The first thing you cant help but notice when you meet this farmer is the big smile (and yes he is pretty good on the eye as well I must admit)
Michael Strong – photo taken by Sylvia Liber September 2006
This farmer has been finding it harder and harder to smile every year since 1998 when he had a rather nasty run in with a 900kg plus bull. The bull decided the quickest way to separate Michael from his cows was to slam him in to the closest concrete trough. Well this worked for the bull but Michael is confident a polite word in his ear would have achieved the same thing without leaving him with a lot of broken bones and ultimately a rather nasty condition called Traumatic Arthritis. Traumatic Arthritis is pretty much the same as Osteoarthritis with the added complication of intermittent excruciating pain caused by bleeding in the joints and in Michael’s case his knee joints.
10 years ago they said he was too young and his job too physical to have knee replacement surgery. Five years ago they said the same thing but when the pain got so bad he could no longer sleep they decided it was time. Double knee replacement here we come. That sounds like fun doesn’t it? For some reason Michael wasn’t looking forward to it
The big day was to be in April but firstly an altercation between his legs and some lantana bushes and then a wedding to attend ( lots of smiles that day) meant it was delayed until last Friday.
Now I have always been big on insurance and work on the principle if you cant afford to insure it you cant afford to buy it. Whether that be a car, a tractor or the farm, income protection, life insurance or in this case private health insurance. Michael is in the Mater in North Sydney. Wow never seen anything like it. The quality of care is just unbelievable. Michael has his very own personal nurse and to top it all off the food is good. Yes believe it or not the food is great
The operation didn’t go quite to plan and they were only able to do one knee – they found far too many bizarre things that needed fixing with one knee let alone two at once.
Very pleased to say after 48 hours of fentanyl/morphine cocktails the pain seems to be easing and the smile is back on the face. Full steam ahead I say to a full recovery. Then there is that little hiccup of the other knee. Less said about that one at the moment the better I think
Next stop Michael – say Whitsundays where you can see knees like these
Some great info on knee replacement surgery can be found here for all of my readers with Farmers Knees