December 21, 2004

The Queen Bee's Knees

Joints suck.

Particularly those of the overly bendable type.

About fifteen years ago, when I was a freshman in college, my roommate and I had a bunk bed in our room in lieu of a loft. Lofts cost money and you had to find someplace to store them over the summer. Hence, being the cheapskates we both were, we opted for the free bunkbed the university provided. Of course, this bunkbed didn't come with a ladder, so everytime I wanted to get into my bed, I had to move my desk chair next to the bed and jump up from there. This involved making a fortunate grab of the mattress so I didn't slide back down again, but could rather pull myself up into bed.

I think you might be getting where I'm going with this. One night I was slightly intoxicated and returned to my room. After preparing myself for bed, I tried to perform this maneuver. Alas, however, the fortunate part of the grab wasn't so fortunate: I missed and landed in a completely wrong manner. After my roommate and her boyfriend expressed how ticked off they were about me waking them up with my fall, they then realized I needed help to get up into bed, and got me there. But not after locating some ice for me. My knee (and this was back in the days when I had really knobby knees) had swelled up to the size of a really oversized grapefruit and I was in pain.

The next day, at student health, they told me that I'd dislocated my kneecap, gave me a brace, a refreezable ice pack, and that I had to stay off of it for the next ten days and was to take lots of aspirin. It would heal up on its own, they said, it just took time. Ok. I did what they told me and I was fine.

Fast forward six years later: I'm trying to learn how to play tennis, am taking lessons at our health club and---again---land wrongly after volleying the ball back. (It was a great hit, too!) The knee swells again, I think it's a dislocation, again, and I'm right, but this time it's worse. The doctor confirms my impression, a week before I'm to be a bridesmaid in the sister-in-law's wedding---where I have to wear a floaty dress and high heels for hours on end. She puts me in an immobilizer, signs me up for physical therapy, and gives me a prescription for 800mg of Advil, four times a day. The immobilizer sucks, but it does work. I just have to make some adjustments. I have to learn how to operate the pedals of the car with my left foot. We live in a second floor apartment and stairs are a bitch when you cannot bend your knee, not to mention, I have my then-business to run and this involves many daily trips through the metal detector of the courthouse. The metal rods in the immobilizer set that fucker off more times than I can count.

After two months of physical therapy and then being bitched out by a succession of orthopedists who tell me that I haven't been doing my therapy (I DID!), it finally heals up. I'm done with it. Or so I think.

The husband still worries about me blowing it out again. He's afraid that one of these times I'm actually going to go where I haven't gone before and will shred the dreaded ACL. This is a valid concern of his: since the last time, I've had a couple of near misses, where I will land wrongly or slide on ice and I will feel the kneecap actually lift and slide off whatever is supposed to be holding it down. While this is disconcerting and painful, I haven't torqued my knee as badly as I did back then.

Why am I talking about all this? Well, I'm currently sitting at the dining room table, my right leg propped up with an ice pack on top of my right knee, and I'm praying for everything to go back to normal. Yep. That's right. I might have done it again. This is one of those things where it's not apparent right off the bat that I've goofed it good.

Yesterday, we had an extended period of freezing rain which left everything as slick as snot. Steps, sidewalks, name it, they're all covered in a particularly consistent coat of ice. Yesterday, I was very, very careful of walking around and was fine. Today, however, we got a light dusting of snow on top of the ice. This is when I get in trouble: the snow provides traction---most of the time. Then there's always the odd moment of slipping, where my heart will jump in my chest because I'm afraid I've torqued the knee again, and the happy moment after I realize I haven't done it. This morning, I was going over to the Doctor's and ML's residence, for my pooch-attendance shift. While they're slurping the fruit of the grape at lots of different locations across Northern California, all of their friends are pitching in to take care of Nessie. I'm bundled up, I manage to negotiate the steps and sidewalk and, feeling fairly confident about my walking abilities, step off the curb to cross the street and...whoops! There it went. The kneecap slid in that disconcerting, heart stopping manner. I walked forward, hopeful, and then breathed a sigh of was fine. I walk the dog, and as she needs some exercise we make our way around the neighborhood, despite the fact it's about ten degrees outside. I make it through unscathed, my knee throbbing slightly. But I'm fine.

Until I go to Target, and not five steps from the damn car, I slide and there it goes again.

Am not happy about this and am saying Hail Marys every other minute so that I'm not completely out of it for Christmas, because I have a shitload left to do. It's really achy, although it hasn't swollen up too far. So, I might just be in luck. So, if you've got an extra holiday prayer in your heart, offer it up for my knee, would ya? I'm thinking I should be ok if I watch it over the next couple of days. But if I slide again, well...thar she blows.

Another dislocated kneecap and months of muy painful physical therapy is not what I want for Christmas.

Posted by Kathy at December 21, 2004 04:25 PM

Ouchie! Thinking happy thoughts at your knee...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 21, 2004 04:57 PM

Will definitely pray for your knee and all of you! But if I might suggest something besides the ice, if you aren't already doing so, put the dreaded brace or something similar on it. It might help a little and if you should slip again will give a little more protection. Also, take the Advil(ibuprofen). It will help the swelling and the pain.
Be careful and let hubby wait on you(Hey, that's what they're for, right?)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Kitty

Posted by: K. Mason at December 21, 2004 08:56 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?