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Point of View: Blessed in Great Neck

Wed, 12/29/2021 - 17:58

Hobbled and fearing the worst, I jumped at a chance to see my knee doctor in Great Neck on the Tuesday before Christmas, and when I heard, after X-rays were taken, that the titanium prosthetics were as intact as they ever were, and that I was good to go, it was, as I said to our dogsitter the next day, “like being blessed by the Pope.”

Actually, I do think of him in such a way. After he’d done my second one, in 2006, at the Peconic Medical Center in Riverhead, I asked the nurse to tell him I thought he was a genius. “I think he knows that,” she said.

“Well, then tell him thanks for the last third of my life,” I said.

If that sentiment wasn’t relayed 15 years ago, I made sure before parting that it was when I gave him a copy of “Essays From Eden,” one of whose columns concerns my first knee replacement, though I forget which one it was. “It was at Glen Covid Hospital . . . in 2002,” I said, thumbing through the book. “Glen COVE, rather. This pandemic is insidious — no more status quovid ante.”

Having assured me I could play on, and that mechanically I was sound, he said studies had proved that the happiest old folks were those who remained physically active and socially connected. Check and check.

When it came to the knees, Voltaren, ice, and heat were prescribed.

And as for the general creakiness that attended aging, he said his 98-year-old father had told him he was consoled, on waking up, to experience the familiar aches and pains. For, if it were not so, he told his son, “I’d be on the other side.”

“And stay away from surgeons,” my doctor said, in bidding farewell.

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