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August 22nd, 2002

11:20 am

Damn I've been busy. I've got a lot going on because of my knee. Plus the Redhawks are in town this week so I've had very little free time. I've once again had to neglect my website. I know it's annoying, but trust me - it's much harder on me than it is you. I am growing more attached to this little project every day. I get cranky when I don't get to write. Doing this keeps me kind of sane.

I went to the doctor last week. It looks like I'm going to heal up just fine without surgery. But I am going to have to do a lot of physical therapy - at least four weeks. So I was telling this doc about all of my recent dislocations. I was starting to think something might be wrong with me because a couch potato like myself really shouldn't be dislocating things. I just don't do that much, you know? So the doctor asked me if I had loose joints. I asked her to clarify and she said "I mean, can you bend things backwards?" So I answered her with a nice demonstration of how I can bend all my finger joints backward. Then I showed her how I could bend my knee backward. You should have seen the look of disbelief on her face. She was quite surprised by how far back my knee goes. She finally shook her head and said "OK, this is starting to make sense." So, it turns out that my tendancy to dislocate things is due to genetics and it's not entirely because I'm an idiot. I have what she described as a "connective tissue disorder" or "unusually stretchy joints". I couldn't be more excited. It's not just that I'm a klutz. I'm a klutz with freakishly stretchy joints. For some reason, that makes me feel better.

I'm going back to the doctor in a week so she can do a better exam. I was still too sore and swollen for her to get a good look at my knee last week. But I have started physical therapy. I'm going 3 times a week right now. The therapist is trying to strengthen my inner quad to make it hold my knee cap where it belongs. Unfortunately, she told me that this particular muscle is the slowest one to respond to therapy, so I'm in for a long rehab. Lucky me. So far it's going well. I already have much better control over my quad after 2 therapy sessions. The PT has been using electro-stimulation to get my muscle working again. She hooks my leg up to this sadistic little machine that zaps me with "mild" electrical shock. (Mild my ass!) The shock causes my muscle to contract involuntarily. It's an odd sensation. The shock is pretty uncomfortable, but it isn't accurate to say it's painful. It's also very strange having no control over my leg muscle. So I stay hooked up to this little bastard of a machine for a good half hour while I do various exercises. The shock isn't constant. It's usually on for 10 seconds then 10 seconds rest. For one exercise it's set to on 5 and off 5. I was starting to be a bit more comfortable with the shock during my second visit. But I have a feeling that once I adjust to the shock, the PT is going to crank up the power on me. I'm not looking forward to it. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I can just tell what's coming based on things the therapist has said.

My PT seems pretty cool. She's got an ornery, mischievous streak in her. She takes just a little too much pleasure in electrocuting me. Then there's all the intentional miscounting and lying about how many reps of an exercise I'm going to do. I know all the lying and miscounting is just a way to make me push myself. It doesn't bother me because I know it's for my own good. My biggest problem is that I'm supposed to do my own counting. This is too taxing on my brain. I get absorbed in concentrating on doing the exercise right then there's all the gossiping that goes on which can be very distracting. So I keep forgetting to count because I'm listening to all these silly conversations going on, then the PT will suddenly ask how many reps I've done and I never know. The rule is if you don't know, then you've only done 3. My inability to count is resulting in me doing a lot of extra work. Again, this is clearly a sneaky little PT scam to make me push. The whole thing is rather interesting. I've got all these little schemes figured out, but I still keep falling for the PTs tricks. It's maddening.

The therapist really wants me off the crutches ASAP and I have no objection to this strategy. Crutches suck. Tuesday, the PT tested my ability to walk without them. I did pretty good, but I didn't quite pass the test. The problem isn't pain. The thing is that my knee feels very wobbly and weak and it causes me to limp a bit. Limping is not allowed. I'm allowed to walk at home or around the office a little. But if I go out or walk very far, I still have to use the crutches. I hope to pass my walking test tomorrow and get off the crutches for good. I was walking good at home last night until fatigue set in. Then I started having some pain and I had some extra swelling this morning. This means my knee isn't quite ready to bear my full weight. (The PT told me to watch all of this and use my discretion about how much to walk.) I'm afraid when I discuss the pain and swelling with the PT tomorrow, it'll keep me on the crutches a bit longer even if I do walk good. I guess I'll live. My goal is to be totally off the crutches by next Friday. I'm so close already that I think the 30th is a very attainable goal.

So I guess that's the latest on my big knee injury. I don't have much else to talk about because I am so focussed on rehabing my knee. There's hardly a moment in the day when I'm not doing something knee related. I have to ice it 5-6 times a day, then there's all the excercising that the PT makes me do on my own. It's surprisingly time consuming. It's also cutting into my Boob Guy time which is really pissing me off. Most of my PT appointments are in the afternoon so I haven't been on the bus every day. I'll only get to ride the bus once next week. It sucks. A few years ago I would have benn thrilled to get out of riding the bus home, but now I've made too many friends and I ride the bus more to socialize than to get around. I am such a big dork. Of course the Boob guy is my main source of entertainment on the bus, but I also enjoy visiting with other drivers and passengers that I have gotten to know. It's crazy. Riding the bus should not be this much fun. It's just not normal. OK, I've gotta go. Have a good day!