Yesterday I had my final pre-op sessions at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven before my knee replacement. I did not know the exact date planned, just that it will be sometime in August. Then when my orthopaedic surgeon Remco van Wensen said, ‘oh you are on the list for the 8thAugust’, I just knew instantly that everything has come together at the right time.

I will explain.  As you know from previous blogs to perform this operation meant that they had to remove a surgical pin from my left lower leg, which had been there for 16 years (note this number). It has been a really long haul on the road to recovery, but I can now walk quite easily with one crutch at home, two outdoors and think it is time to put away the wheelchair.

Before I go on, I just want to make a comment about ‘being in a wheelchair’. It doesn’t matter if you have to use a wheelchair temporarily or permanently, but one thing that I have really noticed is the way people talk (down) to you. Permanent users, you have my greatest sympathy. Just because you are in a wheelchair, for some form of disability, be in long or short term, does NOT mean that you are suddenly ‘brain dead’.

It is really awful how condescending people can be on the one hand and on the other side (and this is positive) how helpful a lot of people can be.

It is food for thought for everyone I think, to remember that being in a wheelchair means that you are still a person, just a bit lower down than average sized people.

So to continue with my story about numerology: My last operation was on 10thApril 2019) the numbers are then 1, 4 and 3 (you just reduce down to a single digit). Add these numbers 1, 4 and 3 and it equals 8!) My next is planned for 8thAugust 2019. So this reduces down to 8, 8 and 3. Remember that I said earlier ‘remember this number 16’ well 16 can be also seen not only as a 7 but a double 8.

There are a lot of eight’s in this scenario don’t you agree. 8 is of course, the symbol of infinity, the lemniscate, which often appears in symbology, or geometry, at lot. And has done for many centuries. You can see it as an endless flow going from right to left and back again. An endless figure to which there is no beginning and no end, it just flows on all the time.

It just so happens that I have a tattoo on my lower left arm depicting a double infinite! And so the story goes on:

So I think if they tell me that the time (and I really hope that this will be the case) is 8.00 am – meaning that I am first on the list – I think this circle or movement is absolutely perfect to ensure that all goes completely according to plan and in exactly the right way. Then I will have three 8’s in a row!! Fingers crossed.

I would not be truthful if I did not say that I am not really looking forward to the whole ordeal, but I know that afterwards, when the initial pain and soreness has worn off, that I will be able to walk normally again, pain free. And get back to normal.

I actually remarked to someone earlier this week, that I have more or less forgotten what it is like just to stand up and walk somewhere without having to reach for aids (like a wheelchair or crutches). Without having to think several minutes in advance, knowing that it will take you time to get there, that you need to visit the bathroom: (in other words 2theloo). Noticed that sign a lot yesterday in the car on the way to and from the hospital. A lot of people here in The Netherlands are complaining that the Dutch language is suddenly being taken over by English. It is true, there are so many sayings thrown into sentences these days doing exactly that, but it is trendy and catchy they say!

So today in exactly 4 weeks time, it will be all systems go. Had a much more satisfying discussion with the pre-op screening than last time, thanks to the letter written by my cardiologist (Lukas Dekker) and the intervention of the anaesthesist (Barbara Versyck) who I had last time around. This time it is clear and printed in large ‘neon’ letters on my file. Epidural with deep sedation because no, I don’t want to hear all the DIY noise going on in the Operating Theatre as the new part is fitted. Last time around I did and believe me it is very traumatic, especially if you just happen to glance across and see the equipment they use!!

So starting today with a 4 week build up of muscles. I have set myself a little project to walk outside (out of my garden) and build up the distance. It will help a lot if my muscles are in shape beforehand and it seems absolutely right to use 4 weeks (and 4 is half of the 8) so ‘half the work’ to do a little fitness project.

Once the operation is done, and believe me, they get you up and out of bed same day, standing on your new bright and shiny knee joint and walking a few steps (it always sounds scary beforehand) and if I don’t go fainting every 5 minutes, then you are on the move again and the joint is working properly. Apart from general pain from the fact that they have been working on your knee, removing bits and pieces and adding new ones, the painful joint is no longer there and a new one has been fitted. 

It does take time to settle in and of course there are loads of stitches, which stay in for 2 weeks (usually staples and by the way I have found a way to deal with the painful removal of same). I found a tube of cream available online, which is Lidocaine and it numbs (or makes the skin pain free) before removing, which is so much more bearable. Staples are a horrible way of sealing of an incision, but they are strong. At least that is the theory. But last time around when they were removed by my local GP, he wondered why he had never thought of such a simple solution. One tip, apply with gloves otherwise you will not be able to feel your fingers for a couple of hours. 

So here we go then, building up to the 8thAugust, which also just happens to be the date when the so-called ‘Lions Gate Portal’ is open in astrology. Being a Leo (and a double one at that with also Leo ascending), let’s roar then and get the job done. The energy will be absolutely perfect so I let go and trust that everything will be fine.

Images: Ask Secrets Net and Google Images

(apologies for the squeamish people who may read with the knee diagram)

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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