She’s got her MRI and her national health security card. Ok, it’s time to go.
Yesterday afternoon, I drove my mom to Marseille, to see a surgeon. Her knee is painful and she’s been limping for a few years now.
During the consultation, comes a point where the surgeon talks about surgery.
“Where do you operate?”, I ask him. He answers and my mom, very proud, tells him “because my son also had a knee surgery”.
“Did it go well?”, the surgeon asks me.
By reflexe, I was going to say yes but suddenly I understood the question and told him “No, I’ve had 2 other knee surgeries in the following 2 years and I’ve suffered of post-surgical pains for the next 6 years”.
Later in the car, my mom says “I didn’t know you’ve suffered for so long”.
“Yes I did…these were really dark years”.
I remember one night where Marie (an ex-girlfriend) wanted to go out with me and dance. I was in love with her and I am still in love with dancing but I had to say no because I knew my knee would be painful. I felt so guilty. But had I not felt this way, these years wouldn’t have been that dark, right?
The worse is that during those years, I couldn’t bend my knee at more than 100 degrees. If you don’t know what 100 degrees looks like, go outside and look for someone with crutches or someone limping like crazy. He or she might be in the same category. I was unable to grab my right ankle while standing and stretch my right quad. There were probably a 20cm gap between my right buttock and my right heel. But had the gap not been that large, these years wouldn’t have been that dark, right?
Then, everything started to change, millimetre by millimetre, without me even realizing it, when I went to live in Japan to work as an English teacher. It was in 2012, I think. 10 years after my last surgery. Can you imagine? To live 10 years with a knee that can only bend halfway??!!
Over there I was teaching young kids and the most useful sitting position, that other teachers were taking, was to sit on our heels, Japanese style.
But for me, you know it, it was impossible.
So I tried and my left buttock could touch my left heel. But my right buttock was stuck, 20cm away from my right heel. Then what I would do instead is just sit on the floor and cross my legs. Then, going out with some friends to a restaurant and heading towards a lower dining table, I would try again, feel stuck again, and cross my legs again. It was the same story everyday. Me, my knee and I. Then one day, I went to work, wearing jeans and realized halfway on my way there that my pants had a huge hole right between my legs!! Impossible for me to sit down cross-legged and traumatize the kids for ever! 😉
I think that’s how I tried a little harder and longer that day.
Today, I feel amazingly grateful when I wake up, get myself ready for a yoga session, get into child’s pose, feel the scar tissues melt in my right knee and suddenly can feel my right buttock touching my right heel. I might exaggerate but I’d say that if I were blind and if my sight was magically given back to me, I would feel the same way. My last surgery was in 2003 an it took me more than 10 years to be able to sit on my heels again. Today, when I massage my legs and my oily hands get to my right knee, I tell him “Actually, YOU are the hero. It’s actually you who is invincible”.
I am driving and my mom’s listening to this story and says “And despite all of this, you manage to do everything you’re doing?! It’s a miracle”.
My mother’s going to have surgery in a bit more than a month. Her dark years will also be over soon.
I am sending you all my strength and courage, if you happen to be in the midst of hard times. It’ll be over very soon. All you need to be is patient. Be patient. I read recently that “being patient is not just waiting. Being patient is waiting and keeping a positive attitude at the same time”. Be patient. You too deserve your miracle.