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Choosing Your Own Path

Why it's important to get a second opinion

When it comes to things medical, I’m a firm believer in getting a second opinion. It’s not that I don’t have any faith in doctors. It’s just that too many times I’ve been on the receiving end of a decision that seems to be easier for them rather than the right option for me.

It was seeking a second opinion that gave me three beautiful children when the first specialist told me it would never happen. And it’s was a second opinion that has given me a new knee when the first specialist told me that it’d be best if I just ‘made do’ with the help of some ‘lifestyle changes’.

Lifestyle changes. By that he meant giving up playing a sport I’ve played for over 20 years. He meant giving up skiing, tramping and every other active past time I’ve enjoyed.

I may be 48-year-old mother of 3 with a few extra kilos on board, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to grow old. Heck, I’ve still got a long list of things I want to do. Like take up mountain biking, hike in the Himalayas and a few other things I haven’t thought of yet.

The idea of popping a rug over my knees and leading a sedate lifestyle certainly isn’t on that list. Nor does it fit with our experientialist lifestyle based on giving our kids memorable experiences instead of more toys and stuff they don’t really need. A lifestyle about collecting moments, not things.

So I’ve had my knee reconstructed. It’s a painful and frustrating process – albeit with a few silver linings. I still have months of rehabilitation ahead of me, but it was the right option for me.

I may never play sport or ski again. And I may never go hiking in the Himalayas. But at least the choice will be mine.

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