Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Bees Knees!

I have a knee problem. I have had it for a long, long time. When I lost a lot of weight, it went away for awhile, but it decided this past week to come back with a vengeance.

The way it was described to me back when it first cropped up was fairly simplistic. No doubt the doctor tried to put it in terms I could understand. The way he explained it to me was that I have slightly unusual kneecaps. My kneecaps have an annoying tendency to not want to stay in the "groove" they are meant to be in. Which just means they float around a bit more than more people's kneecaps.

The results are varied. Most of the time I don't notice it, except I can hear the cartilage scraping a little when I climb stairs. That's not even all that unusual, I gather.

Sometimes a knee will do what one of my knees is doing right now: Screaming in agony. The bone and cartilage are pushing up against nerve endings (again, vastly simplified) and causing me immense and ongoing pain. In order to correct the pain, I just have to keep flexing the knee on a regular basis until it stops pushing whatever nerves it's found and starts to act normal again.

The worst, however, is when the nerves decide to send an incorrect signal. Again, something is pushing against them, or not pushing when it ought to be, and the nerve endings say, "Oh, wow, the lower leg has disappeared, we'd better tell the brain!" and send a message up to my brain which replies, "What's that? No lower leg? Oh crap! EMERGENCY STOP!" and I fall over. This usually happens while I'm walking. And those messages are sent instantly, in milliseconds, without my knowledge, so I have NO idea it's going to happen until I'm literally on the ground thinking, "What the heck???"

What all this means is that I have to walk with a cane when I'm having knee issues. It's not that I need the cane to walk. In fact, most of the time I'm fine without it. But if I go out without it and my brain sends that emergency stop signal, I'm going to be on the ground. And I'm getting to the age when falling is much more serious than just "oopsy!"

All of which is just to say, I really really hurt right now and I'm annoyed because for the next couple of weeks I probably should keep my cane with me and I hate having to haul it around. I really hate when people tell me I'm walking fine and I shouldn't be using a cane since I clearly don't need it. Argh!

Yeah, oh well. I got it lucky. At least I can walk.