Winter in Minnesota is a special time. You either love it or you hate it. There are those of us who are a very special breed and we embrace it head on. Walking through freshly fallen snow can bring you peace like you’ve never felt before. Snowshoeing with your dog can provide endless moments of laughter.
But then, then there is something we all know exists… most of us like to forget about it. Most of us cannot see it because it’s so thinly coats the very ground we walk on. Ice! Ice! And I’m not taking about “ice ice baby.” I’m talking about deadly ice, yes that ice. The ice that takes you down within seconds. Sometimes the only thing that is injured is your pride and other times it’s just a bruise or maybe a bump on the head. But then there is that time where you fall and you feel your knee smash into the ground. You instantly know, well this isn’t going to be good. But I’m walking with a friend and I need to act like it’s nothing, because it is nothing and yeah I’m a champ not a whimp.
I am in the later category. I slipped and fell while walking with a friend. I picked myself up and acted like it was nothing and proceeded to walk a few more loops. By the time I got home my knee was a tad sore. Yet I kept pushing through. I made dinner, cleaned and organized somethings. It’s when I sat down with jay to talk about our painting project that it hit me. I was fucked. Yet I still proceeded to act normal, I drew a bath and added a bunch of epsom salt because we all know that helps with stiff joints. While in the tub I realized “shit I cannot extend my leg…. It’s fucking stuck at an angle. It took all of my strength to bend it so I could get out of the tub. It loosened just a little.
I proceeded with my skincare routine and brushed my teeth all while my knee was throbbing. I finally broke down and told Jay about the injury. I was holding back tears while he annoyingly messed with the apps on our bedroom TV. This was not the time to fuck with the TV. All I wanted to do was zone out to mysteries of the abandoned and will my leg to stop throbbing. Jay went and grabbed a bag of frozen peas from the freezer along with some ibuprofen. Which neither of those things made a dent in my pain
Jay knows me well enough to know that I rarely complain about pain. So when I said to him “I think we need to go to the doctor,” he knew I was in pain. I don’t willingly ask to be taken to the doctor. I avoid the doctor like it’s the plague. I’ve got better things to do than sit in a waiting room. He took me and when we arrived it was a two hour wait just to be seen. Thankfully our clinic has an orthopedic urgent care staffed with on site orthopedic doctors.
Two hours passed quicker than I thought they would. Mainly because I was ease dropping on other peoples conversations. Some woman thought her son shouldn’t of had to wait because he was a teenager in pain. I totally pegged her as a Karen. She groaned a little when I got called before her son. I hobbled past her and the nurse brought me straight to x-ray.
Which trying to contort an already fucked up knee into positions to get a good picture, is not fun. It’s pure torture. The x-ray didn’t show much. The doctor’s main concern was that I had a potential “bucket handle” tear in my meniscus and a dislocated knee cap. So she ordered an MRI to get a better look at my very fucked up knee. Which if you are familiar with American health care you know your insurance company gets to decide if you need one or not. The Doc stressed repeatedly “you are to be on strict bed rest, do not, I repeat do not over do it.” I left the office in a knee brace and on crutches. The only thing that was going to fix this was Chic Fil A, don’t come for me…… I needed comfort food. Jay ran into Target to buy every ice pack known to man and proceeded to take care of me.
Thankfully my insurance decided it was necessary. My knee is stuck in a bent position so getting it inside the torture device that is needed for the MRI was not fun. Thankfully they had a backup device that worked much better and I wasn’t in any additional pain. We got the MRI results same day, TRIA Orthopedics is that good folks. I didn’t have a tear thank god, however I had a piece of bone stuck in my knee joint and it was sitting to close to my ACL for comfort. I was scheduled to see the surgeon on Valentine’s Day, that piece of bone had to go.
We met with the surgeon that Monday and he was in agreement that surgery was needed. I was scheduled for surgery on the 22nd. And of course Mother Nature had to give us a blizzard that day. Surgery went off without a hitch and I went home same day to more bed rest, but with instructions to bare weight and use my leg. Go me! That was easier said than done. I felt really good after surgery so of course I over did it and ended up paying for it the next day. Pain meds were barely cutting it and I was trying to hold back my tears because I didn’t want jay to know how bad it was.
Thursday came and we were able to remove the wrap and surgical bandages, there was so much blood. Side note, I AJ your awkward host of this podcast doesn’t get to have a normal recovery. My recovery comes with a hefty side of lovenox, that shit burns and every time I inject myself I mutter “fuck you Nuvaring!” Anyways back to the bandages, once they were off and Jay patched me up I was able to take a shower. You haven’t lived until you’ve needed help showering. Jay was doing his best at holding me up while I attempted to wash myself. He learned very quickly that conditioner has to soak in and regular soap isn’t face wash. We managed and I was clean and he dried me off and helped me get dressed. Little did I know knee surgery meant reverting back to toddler life.
I am jealous of all the able bodied people in this world. Ya all walk around Target and Sam’s club like it’s nothing. Pushing your carts happily while both of your knees bend as you walk, while I’m over here hobbling around like a hot ass mess. I remind myself on the daily “this is only temporary.” With a little help from PT and cryotherapy plus electro therapy I’ll get my knee back and I’ll be hitting the trails by the time the snow melts.