Monday, August 22, 2011

Doctor Delay Day: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

Runner’s knee.

That’s the diagnosis, which I find reasonably comforting. Sure, it’s probably an indicator that…well…that running is gonna fuck me up in the long run. Biking too. Or it’ll fuck my knee(s) up, at least. So will age. These things are to be expected, I guess. But for now I’ll heal. For now I don’t need any pills or surgeries or anything other than ice. For now, I can swim.

As usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I got up with Liam around 6:30. We went out and watered the garden. I didn’t drink a Naked Juice or any orange juice. I ate a few almonds. I packed up and headed for work, thinking I might go to Bella Bru, then deciding at the last minute (I was in the left turn lane to go to the coffee shop then turned right when the light turned green) to go to the office for my mocha and oatmeal.

I got to the office.

I made my mocha.

I made my oatmeal.

I ingested these things: the oatmeal and my mocha…and some of the unsalted almonds. Then I got to work. Or tried to. People talk a lot on Mondays, I’ve noticed. Also, my office gets REALLY hot when I shut the door. I mean it’s like a special torture intended to keep our doors open—I shut the door and the gates of hell open and in less than 30 seconds it’s 20 degrees warmer in my office than it is outside my door and start to sweat and I wonder Do I open the door to let in the cool air and indirectly encourage random conversation while also chancing forcing others to listen to the music I decide to listen to, or do I sit here and sweat? It depends on my mood.

I started with my door open.

I ended up bouncing on my exercise ball, typing, listening to music, and sweating. There’s work to be done, after all.

I did some work. I made an appointment with my doctor. I’m lucky to be able to get same-day appointments because I go to a teaching office so there are always residents available, and the residents pay closer attention in my experience, and they’ll usually consult with the attending physician, so why would I NOT go that route? It’s awesome.

Except when you show up and the board says they’re on time and then someone tells you they’re running 30 minutes late…which really means 75 minutes late…but again I’m getting ahead of myself.

I made an appointment for 2:30. (That was for my fucking knee.)

Worka worka worka. Typa typa typa.

“Right on top of that, Rose!” (Adventures in Babysitting, in case you were wondering.)

It got to be lunch time and apparently I hadn’t eaten enough almonds so I made myself a PB—I forgot the J at home. Damnit! But I had the peanut butter (real stuff, of course) on double fiber bread and ate some pretzels. I downed a 40 of water like a straight-edge gangsta. (My dead homies got no drinks.)  I did some pushups with my feet on the ball, which makes me pretty much inverted a little bit, which makes the pushup kinda hard, but that’s not bad.

I ate a banana.

I left for the doctor. I ate an apple on my way to the doctor and drank more water and, given the time delay I mentioned above (I can’t use the word “aforementioned” in every blog entry…or can I?), kept having to pee way too much and I don’t know about you, but even in the dead of summer and even though I’m no germaphobe in general, I’m not a big fan of touching things at the doctor’s office—especially a communal key to the bathrooms and things in the bathrooms themselves.

~~Germaphobes. Man. I’ve seen those who—well, let me describe the worst I’ve seen. Or to be more accurate, he actually TOLD me this because he told me he won’t do it when others are present because he knows it’s too weird. He’d pee at the urinal. He wouldn’t flush, because that required touching the knob, or if he felt he had to, he’d use his foot. Okay, I get that, but keep going. He’d go to the paper towels. He’d pull one out and use that to turn on the faucet (because others have touched the faucet with dirty hands, see?). He’d wash his hands with soap and scrub ‘em good (as you should). He’d rinse and leave the water running (wasting water) and get more paper towels. He’d dry his hands. More paper towels: turn off the water. Use those to open the door. Toss paper towels in the trash on the way out the door. The part that always gets me, though: then you use a bare hand to grab the knob to walk into the office! Effort, water, and paper wasted, jackass. Germs are everywhere. Deal. (And wash your hands.)~~

I truly never know what I’m going to write here, exactly.

