Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Resolution

It’s a new year, and most of us feel compelled to make New Year’s resolutions.


Every year I say I’m not going to do it…except…

I always resolve to get healthy. Every year. Sometimes I actually succeed. The frustration comes when factors beyond my control interfere.

This last year is a case in point. Until May, I was walking between one mile and two-and-a-half miles every day. I had gained weight over the previous couple of years, and I determined to get the excess off—just as soon as my entertaining was done.

On May 1, I expected a group of friends from grammar school for a mini-reunion at our house. That morning as I walked downstairs, I felt a sharp pain in my left knee. A number of years ago, I damaged the same knee, so I thought I had further aggravated the old injury.

During the next couple of weeks, the pain increased. I tried doing the exercises I had done to help the earlier injury, but the pain grew worse. I finally went to the doctor. She took x-rays and sent me for physical therapy.

When it didn’t help, she ordered an MRI. It showed two tears in the meniscus—the old one and a new one—plus a cyst and arthritis.

On August 6, I underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee to repair the meniscus (cut out the ragged parts), remove the cyst, and clean out some of the arthritis.

Since I had never experienced surgery before, and since several friends who’d had the same surgery told me it was an easy operation, I assumed I’d come out of it pain-free and able to resume my normal activities.

Not so. The pain remained.

I continued to do my exercises and follow orders, but the situation didn’t improve.

In September, we celebrated our 50th anniversary, and took a trip to Hawaii in October. I continued with exercise and ice throughout the trip. By the end of our time in Hawaii, I finally started to feel improvement.

However, when we got back, the pain came and went, sometimes so acute I was in tears.
The doctor ordered a new MRI, and I made an appointment with the surgeon.

Both said the MRI looked normal for the surgery I’d had. The surgeon said it had been much more extensive than ‘normal’ (whatever that is). He gave me a cortisone shot in the knee, told me to stay off the leg (yeah, right) and come back in a month.

The shot lasted about two days, and then the pain returned.

It’s been intermittent ever since. Some days are better than others.

I’ve decided to continue following orders to get this knee back to normal functioning, whatever it takes short of replacement.

So my resolution, once again, is to get healthier this year. I plan to eat better, get exercise (when the knee allows), get rest, and generally take better care of my health.

I may be old (and I am), but I need to be in the best shape I can manage for the time I have left.

Did you make a resolution? What was it?


  1. I rarely make New Year's Resolutions, but this year I have. I am a clutterer. My husband is not. We've been married 52 years. I try to be aware of ignoring our excess stuff. This year I have promised myself to unclutter our world. Bill hasn't noticed, but my siege is begun. Cabinets in the garage and utility room came first on the first. I tossed the old shower head we replaced last year, the collection of solar lights that no longer work, along with the decorative reindeer that have grazed without motion their last holiday in our yard. I trashed two of the three styro ice chests and boxed random garden and hand tools. How did we ever accumulate five little trowels? And used paint rollers and brushes? And stiff work gloves. I've turned up four matched pairs of good ones. And screw drivers? Good grief! I am donating the good stuff and dumping the other. I'm turning up storage space galore. This has to be the best darn resolution I've ever come up with. Enough bragging. I've got to get back to it. It's also good exercise for arthritic knees and shoulders. I hope a year is long enough to get it all done, at least the garage and utility room. The cedar closet is next. Ohhh, I can hardly wait to see the treasures we no longer need in there.

    1. Good for you! We've been in this house for 28-1/2 years. I am filled with dread every time I consider the possibility we might have to move. We're both pack rats! Occasionally I get the urge to get rid of things, but it doesn't last very long.

    2. A real estate friend once said, "A good fire is worth four moves." We've been in this house for 40 years. Our accumulations include four children in and out. "Hang onto that dinette, Dad, I'll be out of the dorm and might need it for an apartment next year." "Mom, that old maple set doesn't go with anything in my new place." What? And it works so well in our garage? Not. So now we're paying monthly for its home in a storage unit, in case a granddaughter needs it when she moves out of the dorm next fall. Good grief!

    3. Our daughter moved to Texas eleven years ago. She took all her large items with her. However, she visits a couple of times a year, so she leaves two drawers of clothing, plus a few others in the closet. We don't mine. We love having her, and it makes it more convenient for her.

    4. BTW, we had a fire in our house in 1980. (Kids tossing lit matches into the palm tree.) We only lost the items we had stored in the attic, but I wouldn't wish the experience on anyone.

  2. Lorna, I know how your pain feels. Five years ago, I had a total knee replacement. About a year ago, I had a torn meniscus in my other knee and had arthroscopic surgery. Luckily, it has worked for me, but there's still a pending replacement in my future. As for resolutions for the new year, I have stopped making them. However, 2015 was such a nightmare, in so many different ways, that I did make a resolution for 2016. My resolution is that it is going to be a really good year.

    1. I made that one as well! Seems as though 2015 was a less-than-stellar year for most everyone I know.