school kids, I tell them if they are good and quiet, I’ll show them the cool sounds my knees make.
The back of my kneecap is lined in plastic. My joints are titanium. So if I relax the muscles in my leg and rest it out straight, I can tap my knee cap and the plastic will click on the metal and make a cool sound. The kids can even try tapping on it to make the sound.
They think it’s pretty cool.
Maybe not quite as cool as the substitute who has a fake eyeball that she takes out of her eye socket and shows the kids.
But hey, I can’t do everything!
The stories of my knees and how the replacements came to be are for another day.
This story today is about my Transformer knee pads. Don’t they look like something that should belong on a Transformer? (I need to name them something clever.)
I ordered them on Amazon because a friend who had his knees replaced around the same time I did said they helped him be able to kneel and do his work.
See, here’s the deal with knee replacements. See those cool scars down the center of my knees? The scar tissues of the skin, muscles, tissues, and tendons grow and will keep growing under my skin. People with knee replacements don’t generally kneel ever again because you don’t have the range of motion or muscle tone you used to have after surgery and because it HURTS!
All that scar tissue feels like kneeling on tiny pebbles.
Lots and lots of sharp tiny pebbles.
When I grew up we were taught the only way to really mop a floor was on our hands and knees. And although it’s harder work than mopping standing, it really does get things a whole lot cleaner!
So, since my surgery, I haven’t hand mopped much. I had so much pain from my surgeries that I fear pain still. (Is pain-a-phobia a thing?)
I try to mop with a couple different mops I have collected through the years. But as I looked at the floor last night, I knew it was just time. I had given 3 of my boys haircuts and I needed to pull out those knee pads I had been hiding in my coat closet and try them out.
I strapped them on.
I filled my 50 gallon bucket half full of very warm soapy water and rags.
Then I took a deep breath and carefully knelt down.
Okay, well, it was better than kneeling on pebbles on a hardwood floor. But the foam pads didn’t cushion the pebbles much. It still hurt.
Remember my fear of pain (pain-a-phobia)?
However, I was down and the work needed to be done so I began to mop. By the time I got my kitchen area done, I was hurting. I tackled half my dining room and entryway. I got up and emptied the extremely dirty mop water and filled up the bucket. I tried turning on an audio book to distract me from the pain.
No use. I just had to keep pushing my way through it.
It took me a good solid 30 minutes of mopping.
My eyes were leaking tears by the end. My knees felt bruised and beaten up. It is a different type of hurt than before they were replaced hurt. But they still hurt.
I tried to talk to my husband about it but didn’t want to sound like a wimp. He saw me crying and allowed me to process my emotion. (Bless his heart)
I finished my work and sat in my bed. I decided to start journaling.
In my gratitude journal I wrote how grateful I was that I could mop. The pain was a surface bruising pain, not a deep burning pain. I had a really clean floor. I had working legs. I have enough range of motion to kneel. I can go up and down stairs pretty easily. I can walk quickly. I can make it through Costco without a lot of pain. I can sleep. SO MANY BLESSINGS! I can do so much!
I have learned some hard lessons though.
- If only I had been more careful with my body when I was younger.
- If only I had been lighter and weighed a lot less earlier on.
- If only I had learned earlier how to nourish myself with what I really needed.
- If only I had learned that self love is not a destination but a journey.
- If only I knew how to process my emotions.
- If only I believed being imperfect is the perfect way to be.
- If only…
I feel strongly that God has led me down this path though because I can teach others the lessons that have been painful for me to learn.
- Good health is way more valuable than nearly any other commodity we have available to us. Without good health nothing else matters.
- Take care of your body. Don’t wait until it’s broken to decide your time for health is now.
- Health problems are not to be taken lightly.
- Learn to love yourself for who you are today and not who you hope to become.
- Fail and rise again and fail and rise again. Do this over and over and over again.
- Learn to feel your emotions and how to process them in a healthy way.
- The best way to show love to those around you is to show them how to love themselves. This is only done through showing them how to do it.
- Learn how to be imperfect and love yourself at the same time.
We all have our pebbles to kneel on, obstacles that can’t be avoided, life experiences that leave us bruised and swollen. We all have lessons that have to be learned.
Put on your own Transformer knee pads and push forward. Allow yourself to feel the pain. Clean up the crap that needs to be cleaned up in your life. Do the work that only you can do.
Is it hard? Absolutely.
Does it hurt? Without a doubt.
Is looking at your clean (for a moment) mopped floor worth it?
Darn right it is!
Seize the day my friends! Reach to be a little better than you were yesterday.
You can do it! And if you need help, I’ll be right here!