During the fall and through the winter I played a lot of tennis. I was playing about four or five times a week. I loved playing and I loved being with other people while playing tennis. I loved everything about the sport until mid-January. After the third set on a beautiful, mild winter morning I limped off the court and felt as if my leg were on fire. As soon as I got home I took some Aleve and iced it. By the next morning I couldn’t walk and had to cancel a match.
I wasn’t certain what had happened because I hadn’t fallen and I hadn’t twisted or torn my knee in any way. In all of my wisdom I decided to ice my knee and give it some rest. I cancelled my matches and settled in for some big time quilting. Quilting should not hurt my knee. However, standing at the ironing board did. So did standing by the stove or over the sink. Nearly everything I did was painful. Over the next few weeks I rested my knee and quilted. It got somewhat better but some days I could barely walk.
My friends urged me to go to the doctor to get X-rays and the dreaded MRI but I kept saying that I was letting it heal naturally. Well, naturally got pretty old because after several weeks I still couldn’t do much more than a slow walk. The oldest teen and I decided to go to the gym to strengthen it. We signed up for a Challenge at the Y. We were to complete fifteen workouts in one month. I decided that I could always walk slowly around the track with all of the oldies who were really hurt. Sniff. Sniff.
Along the way, I quit icing and decided that the Aleve was not good for my stomach. I stretched and walked and did all of the same knee exercises that were given to hubby after his knee surgery. I sat and sewed and made several quilts but I was unhappy because I could not move about as I was accustomed. Mentally, I thought through my age and all of the things I like to do and started to feel sorry for myself. Poor me. My old knee is hurt and not getting a whole lot better.
My kids and friends were insisting that I see a Doctor. Finally, I admitted to one of my friends that I was scared. I didn’t want to find out that I had torn something or that I might need surgery. I didn’t want to face some diagnosis of never playing tennis again or walking at a pace slightly faster than a large snail. I had had an MRI once before and I did not really intend to have another in this life time and I was convinced that I would need one. So, I quilted, and thought, and hurt.
And felt sorry for myself.
Finally, I got up my courage and visited the Doctor who had done the surgery on my husband’s knee. He was very kind and took X-rays and moved my knee around a bit. I waited for him to suggest an MRI or extensive knee surgery. He pulled up the images and said, “Well, all looks good.”
I was a little stunned. “Good? Are you sure?”
He smiled and used his pen to show me all the things on the X-ray that were good.
I had been so afraid for so long and was a bit surprised. “Nothing is broken or disconnected? Torn or shredded?”
He laughed and said that I had a major case of inflammation and should ice my knee and take an anti-inflammatory medicine. He prescribed one and marched out the door.
Good Grief! For three months I had limped around in pain because I let my fear of an MRI or a bad diagnosis rule my life. I felt so silly. I had not trusted my instincts. Instead, I let things build up in my mind. I knew what to do but had quit doing them when I didn’t get fast results. I thought back to my prayer journal and all of the times I asked the Lord to heal my knee or help my knee get better. And He was probably thinking, “Good grief silly woman. Go to the Doctor! You are not hurt that bad.”
And so, once again, I have promised myself that I will not let my silly fears keep me from living my life to the fullest, from trying difficult quilt patterns, from going on trips with teenagers, from admitting I am wrong, or from giving grace when I know in my heart it is the right thing to do.
I am going to thumb my nose at fear and I am going to ice my knee and take my new yellow pill and get back on the tennis court. I am going to have fun and laugh really loud and listen to my friends when they tell me to go to the Doctor!