I showed up at the doctor on time (2:30) and the board said my resident was “on time.” Ten minutes later I was told the doc was running 30 minutes late, so she wouldn’t be able to see me until 3:15 (you do the incorrect math), and would I like to reschedule. Time-wise rescheduling made no sense, so I waited. I got called back at 3:30. (Math. Estimates.) The resident came in at 3:45.

“Sorry to keep you waiting. My first appointment showed up 30 minutes late and that pushes everyone back 30 minutes.”

Well, your board said “on-time” when I got here, and then was adjusted to 30 minutes delayed when I was told of this “30 minute” delay, and now it’s 75 minutes past my appointment time…but okay. Let’s deal with this knee.

I’ve been hoping it wasn’t all-that-bad and preparing myself for the all-that-bad. It’s not all that bad. (I also got my TDAP vaccine, because of the whooping cough problem here in the C-A, but that was just a matter of convenience.)

~~It’s always nice when your doctor says something like, “You’re obviously a fit guy….”~~

Runner’s knee is the knickname. The full name is at the beginning of this blog: Patellofemoral Pain Sydrome. It’s irritation of the inside of the kneecap, I guess. Running can cause this.

So can biking.

So can being knock-kneed.

So can over-pronating.

I’m a prime candidate, given I’m a knock-kneed over-pronating runner/biker who’s getting on in age, even if I am still relatively young. Luckily I pay attention to my body. I’ve learned over the years. You know I’ve been doing the R.I.C.E., minus Compression plus Calcohol, so I did what I was supposed to do. Most of the yoga stuff isn’t bad. Don’t run for a while. Don’t bike. Swimming is the least problematic, but not kicking is good. The swelling is gone. There’s no pain. I swam again tonight.

But I DID use my legs half the time. I swam 80 laps, or a bit over a mile, in 43 minutes. I did half that with the pull buoy, half without. I felt good about it. My knee felt good about it.

I came home between the doctor and the swimming. I played with Liam a bit and kissed my wife—both important things.

I came home from swimming to tacos all ready to eat. I had three beef tacos on hard shells, one on a soft shell, lots of red onion, some sauce who’s name escapes me, red-leaf lettuce, and I always add way too much cheese and love it. Yellow cheddar this time. I drank two Inversion IPAs—not the world’s strongest brew or best IPA, but drinkable. I wanted more tacos, but we’d eaten all the beef, so I was left to starve.

I could have eaten some zucchini chocolate cake. I probably should have. But I didn’t have a sweet tooth (there’s something wrong with me) so I didn’t. We played with Liam. We bathed Liam. We brushed his teeth. We discussed the need to google “brushing toddler teeth” to see if there are tricks to make it more enjoyable for him…or at least keep us from having to strap him down on a table like the death machine in The Princess Bride. Death machine may not be the right term. But maybe it is. Liam doesn’t like getting his teeth brushed. But he DOES like holding the tooth brush, turning it on (it’s electric), and holding it in his mouth.

I read to him as I tend to do and he was tired. I turned off the light and came out here for this type of stuff: this blogging. I’m posting two tonight, like some kind of wizard. I’m drinking a petite syrah as I type. I’ve had two glasses…that were pretty big. Okay, three—but the third one was just because there was so little left in the bottle it wasn’t worth leaving, so two regular glasses plus bottle remnants equals two big glasses.

Maybe I should drink less alcohol.


Again, this isn’t necessarily typical. I do enjoy my drinks. But I’ve been drinking an additional one or two per night lately and I spread them out over hours. (Does that matter? I'd think so) This too shall pass. I know myself. I know my ways. I know what’s what. Don’t doubt me. I’m finally sleepy. I'm not the model of health, I'm just reasonably healthy.

So good night, hot house. I don’t know how you get so hot when it’s reasonably cool outside. I’ve opened some windows. That’ll help. I’ll end up chilled in the night, down comforter up to my neck, but right now I’m pretty hot. I’m on the verge of sweating. This too shall pass. I can already feel the coolness, and it feels…cool. 

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