Those of you who know me know that I’ve had a bad knee for years. That’s the reason for my two-wheel scooter at the well shows. Well, I decided to have a complete knee replacement and retire my scooter.

I wasn’t an athlete, and my sports mostly were limited to hunting and water skiing. We pretty much determined that my knee problems started with my jumping off the drill rig and trucks, and being on the heavy side.

Several months ago, I scheduled the replacement of my right knee first, as it was the worse one. Both knees are in bad shape, but the right one defi-nitely is worse.

After many tests, the operation began by putting me out with general anesthesia. I knew and felt nothing until I came to. Afterwards, I was quite groggy for a time, but felt no pain in my knee unless I touched or tried to move the leg. I had 44 staples holding the incision together, and the inci-sion was about 11 inches long.

Two days later, they moved me from the hospital to the rehabilitation therapy center by an ambulance. Another empty ambulance followed right behind. I have no idea why! Perhaps they thought it might take two ambulances to haul Porky, or four people instead of just two.

Three days later, they had me up on my feet, using the new joint, but applying very little weight on it. That’s when my physical therapy actually began. Talk about pain – my knee never had hurt so bad! I was in physical therapy one and one half hours twice a day. I was wheeled into the ther-apy center where I did exercises, moving my knees and strengthening my arm and leg muscles.

The therapist knew my limits and urged me to those limits each day. I joked, pleaded, begged and almost cried at times, trying to talk the therapist out of some of these exercises, to no avail. My main therapist, Maria, just wouldn’t give in. I even tried telling Maria that I had lost count of the times she told me to do certain exercises, thinking I could quit that exercise – it didn’t work, she would just say, “Start over.” Each day, though, I could tell a distinct improvement from the previous day.

I didn’t think I needed the physical therapy in a therapy center; I thought I could do the same thing at home on my own. Who was I kidding? The exercises I did there I never would have done at home. If you have any joint replacement done, take the physical therapy in an approved rehabilita-tion therapy center. I promise you won’t regret it.

On the 19th day, I came home from the rehabilitation center, and was getting around the house, walking with a walker and climbing the 17 steps to our bedroom. On the 21st day after the surgery, I was walking on my own without any assistance. Each morning, I get up and I can tell the knee is much better. I am feeling great.

The limited hospital food also helped me lose some weight, and now that I’m home, (with Bess’ help) I’ll continue to lose weight. I do feel much better.

In six months to a year, I’m to have the left knee joint replaced – we’ll see!

I suggest to anyone that is having joint problems, get it checked out. You could be wasting some quality of life. I wasted seven years thinking my knee would get better – it didn’t. At 71 years old, I’m now looking forward to doing things – like dancing – that I never thought I would be able to do again.

Watch out for me at the well expositions – I’ll probably still be riding my two-wheeled scooter because, like my eyeglasses, it has become a part of me. Besides, it’s my trademark.

Now, if I could just get myself a hair transplant!