august 7/Maybe?

Knee Injury.

Day Three

Another day of trying to not do much of anything. So hard not to be active. Luckily, or is it unluckily, I have nowhere to go today. No excuse to mess my knee up more.

My mom was restless too. When her cancer came back, she would pace around the house. Walking in circles for hours. When she started using a walker, one of us would follow behind her, making sure she didn’t fall. When she couldn’t walk anymore, when she couldn’t really move, she would chew gum. Lots of gum.

Can walk without crutches. Still limping. Still awkward. Seems like good progress.

A stiff knee. A restless spirit. A hopeful soul. A stalled imagination.

Limits. Restraints. Reminders. Recalibrations. Adjustments. Accomodations. A rethinking of goals, expectations, demands.

Look, 
I get it.
I
Must be careful not to
Injure myself
Too
Severely.

Yesterday, I didn’t care. Then I believed it was over. Today, I’m not so sure.

Put my bike on the stand and biked for about 12 minutes. Moving the legs feels good. My legs get so still and sore and tight and bored, just like the rest of me.

Gee knee, it’s NOT swell to see you.

After a day of walking around the house and up and down the stairs, both knees are stiff and sore.

Knee status: Stiff, swollen, less painful, awkward, improving. Can bike and walk. Stairs are getting easier. Also can straighten my knee while sitting in bed or on the couch.

Treatment: slow biking, ibuprofen, careful walking, rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, ingest ice cream to reduce swearing, avoid doctor, introduce a measured optimism, sit outside in the sun and watch the latest episode of So You Think You Can Dance live with daughter.

august 6/OH WELL

Knee Injury.

Day Two

Certain immediately. Something wrong. Really wrong. At first, shock. But never denial. Or despair. Just shock. Now, recovery. And adjusting expectations. And acceptance.

Do I move to acceptance too fast? Am I giving up too soon? Will I be able to race with my daughter next Sunday? Will I have to go for another expensive doctor’s appointment? Or physical therapy? Will I be able to run again, even just a 5k at a time?

Confronting the possibility of stopping enables the doubts to creep in. They never enter as enemies, but as friends, bearing gifts: reasonable explanations and justifications for why running a marathon was always a bad idea. Too much time. Too much stress. Too much for my body.

Scott picked up some crutches for me at the store this morning. I’m 43 and I’ve never used crutches before. Never had a broken leg or foot or sprained knee. Lucky.

A crutch is defined in 2 main ways: 1. as a literal object that you brace under your armpit to help you walk and 2. as a metaphor for an unhealthy dependence on something you use to deal with a problem. What’s wrong with a crutch? Why is the metaphorical meaning so negative? Does it reflect a disdain for vulnerability and an over-emphasis on self-reliance?

It’s funny how an injury likes this bothers me more because I can’t walk, then run. Walking is much more essential to my life than running.

Oh, to walk again!

Told daughter I might not be able to race in the triathlon with her next weekend. She asked if she still could. Something clicked. Why not try to do as much of the race as I could? I should be able to swim and bike. Maybe I could walk instead of run? And, maybe I could do that with the marathon too? Walk a lot of it? Have I re-entered denial? Decided that I gave up too soon?

Knee status: stiff and swollen, but without pain.

Treatment: It’s hard to put any weight on it, so I’m using crutches. Icing the knee and taking some Ibuprofen. Getting up slowly. Swearing, if necessary. Avoiding stairs, if possible. Watching a marathon of So You Think You Can Dance with daughter.

august 5/UH OH

Knee Injury.

Day One

Well, it happened. My right knee decided that it had had enough. After days of registering its complaints, it went on strike. Tonight, when I tried to get up from a chair, I couldn’t straighten my knee or put any weight on it. Pain. Not overwhelming, but still. Pain. Was it because I stood up too quickly, not giving it a chance to slowly pop back into place? Is it another bone spur? The same bone spur?

Will I be able to run a marathon? Unlikely, I think. But, maybe. Who cares? All I want is to able to walk again. And to not have another moment when I’m googling how to pop your knee back into place and seriously considering doing it. Or a moment when I have to tell Scott to shut up because he’s just said that “something looks like it’s sticking out wrong.”

Knee status: pain when I try to straighten it and the unsettling feeling that something is not in the right place.

Treatment: google possible problems, then stop because googling problems is almost always a bad idea. Try to calm down. Don’t move. Go to bed early.