Since I've had a knee replacement that served me pretty well for two years and has since let me down, I've learned a few things the hard way.
I went to an ortho doc when the knee started hurting again; he seemed to think my artificial knee was basically sound. So there's that. He was willing to do this and that to find out why that knee hurts, but I'm unwilling to go down that road. It hurts as badly as my other knee, except that the real knee pops often (painfully) when I bend it; I am spared that particular pain with the replacement.
When I've talked with folks who have had a successful replacement who inquire about my own, and I answer them truthfully (hopefully without whining), I sometimes get this: "Well, I have never had a problem... but then, I did all the exercises just like they told me to."
Implying, of course, that I did not. But I did do the exercises, and, as I said before, for two years I was trouble-free. My cousin, Gerald, had surgery about the same time I did, and he hasn't had the best of luck either. He did the exercises so much, and for so long, that his wife thought he was overdoing it! He didn't even get two years pain-free.
You can ask any orthopedic surgeon and he will tell you that one person in ten has less-than-perfect results with replacement surgery. Just because yours went well, Pearl Pureheart, that doesn't mean it's my fault that my experience is less than perfect.
Here's the lesson: I have said the same things in the past about people who have had trouble with knee or hip replacements, although I don't think I said the words to their faces. But I would say to others, "He must not have done the exercises like he was supposed to."
Holier-than-thou? Know-it-all? Yeah, that would be me; what could I possibly know, when I hadn't even had the surgery? So now when I get that kind of remark I sort of cringe with guilt.
The same thing goes for people we hear of who have been diagnosed with cancer: "Oh well, he smoked, you know." "She does drink a lot of diet soda, that could be the problem." "Well, we all know how much junk food that family eats."
Do you really think it helps to place blame for cancer on the person who has it? Even if there is a grain of truth in your accusations, it's wrong. Whether you are talking directly to them, or are discussing them with someone else, it's wrong. Keep your thoughts to yourself.
It isn't a compassionate attitude.
I have always had a real problem with people who are constantly taking pain pills. I'm talking about those who, every time you see them, are tossing down ibuprofen or Tylenol, or even prescription meds, like it's candy They seem to be sick all the time!
And now, guess who seldom goes a day without taking some sort of pain relief, usually ibuprofen, but on really bad days, it's the stronger stuff. Yeah. Me.
Life's little lessons are never easy.