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Saturday, November 17, 2018

My Knee, The End, kind of.

I had my appointment with with the Orthopedist  And, I was wrong, he was not a surgeon, he was something else. Maybe he was An Orthopedist, or maybe he was an Orthopedic specialist, but he was not going to operate on my knee. It was a relief. He did say knee replacement was an option, a voice in my head whispered; “not really.” And then he went over a few more. Most of which revolved around giving me a shot. In my knee. It sounded terrible. But, he seemed convinced it would help and I was already miserable and my wife was there, so I had no choice. Besides, what’s a little more pain?

Then, I saw the needle. He could have gone through my other knee. So, I did what any true man would have done, and looked the other way. It didn’t hurt at all. My wife said he used a topical analgesic to deaden the area, maybe it was my sobbing. He wrote a prescription for physical therapy, and I started treatment.

During my first appointment he asked what problems I was having. 

“Inclines kill me, I can hardly navigate them. Driving is torture, my leg being stuck in one position sends pain coursing through my whole body, waves of agony.” He continued to type on his computer, and since I was nervous and the silence was terrible I went on for over five minutes about the things that make my knee feel bad. I might have told him about how I cry at the videos featuring acts of kindness that haunt my Facebook page.

“Stairs?” He asked, probably in self defense.

“I hardly use them. The doctor told me not to.”

“I go to the gym three times a week.” I said.

“Good,” He replied. “A good rule of thumb is if it hurts don’t do it.”

Then he gave me some exercises that really hurt. 

“That hurts.” I said. 

“Tough, suck it up, buttercup.” He replied. 

Not really. They didn’t hurt much at all, though they were exhausting, (which was humiliating considering how easy they were) and he was very polite and kind. Which was surprising, since he was so muscular and intense it was easy to picture him eating a bowl of nails and bolts for breakfast. The fluorescent light reflected off his shaved, polished head, and his leg bounced nervously through the whole appointment. Plus, the poor man was born without the all important ability to smile, or he didn’t find my attempts at self deprecating humor worth the effort, which doesn’t make any sense.

He gave me some advice for being stuck in a car, “move your seat forward, so your leg is at a different angle.” And printed out the exercises and sent me on my way. I have to go 12 times over six weeks, and already have seen improvement. My second visit was last Wednesday, and they said I had achieved increased mobility. A proud moment. 



There is still pain, and there are times, stuck in traffic I think I might abandon my car and walk home, except I love my car. The other night I was stuck behind a minivan with a “resist hate” bumper sticker, and we were inching along, and my knee was starting to ache, and my whole personality was beginning to transmogrify, Dr. Clark and Mr. Hyde, and I started to hate the driver of the minivan. “Yeah, well to hell with you, buddy.” But, eventually he took the ramp to I270 and I took Route 62 and we were friends again. Life has its ups and downs, doesn’t it?