"the deadliest bullshit is odorless and transparent" - William Gibson

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

My knee's been bad lately. well, not bad, just not much better than before surgery. I can ride the bike longer, and i don't pay as heavy a cost for doing too much the day before as prior to the most recent surgeries.

But i still can't sit normal for over ten minutes. still can't run. still can't handle enough weight to strength my bad leg. still wake up in pain. still take unhealthy amounts of advil everyday. still sleep on the floor most nights. Fortunately, I still have full range of motion as i more or less did before. Maybe this is it. maybe this is what i have to work with from now on.

Went to the knee doctor yesterday. Waited for over an hour and a half before he could see me. I'm not complaining too much, b/c ususally i wait less than 15 minutes. Plus, since they have zero reading material other than pregnancy and senior citizen mags, i got to know some of the staff at the Duke Health center. my favorite is named Bunny Maples. I really don't know anything about her other than she has a name that belongs in a Phillip Marlowe movie and a gravely voice that take no prisoners, but if i ever have a problem with the billing or insurance at Duke (this will probably never happen), i'm gonna hit her up first.

Finally, they called me in. All my knee friends were there, the very nice PA, the nurse, the rotating intern, and the good doc himslef. After some time and pulling and proding and talking about how it has felt, the doctor told me that he thinks it will be another 6 months before i can really feel any improvement from the procudres they did during the last surgeries.
Part of me went, "there is hope, all is not lost. it may improve. i might yet kick a soccer ball or smack a forehand." the other half of me went, "6 months. are you fucking kidding me. why didn't you mention this earlier. no one ever said anything about the procedure taking that long to kick in."

to be fair, they did two procedures when they went in last. First they removed scar tissue which was pulling my kneecap out of whack, and then they cut my knee cap in a few places to trim away defective cartiledge and to restart blood flow and get some new cartiledge into that area. I think the first has been a success (at least for now), and it now seems that the second will take at least 6 months before i can tell a difference.

as i told the doctor, i would still willingly trade a testicle for a good knee. i mean that too. i think, at least i now have doctor that believes me when i say that. he told me that he will work with me until my knee improves enough for me to no longer contemplate such an extreme trade.

the fight goes on. I tried
Bikram's Yoga
this morning. My sister convinced me to try it. it was developed by some dude that had knee problems. first day wasn't too bad, i was just trying to learn the postions and keep up, don't think i got the full work out. but it is done in a heated room, so i sweated my ass off and felt a little better about yesterday's less than good knee news.


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