The era of the knee, that is. On Wednesday I saw my knee surgeon for the last time. He examined my knee, gave me my third injection of "chicken goo" (as my friend calls it) directly into the joint, said he was very pleased with my progress and told me that I didn't need to see him anymore.
So there you have it. The end of a relationship that started last July when I had my first appointment with Dr. CC Kong, from Asia Medical Specialists Group in Hong Kong. That day I had arrived at the SOS International Clinic in Beijing (he flies in twice a month) with MRI's in hand, which he looked at and then promptly declared that my knees were a mess. Fortunately he didn't leave it at that, but was able to suggest some surgical procedures short of total knee replacement that he felt would significantly reduce the wear and tear on my right knee and extend the life of the joint significantly.
After consulting with other doctors and physical therapists I decided to go ahead with it, so flew down to Hong Kong to let this man I'd met just once slice open my knee, move my kneecap, and insert three screws to keep it in place. Kind of crazy if you think about it for too long.
Three months of intense physical therapy, hard work on my part at home, and now injections of chicken goo into the joint are all in the rear-view mirror, and now I'm finally beginning to experience the benefits of the surgery. No, that doesn't yet include running or squatting or climbing mountains, but it does man pain-free walking, standing up from a sitting position, and going up and down stairs. The era isn't totally over, but now I'm completely on my own for continued improvement.
As I was leaving, his nurse gave me a big hug. I thanked Dr. Kong for everything and told him I'd only call him if I had a screw loose.