My knee has hurt so much this week that I have limped at times. Peggy asked if I ever think about going ahead and having it replaced. Her question threw me because I am so profoundly opposed to that particular surgery. If I become consistently miserable and utterly bereft of other options, I will go through with it, but I am disgusted by the surgery itself, by having an artificial joint replace the joint I was born with, and by the risk of infection or joint failure for the rest of my life. I would have to take antibiotics every time I had my teeth cleaned, and the next replacement would have less chance of working than this one, because there would be less bone to attach it to. I would also have to avoid heavy lifting. I have often wondered what doctors do when an artificial joint fails, and can’t be replaced. This week, I looked it up—they fuse the bones together.
I weighed 157 this morning. When I lifted weights, I looked buff at 182, so 157 is on the skinny side. Yet, I am fasting today, and I plan to fast at least one day a week, because fasting has been a health boon during those periods when I did it, and because, aside from fasting, I literally don’t know how else I might help myself in the short term.
I slept on my back last night because my shoulders hurt too much to sleep on my sides, but since my sleep apnea is worse on my back, I awakened at 4:00 with a headache, and never got back to sleep. My wrists never stop tingling, and my knees never stop hurting. Being in pain is like having a second job in that it tires a person. My primary care doctor suggested an exercise instructor, but I hurt in so many places that I am convinced I would aggravate the pain, and maybe hurt myself in other places in the process. Besides, I have little confidence in the experts right now.
My joints are in the shape they are because (a) I unknowingly did work that was tough on them, (b) I had a lousy knee surgeon, and (c) my yoga instructor was inexperienced. Count them. Experts caused or contributed to two of my three joint problems. My impression is that whether I get better or worse is entirely in my own hands, if indeed it is in anyone’s. I don’t actually know how much good I can do. I just know that I have never suffered any ill effects from fasting, whereas it has seemed to help me appreciably.
True, the hunger and low energy are no fun, but fasting also makes me mellow while I am doing it, and distracts me from things that I might otherwise worry about. It also feels good to succeed at something that is hard to do, but that is good for me when I do it. Then too there is the spiritual element. When I am fasting, I feel pure, and as soon as I put food in my mouth, I lose that purity, because food is, after all, either DEAD (as with preserved food) or it is DYING (as with fresh food). Even the best of us must live by killing, and this eliminates the possibility of innocence.
There are actions that are just, and there are actions that are necessary, and they are often in opposition. The fox kills the rabbit, not because the rabbit deserves to die, but because the fox wants to eat, and so it is with us. The difference is that we know what we do.