Today my Dad had a successful knee replacement surgery, from which he is now recovering. As you may or may not know, my Dad was a college football player. Combine that with some weight issues and an unfortunate incident in the surf of Hawaii and you get two destroyed knee and a painful shuffling gate that belongs to someone much older (both in body and spirit).
Complicating the knee issues were issues of atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) which requires the need for blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke and lingering issues from major intestinal surgery 17 years ago. But my Dad is a trooper, a good sport, and maybe the best man I know. He didn’t let the pain make him bitter or angry, and even those moments of painful aggravation were only fleeting. Those bum knees have slowed him but he still gets around, from the west coast and Disney world this year, to Spain with Beth, Mom and I a few years ago. Just two weeks ago he came up to Duluth for my wedding, and while I know his knees were hurting, he did manage to boogie down and dance with my Mom to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”
, their wedding song. I am sitting at my desk rejoicing in the news that his surgery went well and his new knee will provide him much greater mobility. For now he is in the recovery room. He still has a bunch of hurdles to go, specifically rehab on this knee, then another replacement of the other knee (in June if things go well), then more rehab, but I am looking forward to the day when he can walk up a set of steps with cringing, can walk on the beach, pick out weeds in the garden, and maybe even chase after the coming grandkids. I am so happy that my Dad was here to celebrate my wedding and will be around the hold his first and second grandchildren in a few months. His dad didn’t make it to those milestone days, coming up a few years short, succumbing to heart issues that took so many of his generation. About a year ago, my Dad was lamenting to one of my brothers that he was going to be 70 in a year and he still wasn’t a grandfather. Well this year that problem has been solved, with both Sara and I, and Brian and Julie, expecting babies 10 weeks apart. It is truly a cause for celebration and I’m sure a large impetus to getting mobile again. I could ask for no greater role model in how to be a father.
Part of the problem of moving away from your home town is that when things come up, you are not there. And while sometimes you can make it, sometimes it is just not feasible to travel 1600 miles round trip to be there. So you rely on phone relays and Skype and all the other means of remote social connection to keep up with the news and lend your support and love from a distance. The other thing today reminds me is that I need to get back to my life style changes that I documented in GOAL 298. I have fallen off the wagon, but I am still chasing after it hoping to catch it soon. I did make progress. This year was the first time in maybe 10 years that I started off the year weighing less than I began (a net loss of 15 pounds). I didn’t make all 365 miles, but I made 325 miles and walked a 5K and a 10K . Many of my Dad’s problems were exacerbated by weight, and it wasn’t until the last few years were he actually lost enough weight to be a good candidate for knee replacement. So now here I am, a new husband, on the brink of fatherhood, it is time to look to making the future better, both for me and my family. So to celebrate my Dad’s successful surgery and the road to increased mobility, I am going to restart my GOAL 298. I’m sure there will be updates to come, but right now I’m just happy for my Dad.