A while ago I posted a dilemma - my knees were rebelling, and I had to decide if I should nurse them at home this winter, or risk being stuck in a jungle if they went on strike.
I took the sensible course. (What? Sensible! Not willingly, I must add. Nagged by sensible daughters who would have to sort me out if the worse happened. I take their point - they have jobs, families, cannot drop everything to fly across the world to rescue me from something I could have predicted in the first place.)
So I have had x-rays and seen the bone-person. I won't go into him looking young - at least I didn't ask him if he's started shaving yet. More importantly - he listened. And he didn't even flinch when I mentioned tottering around unlikely places with a rucksack.
He told me I have arthritis (which I knew) and that both knees are probably beyond tinkering with. 'We could give you arthroscopies, but in your case there is a chance it doesn't work and could even make things considerably worse,' he said.
'I'm not ready to give up my lifestyle,' I said.
'If course you're not.'
(Hurrah!! He's not assuming I'll retreat into a corner with my cocoa!)
'So,' he went on, 'I'll give you steroid injections to help the pain for now. (Ow!) We'll sort some physio to keep the muscles in good trim around the knees - which should keep you going for a while. Eventually we'll give you new knees - starting on the left.'
'So can I go to Madagascar this winter?' I explained about carrying a rucksack, and he asked reasonable questions about weight and distance.
And then he said, 'You go. You'll have less pain in the warmth anyway. But you might need to pass on ten mile hikes - sit on a beach with a book instead; and, if you can, get other people to carry heavy things for you. Then we'll see how you are in the spring and operate if you are still in pain.' (The subtext - I can't make them any worse. So I might just as well take them travelling as sit at home feeling sorry for myself. And then he'll sort me out so I can carry on travelling year after year!)
So - Madagascar this winter, I thought. Raced off to buy the Lonely Planet.
Except that isn't going to be as straightforward as I'd thought - so I'll let you into my tortuous thinking about where to go in my next post.
But the main news is - me and my knees will be off again this winter! Yippee!