Monday, August 1, 2011

Bending Knees Sideways--Painful, not "The Bee's Knees'

Knees are great. I really really like them. Love the way they bend and allow mobility to happen too. I know it sounds weird to say that, but it's true. And the way they move forward AND backwards just truly represents the human spirit at its finest. However, when that knee decides to move sideways—bending the way they don't bend—the whole machine breaks down and suddenly what allowed such grand movements causes such great pain. The love quickly sours and turns to hate.

While playing in an Ultimate Frisbee game last week, I got completely juked. And as jukings go, it was rough, because my legs said “Hey, this way looks fun,” while my head said “No, this diametrically opposed path will work way better!” But that's the problem with diametrical opposition—something always snaps. Be it whichever political party I currently dislike, polar covalent bonds or my knee, it always happens.

Brace yourself for how awesome my knee looks!
I also love Rice Krispies, but when the Snap, Crackle, Pop occurs in somewhere that's not my breakfast bowl, it's a bad thing. I went down hard and started alternatively letting out strings of four letter words and biting my sunglasses. My teammates helped me hobble off to the side of the field. Another victim of Ultimate Frisbee.

I hobbled away from that game not only with a victory under my belt (15-13) but an anti-victory below my belt. That's right, I now walk with a grand ole limp. But don't worry, as long as I keep my leg at a good 36 degree angle, there's absolutely no pain, I can frolic and live life. However, move even a radian off of that angle, and there's jarring pain that crumples me to the floor.

Luckily, I have purchased a knee brace which helps to keep me in the good angle range. But even with the brace, even with the knowledge that movement out of the safety range will hurt like crazy, my knee decides to express independent thought. A lot of the times it goes “Hey, I remember when I bent all crazy like, I'm going to do that again! It was really fun!” and shifts in some non-knee-esque fashion. This results in a five-minute throb, but those times have been reduced as my brain has finally realized a mass of cartilage and bone probably shouldn't be calling the shots and has started overriding many of my knee's thoughts.

After this whole experience, I cannot ride a bike for the foreseeable future, but as a certified limper, I CAN commiserate with other limpers. We can tell horror stories like “Your leg bent what way? Well, MINE bent this way.” “Oh yeah, well, did you ever see Terminator 2, that was a documentary shot in real time, and I was one of the guys that former Governor Schwarzenegger shot in the knee.” … One-upmanship is a big deal in the limping world.

Another benefit of knee injuries comes when someone describes something as “the bee's knees.” In this situation, you're allowed to openly weep. Although weepage could also come from the fact that you hang out with people who would use a phrase as archaic and lame as “the bee's knees.” I apologize for the headline.

The final conclusion I can make after my knee's journey to the land of pain, it hurts. It really hurts.

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