I’m waaaay behind with my social media family and I have lots of cool stuff to share. I promise to do that soon, but before doing so, I want to catch you up on Steve. Several months ago, I wrote about some injuries I procured during the first of three trips this year south of the equator. You may recall I fractured a rib and tore the cartilage in my left knee. First, the rib has healed 100%, but it takes a long time for ribs to heal, let me tell you! Only a couple of weeks ago I realized I can lay on my right side and not feel any sign of the injury.
The knee was a different story. It wasn’t going to heal by itself. So I found an orthopedic surgeon I liked and asked him to remove the small piece of cartilage that was dangling like a hangnail in the synovial fluid of my left knee. He agreed for a small fee and some additional financial help from my insurance company. He sedated me, then performed an arthroscopic procedure to remove the damaged tissue. It went really well. In a couple of days, the stitches had dissolved or fallen out or whatever stitches do when one day you look at them and they’re gone. My knee quickly felt better than it did the morning of my surgery and today I’m happy to report that it feels better than it has in a long time. I don’t have to think about it every time I take a step! Very cool. I just need to build back some strength, then that chapter will be well behind me.
During my recovery, I developed some bizarre symptoms that did not seem to be related to arthroscopic surgery. In the interest of maintaining a G rating, I won’t go into the details (you don’t want to me to do that anyway). Suffice it say that I quickly learned the symptoms could be caused by maladies ranging from short-term simple things to life-threatening ones. After a couple of visits to my doctor and some specialists, followed by various lab tests and scans, we quickly eliminated the simple things, which left me with…well, the bad stuff. When a doctor looks you in the eye and explains the worst-case scenario, it really gets your attention. That was about a week ago. Since then, the symptoms have abated and today I’m 99.99% sure they were caused by a side-effect of a medication I was on after the knee surgery. I have one more test next week to confirm that. Assuming it goes as I expect you won’t hear another thing about this.
I’ve led a charmed life when it comes to health. Before this episode, the most serious issue…besides age…that I’ve faced is, well, a partial tear in the cartilage in my knee. We all know people who deal with life-threatening illnesses. They are all shining examples of courage, positivity, and tenaciousness. But that is them. Now it’s about me, I thought as I sat on the exam table and the doctor calmly outlined the long-term possibilities. The blood left my brain, I couldn’t swallow, and I felt like I was going to get sick. Leaving his office, my head swirled with thoughts of how dramatically different my life might be in as little as four weeks. I wondered if I would be a shining example of courage and tenacity, or if I would be a lame-ass victim. Thankfully, the chances are almost zero that I’ll be tested like that.
Lots of reflection. Lots of thinking. So many pictures to share, places to visit, experiences to have, lives to touch. Time to get busy again with all those things. So this morning I headed to one of my favorite haunts for sunrise: the Foothills Parkway. With all the rain yesterday in East Tennessee, the chance of fog at Foothills was very high. As I arrived at my favorite overlook, the forecast did not disappoint. The fog was thick as pea soup. I was in a cloud. Ha! How appropriate I thought! I spent 45 minutes driving up and down the parkway seeking enough clarity for photogenic opportunities. Rats! None to be found anywhere along the old or the new sections. I decided the only thing to do was to wait. I’ve never met a fog that did not eventually yield to the sun and the fog this morning was no different. Sure enough, the fog in the valley gradually began to look like the clouds in the sky. I love it when they blend together and you can’t tell where the sky leaves off and the valley starts. The fog eventually cleared like it always does and I got this image sometime during the clearing.
Enjoy. Think. Reflect. Get busy.