The Accident: The wait was over and the consequences to take the long way to the bank on a motorcycle twenty-nine years ago comes into play. The end result of that fateful decision was an accident with a month-and-a-half in the hospital and nine months on crutches. The knee was never the same and I recall the doctor mentioning that if the injury had been sustained ten years earlier, we would be talking about a prosthetic and not an extensive operation that might end with a permanent limp. Thank God for being born in 1966 and not in 1956.
Feb 15, 2017 was the day I went into an operating room with a right knee that had three screws and zero cartilage. I was later wheeled out with a titanium knee, a ten-inch incision and 30 staples to hold it all together. The next day, I was weight-bearing on it and walking (shuffling) across the room. After just three weeks, the knee has allowed me to hobble around a running track with the help of a cane, twice a day.
Decisions: Several weeks before the operation, Shelley and I had a heart-to-heart discussion. What should we do with the twelve weeks that I had been granted in the form of a short term disability? We both knew that daily exercise, proper nutrition and resting to recover, were the definite realities. Could we do this outside of the country safely and meet the goals of returning to work being strong and healthy? After weighing all the pros and cons, the answer was “yes”.
Bali / Lombok: It turns out that two people can fly halfway around the world for very little after researching flights on some of the cheap airline flight systems. We were amazed that two nights of accommodation in a modest hotel in Seattle equaled almost fifteen days with breakfast in a hotel in Ubud, Bali overlooking terraced rice paddies. Bali offered the opportunity for me to be in a warm climate and to swim in the ocean which would be a valuable opportunity for rehabilitation.
Eleven days in Ubud, then a move over to the island of Lombok to stay along the Senggigi beach area proved to be very healthy experiences. With many nearby temples and restaurants on every street corner, we were able to keep active and have many opportunities to rest wherever needed. The water was warm and calm, and some light swimming helped with the recovery from the operation. Later in the trip, we moved to Gili Air Island where I did some gentle snorkeling around some world class reefs just off the beach from where we were staying. We finished the trip in the surfing paradise of Uluwatu and Padang Padang where we enjoyed some gentle yoga and tried to avoid some unnecessary attention from the local monkeys.
Conclusions: This trip afforded us the time to just breathe, heal and come back to the realities of life stronger and with a fresh outlook. The surgeon rebuilt me. “I will be stronger, faster than before.” I feel like the six million dollar man (minus the six million dollars).