Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Me & My Screw

If there was a lesson to be learned over and over again, mine would be to appreciate what you have when you have it.

Yesterday, I went in for a scheduled surgery to have a screw removed from my knee that previously held in a metal rod through my femur but now only acted as a nuisance. Due to the myriad of surgeries I have had over my thirty years, I knew that this one, although easy like pie, came with great consequences.

For the first time in my life, I was nervous about the surgery and it was extremely clear to me that it was because I felt like I had a lot on the line in terms of my swimming. As silly and nonsensical as it sounds, before yesterday I had never really felt like my interaction with surgery mattered much.

However minor the surgery, I have never been known to be the luckiest of gals, so I prepared by attempting to dream up several worst-case scenarios. Good thing.

I was in the operating room for well over an hour with the equal parts burly and lovely surgeon yanking away at the screw in my knee. Without any anesthesia, I could make out very obvious pulling and pressure sensations from my knee that echoed up my whole leg. I tried not to focus on it because it was quite uncomfortable.

Finally, after several minutes of silence from the nursing crowd around, the surgeon broke the lack of sound with a small, "I'm sorry." I was prepared for that.

The screw had become cold-welded to the rod and there was no way of getting it out. My only option is to go in and have a fairly significant surgery to file down the protruding part of the screw at a later date. No thank you.

I suppose that there is always a lesson to be learned in every adventure. Mine? Several.

I have learned, yet again, how much this whole swimming thing means to me. I have learned that there are far worse things than stuck knee screws. I have learned that my body is still quite resilient, no matter the trauma its endured in the past. I have learned that, even though I will be physically out of the pool for a week for no good reason, I still have plenty of mental work to do surrounding my swimming.

So after all has been said and done, I have a surgical incision keeping me from the water and a screw that I wanted out of my body and out of my life. C'est la vie.

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