Bella Bryce's latest blog posts
It seems like just two posts ago I shared the risk I took in consenting to a total knee replacement, and it was. Full circle on my life-changing operation has come and today I went back to the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank for my one year check-up. I'm their youngest ever knee replacement recipient and it wasn't exactly elective. From January 2007 until October 2018 my life was livable but limited to the point that I could not do the kinds of things other people (never mind people my own age) could do. There was no range of motion for me to ride a bicycle, to kneel, sit cross-legged, I certainly couldn't use machines at the gym. It meant I couldn't manage my weight easily because we all know exercise is the other half of having a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It was either control my food intake and do some sit ups, or enjoy my food and get fat. I hated my body and I hated myself, and I battled this privately for a very, very long time. I had no one I felt safe to confide in and so it seemed my only option to keep pressure off an already damaged and severely arthritic knee was a combination of not eating and overeating following by purging. I hid my issues with food for over ten years. How successful I was at that I will never know. Between skipping meals, cutting certain foods, to full blown bulimia up to seven times a day, I refused to be both fat (and ugly) and limited in my range of motion. On the outside I rarely even limped, so I looked totally 'normal' but walking even half a mile on a lovely day left me swollen and in pain as my bones scraped against each other. I never took medication and learned to ignore the pain so I could cope as long as possible given my age.
I said in one of my other posts that I would get full range of motion and I'm currently now only five degrees away from that.
Expected prognosis: 75 degrees range of motion and less pain.
Current outcome: 137 ROM and zero pain.
My expected outcome: 142 and kneeling
I realise kneeling and full range are deemed impossible, but so was everything else to this point. I currently go to the gym all but one day every week and have done since cleared by physio last year. I can do running during circuit class and can comfortably kneel on a pillow. Limitations just don't work for me and so I look forward to seeing what else bionic transformer knee is up for next. But there's more!
After a year of putting my bionic knee to the test at the gym almost every single day I wasn't sure what today's scan would show. The best bit? My X-rays have been deemed 'perfect'.
Today is a good day to be alive.
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