this isn't particularly related to nerdy things, but I didn't know where else to go.
I'm 14, I'm a dancer, I love dancing with all my heart, and I have a disease in my knees that will likely force me to retire before I'm twenty.
I can't do that!
The only option i have is to have a knee replacement. I've done a lot of research on this, and it seems like the knee replacement would restrict what i do even more.
Is the internet lying, or is that true?
If you know anything about knee replacements or if you have some words of wisdom, please share them!
I'm completely lost...
I don't have any facts to share. You've probably already researched a lot. I would say the internet is certainly a fantastic tool but a poor substitute for an orthopedic surgeon. Who in tern is a poor substitute for 3 orthopedic surgeons. Point is get professional advice, get it from more than one doctor. None are omnipotent and they are certainly not created anything like equal. Get lots of opinions from the very best doctors you (and your parents) can find. There may several other options to replacement. Also and this is very important, make them explain it in words you can understand. There are English 2-3 syllable synonyms for each and every one of their beloved Latin polysyllabics.
On replacement I wonder if you mean a whole joint replacement. That would be the worst. If it were like ligament replacements those actually usually end up stronger than the original. So make sure you are crystal clear on exactly what is going on and why. I have heard that actual joint replacements don't last a lifetime, but you've probably researched all that, and it is probably getting better just about every day.
As to "restrict what you can do" I would be guardedly optimistic here. Once again you don't say exactly what's going on, of course I probably wouldn't fully understand it anyway. But I do know that joint replacement is usually something that very old people have to go through. It's not the normal 14 yo thing. This is critically important. It would probably be a major mistake to extrapolate your outcome as a 14 year old athlete from the average results on a 70 yo with advanced osteoporosis. The VERY important point here is that exhaustion, sprains, strains and overall significant pain are the realities of a dancer's life. So maybe after whatever treatment you need walking will be excruciating. So what? You're used to excruciating. Most physical therapies fail not because there's no way to achieve normalcy but rather because it hurts like hell.
Of course you realize that very few dancers actually perform into middle age. It is very much a very young person's world. Obviously you know all this, I only point it out because if you are really talking about knee replacement so you can perform for another 5 years or so, that may not be a good trade off life wise. And yes, I've known enough dancers to know that it probably is a good trade off to you. Just do consider your options. Could you open a studio and teach for 40 years with your existing knees? Think about what it will be like to turn 30, 40. I assure you, you will.
I used to be a dancer as well. I did jazz and tap when I was young, and continued with modern/contemporary and theatrical until I was 19. I realized when I was 17 that my tendons, ankles, and knees weren't going to be able to go the distance, a huge disappointment since I was absolutely positive that my purpose in life was to dance in Toronto or on Broadway. (This coming from a kid who grew up in rural Ontario and had never even been to NYC). I started looking around at what else I enjoyed, and as a member of my Student Council, I discovered that I was really good at the whole politics thing. So although I did apply to a dance program as well (old dreams die hard), I chose to study political science in university instead. Here's what happened:
-loved my program, made a ton of new friends who shared my passions
-took a Women's Studies class and thought it was so rad I made it my second major
-got a brilliant opportunity to intern for a professor working on gender and human rights in Geneva, Switzerland
-met a great guy at the hostel we were both staying at in Geneva and became lifelong friends
-year and a half later went to visit him while he did an internship in NYC
-went to see Hair on Broadway one lovely Sunday afternoon
We loved it, and for the final song they invited the audience to join them onstage. I went up without thinking and as I was dancing the universe shifted for a moment like a giant checkmark had just been made. I looked around at the audience and realized that I was dancing on Broadway. For reals. And this only happened because of a weird set of circumstances beginning with my decision to study political science instead of pursuing dance.
So, sometimes our dreams don't turn out the way we expect them to. And sometimes they're fulfilled by things we could never have imagined on paths we never knew we would take. One thing is for sure though, you will never stop dancing. Maybe a professional career isn't your path. It's okay to grieve over it for awhile. I know it took me a few years to come to terms with it, and I still feel nostalgic when I see dancers onstage. But I still love starting the dance floor at parties, showing off real dance moves, and bringing everyone around me into the magic. You will always be a dancer when its so deeply ingrained in your heart.
thanks :) turns out I can't get the surgery... I guess God chose for me
nerd love back :)
I wanted to tell you a story that might leave you with more hope for your dancing future. One of my friends (who loves to dance more than almost anyone I know) was diagnosed with cancer in her foot last spring, and because it was growing at an alarming rate, they had to amputate her whole foot. That was eight months ago. Over last summer, she started from scratch, going through therapy to be able to walk again, and by new years eve she was able to spend the whole night dancing. After only seven months!
All of your best information about the pros, cons, and consequences of knee surgery will obviously come from your doctor, but there is a good chance that something can be done from your end to rehabilitate your body to be able to deal with the physical stress of dancing again. Have faith in the fact that your body can do AMAZING things. At the end of the day, there are a million ways to keep dancing, and if you want to, dancing is never something you'll have to give up.
Like Becky said, you will always be a dancer.