Can a 77-Year-Old Survive Elective Surgery?

Musings on getting a total knee replacement

W Goodwin

In the predawn hours of a Pandemic morning, my partner Jan is driving us through mostly empty streets toward the surgical wing of one of south Denver’s major hospitals. Medical magic is about to be enacted upon my 77-year-old body.

Lost inside my head, I hardly notice the dark world passing outside the car. The fact that I am not actually nervous rolls around in my mind. I think back to all the long hikes I’ve done, especially those months in the…