I thought I’d post a quick update about my knee since I finally made it back to the physical therapist today. I’ve been a little worried about it because it still hurts, especially at night. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with it aching. The PT says that it’s totally normal and that everything is healing up really well. I’ve been limping around without crutches for almost two weeks and it’s caused my back to hurt. She told me that I have to stop limping because it’s really hard to unlearn limping once it gets ingrained in your head. So she game me a cane so I can focus on walking like a normal person. It is helping already! Though I do feel really old right now. The PT also told me I could start exercising on a bike at the gym, so I’ll start doing that this week. I miss exercise.
I’m trying to not think about how much I miss running.
In my last post I talked about how I injured my knee. The thing about this particular injury is that it is more inconvenient than anything else. It hurts to bend my knee for any significant period of time so I can’t do things like sit in a car for very long, or drive, or even sit in a chair. Forget sitting on the floor. So I haven’t been able to meditate because it hurts to sit. I am missing two significant activities that keep me sane: running and meditating. This is not good.
You’d think that I’d be completely losing my mind, but I’m not. I am actually very surprised by this. I feel an odd sense of equanimity.
I am moving very slowly. Slowing down really changes how a person views the world around them. I am noticing everything. And sometimes I appreciate those things. I am wondering if it is this slowing down and noticing what is around me that is helping me feel OK. I kind of like this, to be honest. I realize that I pack too much into my daily routine and it’s nice to slow down instead of rushing through life trying to do ALL THE THINGS.
I’m tempted to worry about how I will cope when I am better and I have to jump back into my regular routine. But I am giving myself permission to let all of that go and just deal with getting better right now.
I suppose I can jump into this blogging-every-day thing by telling you about how I hurt my knee.
When I was in my early twenties I was at a club in Palo Alto, on a really terrible first date, in the middle of a mosh pit. Someone slammed into me, as it just so happens. My right knee buckled and I fell to the ground. I was in a lot of pain. I heard the sound of the lights and then I passed out. A nice guy picked me up off the floor and helped me to a place where I could lie down, compose myself, and get some first aide. Eventually my date found me and crankily took me home.
It turns out my knee had popped out. It took a long time for it to heal. I didn’t have insurance so I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Ever since then I have had problems with my knee popping from time to time. It has never been as painful as that first time, but it’s been a issue to the point where I have to be careful about the kinds of sports I can participate in. Slam dancing is out of the question, as is basketball, or skiing. And meditation, apparently.
I was at my weekly meditation group a couple of weeks ago and as I stood up from my seated half lotus position my knee popped. At first I thought it was going to be one of those moments where it would only hurt for a few seconds and then I’d be ok, but no. The pain gradually increased and I had to leave the mediation hall and sit outside in a chair to wait for my husband to pick me up. As I waited the pain built up and I could hear the sound of the lights. The nausea built up and I vomited. My husband pulled up in the car and we decided that I needed to go to urgent care. He drove home to grab the crutches and an ice pack and we made the 45 minute journey to urgent care (I live in a rural town). At urgent care they took an x-ray and didn’t see anything terrible. It was just a really bad sprain. They sent me home with a knee brace and told me to stay off of it for a few days.
It’s healing. Each day I feel better. I’m feeling more confident walking without a crutch at home, and am hoping this will extend to other parts of my life soon. I’m not sure when I will be able to go running again, which I can’t think about too much or it will bum me out. I’m really just focusing right now on healing.
I feel like I’ve come full circle. At 20 I injured myself in a mosh pit. At nearly 50 I injured myself meditating.
On Sunday Raf and I went for our weekly hike. We chose to got to Farragut State Park in Idaho. I love this park. We used to camp here when I was a kid and I have good memories of swimming around in Beaver Bay.
We decided to follow a trail laid on in the appendix of the book, “100 hikes in the Inland Northwest” by Rich Landers. It was called High Trail (or something like that) and it took us climbing up rocks and boulders high above Lake Pend O’Rielle. It is beautiful, but also more strenuous than I’m used to.
When we were about a mile away from the car, on more level ground (thank god) I stepped down a small hill and my knee gave out. I’m not sure what happens physiologically when this happens but I think my knee popped out of joint, and then right back in.
This has happened periodically for most of my adult life. The first time I was in a mosh pit and I think I injured something. I couldn’t walk without crutches for awhile. I went to urgent care but didn’t have insurance so didn’t go see a doctor for follow up. The knee popping out thing has happened ever since with varying amounts of pain. I’ve been pretty good for awhile now. More than ten years I think.
When It happened on Sunday I fell to the in the most excruciating pain. Seriously. This is the most painful thing I have ever had to endure. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that it will subside shortly, and it does. But for about a minute is it the worst pain ever. When the pain subsided I tried to get up and walk to see if I had torn a ligament or anything. I hadn’t and I was very relieved. My knee ached but I could walk. I started down the path but then started to feel kind of woozy. I had to lean on Raf as I was feeling this way. It started to get worse and I started to kind of worry. I broke out into a cold sweat and my hearing started to get “tinny” if that makes sense. Everything was muffled. Raf said he thought I passed out while he was holding me and I might have for a second. He had me sit down and rest for a bit. I started feeling better. I was so relieved. It kind of freaked me out that this was all happening in the middle of the forest! After awhile I felt good enough to stand up and walk. Raf found a nice branch that acted as as staff and I was able to walk back to the car.
My knee seems to be o.k. I have been taking it easy with the running but I have been able to walk to work with no problems.
I have a couple of stories I could tell. But I think I will tell you about the time I tore the meniscus of my right knee. It’s kind of a good story.
I was out on a first date with a guy who proved to be a horrible boyfriend. This date set off huge red flags. But did I listen? No. But that’s a different story for a different day.
We went to a show at this club in Palo Alto called The Edge (I can’t believe that place is STILL around). We went to a Ska show. I can’t even remember the band right now. There was slam dancing. My date had abandoned me and I was alone on the edge of the mosh-pit. I was bored and maybe a little drunk. Just intoxicated enough to get that “I’m invincible” feeling. You know that feeling. So I decided that I was going to slam dance. It was fun for the tiniest bit of time. But then some idiot decided to slam into me with his full force. The next thing I remember I was on the ground and a very nice guy helped me up and led me to some chairs. He stayed with me for awhile to make sure I was okay (what a nice guy!). He helped me to a bouncer who had first aide training. I think I may have been going into shock. I was in lots of pain. I couldn’t walk by myself. I was looking through a yellow filter and I could hear the lights. Apparently my knee had popped out of joint and I tore the meniscus tissue. I was in a club with loud music, cigarette smoke and a bunch of drunk people. And where was my date?!? Eventually he found me. I don’t remember if we went right home or not. I think we stayed for some more of the concert. I know he didn’t take very much pity on me. I remember the ride home from the show thinking that this was a test, and this guy failed it miserably. I told myself I would never see him again. This was the red flag to end all red flags. I was reading the signs loud and clear.
For reasons I don’t understand now, I ended up dating him for a few months. And it proved to be one of the worst relationships I ever was in. Big surprise, eh?