My time in this limbo

I’ve been feeling that I’m caught in some kind of limbo, the one of “limbo” definition c. from

an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place.

This current here of my now feels like a transitional place, affected partly by my trip to an orthopedist a couple of weeks ago.

I thought I was a candidate for arthroscopic surgery in my right knee. It pinches greatly sometimes, almost doubling me over in pain.

I thought that surely the doc would say a little arthroscopic surgery would clean it up, get rid of whatever is floating around in my knee causing pinching sometimes.

Instead, he told me that I am bone on bone in both knees – and that my left knee is actually worse. He said although I could have steroid shots or gel injections, any relief is only temporary.

The only permanent fix is knee replacement. Of both knees.

I did not expect to hear that!

He referred me to the knee replacement doc. I see that doc tomorrow.

So I’ve been in limbo for the past couple of weeks, waiting on this doctor’s appointment and some answers. And a plan.

But this is really just kind of an extended limbo, one that I’ve been in most of this year. A year of limbo focused on my physical body.

The year started with my concern about my heart, that perhaps it had sustained damage from the chemo six years ago.

A stress echocardiogram indicated that all is well.

Shortly after, I got a surprise diagnosis that I needed a hysterectomy. So I had that in March, along with several weeks of healing.

Finally, in late June, I started feeling I’d gotten my strength back. So why not get my painful knee checked out, especially since I’ve reached my health insurance out-of-pocket maximum for the year? A little arthroscopic surgery would have me fixed up and ready to enjoy the rest of the year, right?


It’s a little more complicated that that. It’s looking as if 2017 will be my year of taking care of this aging body. All year long!

A knee replacement means weeks and weeks of physical therapy. Bilateral knee replacement means weeks and weeks of physical therapy – only once instead of twice.

You see which way I’m leaning. Toward two for one.

Tomorrow should give me some answers.

Limbo will probably continue. This transitional limbo into a healthier, less-painful (eventually) life will last pretty much throughout 2017.

My mindfulness practice tells me to stay with the now, not to anticipate, not to plan too much.

The doc tomorrow will help me plan. A little.

But limbo, well, that’s for me to become comfortable with. To settle into. To quit trying to escape.

I know from looking back at my life that there are times of limbo. Sometimes even years of limbo. Perhaps as long as a decade or more.

When I’m in limbo, all I want is resolution.

But is there ever really total resolution in this earthly life?

I don’t think so.

I’m learning – slowly, very slowly  – to be more comfortable with the times of limbo. Of transition.

Those liminal times of betwixt and between.

That’s often where the wisdom is.

So I try to stay open to the wisdom of not-knowing. Of being neither here nor there.

Of being not quite elderly, but certainly not close at all to young and healthy.

58 is a liminal age, I think.

At least it is for me.

It’s a time of learning firsthand how this body wears out. And what that means for independence.

Aging means more de-pendence.


I want to think that I can handle it all – myself.

By myself.


More firsthand lessons are on the way as I am betwixt and between.

That limbo place.

Tomorrow will give some answers. But it will not push me out of limbo.

There will be more in-between time as I work my way through this next health challenge.

And, honestly, I don’t know if this will end it. Or if it will continue.

But it’s where I am now. In limbo.

Learning to rest in the liminal places of not-knowing.

And being okay with that.



Cloud and rhododendron on a mountaintop along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina



3 thoughts on “My time in this limbo

  1. I really loved this piece and thank you so much for witting it. There is so much “limbo” in this life…and such a recoiling (that I notice in myself and others) from that place of obvious not knowing. I recently listened to a great book on audible, which I loved so much that I had to purchase and read a hardcopy of… it’s “Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older” by Kathleen Dowling Singh. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I wish you peace and joy as you navigate this time of limbo and physical limitations. And I wish you health, vigor and healing. May you be happy; may you be healthy; may you be free from suffering.

  2. Pingback: Knee Replacement: How was I so unaware? | eddies and currents

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s