Saturday, October 30, 2010

The future is uncertain

The future is uncertain.

At this time two months ago, I was walking out of the jungle after a mountain hiking trip in Gunung Yong Yap, Cameron Highland. I still remembered my legs were tired and my problematic right knee was swelling up inside as we made our way out of Pos Brooke orang asli settlement. The pain was not new, I have a history of “running patella” (running kneecap) or patella femoral syndrome which I always felt disappointed since it causes me pain most of the time when I am hiking or running.

Today, I no longer have the running patella on my right knee. I say again, the future is uncertain.

Reality is, …that the night that I was eager to get home and get a good rest… I ended up in Ipoh General Hospital emergency room with bruises and lacerations all over my body and face, burst blood vessels in my right eye, fractured my tailbone, broken right arm , broken right leg, and worst of all shattered my right knee.

Looking at the bright side of things, I still have my life, a fully functional brain and eye, and no memory lost (though I could not remember the car crash). But the future is uncertain.

I can now no longer enjoy being the outdoor girl that I am so in love with…because the orthopedic surgeon could only save five “Lego” pieces out of the eight from my patella. Steel plates, screws and pins are inserted into my arm and leg which will help me function again but the wires looping my patella will not help me regain a 100% function of the knee.

Accepting this fact is not easy. How am I going to do it? What choice do I have?

Patella replacement? Patella removal? Total knee replacement? The more I research do about getting my knee back leads me to more disappointment. Any “spare part” replacement can only last for approximately 15 years until I need to go through the whole operation and rehabilitation process again. Plus a total knee replacement can only give a certain bending range, up to 120 degree if I am right.

“Your knee now is not fit for a patella replacement and you are too young for a total knee replacement. You have to avoid all your hiking and climbing and running if you want to make your knee last. Hopefully it will not be me who will be doing your knee replacement because even with minimal activity your knee will need to be replaced sooner or later due to the current broken patella pieces” I remember those words like it was told to me yesterday.

Hiking, climbing, running on trail, completing marathons and ultra marathons, adventure races, yoga, DANCING! How can I just drop all this?

“Well you can still hike and run, go ahead. But I will tell you that the pain will stop you. And even if you can bare the pain, remember that the more you use your knee, the sooner you need them replaced”


The future is uncertain. I just hope there will be medical miracle which will help fell a little happier.

I physical and mentally feel pain, miserable and depressed. Indulging in self pity is just bad for me but at this moment and many moments to come, the melancholy will stay with me.

Email me at eatfirstthinklater[at]gmail[dot]com or drop me a message here.

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