Falling Up

I have been rather sparse about posting lately. Partly that is because I have been whaling away at a knee which has been giving me fits.

I really have no patience with the idea of a cranky knee. I will tolerate recreant conduct from an ankle, a shoulder, an elbow, a hip, but to me a “bad knee” is the last refuge of a scoundrel. This one seems to trace back to Snowmageddon, when I recall clearly sinking into four-foot-deep drifts in a sort of lazy helical descent, through angles unrelated to any human musculoskeletal range of motion. Something set it off about ten days back and I have been wincing and stilting and holding my breath, refusing to give in. If I have to walk, I will walk. If it is sled press day, I will press. That is what wraps and braces are for.

I had the woman who gives me a massage lay into it yesterday and she did a damn fine job. I cannot tell you how much it hurt. “Anterior tibial compartment, medial bicep femoris head, lateral quadricep, a little popliteus and a big honking mess in the iliotibial band,” I said. Massage therapists are one another’s dream clients. Did I mention it hurt?

It was still ever so faintly puffy and sore when I got home from taking a teenage Goth out to dinner last night, but that’s another story, and I wrapped it in an ice pack. It felt unreliable and uncertain in the gym doing deadlifts: you know the feeling, when you have to gingerly position your leg before putting weight on it.  Every so often, I would stumble or have to catch myself and a shriek would fly up from the superficial membranes of my kneecap through the thigh (no pain on compressing the kneecap, tender spots all distant from critical ligaments, but something mean as hell in the actual muscle).

While my next to last client was dressing I needed to dash upstairs to reposition a fan which was making a hell of a racket. Halfway up the staircase I stumbled and caught myself and wondered whether I had ripped something clean out of my leg, we are talking about Lamaze breathing, but there was no time to fossick about because business must be done and clients only take so long to dress.

When the gong wore off everything moved as God intended. Sore, but re-aligned.

If injured and halting, try falling up.


16 thoughts on “Falling Up

  1. After doing this back-press thing that ought to be tossed into a junk heap, and then too many ab things, all after an afternoon of tossing around OSB sheets like they were made of linen, I discovered I have sciatica, but it sorted itself out after a few days of no exercise and I’m fine again. I suppose I oughtto learn the real names of equipment and exercises at some point.

  2. My right knee went *sproing* sometimes on Sunday, but was only super painful when I walked down stairs (walking up hurt but didn’t make me wince). I don’t think I would have done any extra exercise, but I didn’t stop doing my usual stuff. I can’t remember when the pain stopped – it just suddenly wasn’t there anymore.

    Likewise when my back goes out. Since every position is horribly painful I find the best thing to do is gentle walking and making sure I don’t stay in one position for too long. The “Treat Your Own Back” book a friend sent me last year speaks about maintaining certain positions until the pain shifts – it still hurts but it’s then a part of healing rather than injury. But I don’t think I’d be so hard on myself as you are when my body doesn’t behave.

    • I think it’s partly a reaction to the unedifying spectacle, repeated many times through my life, of people babying themselves and acting like combat casualties over the slightest hangnail or cramp. Neurotic, possibly, but I harness it for good.

  3. I know this may fly in the face of all your positions and philosophy, but sometimes when you injure a joint it is actually a good idea to allow it to rest so that it does not keep getting re-injured. I’ll bet your massage therapist may have dared to mention this concept to you.

    At any rate, I hope it gets better soon.

    • Judgment call. It isn’t actually a joint injury as best I can tell — I’m detecting collective muscle spasms that I can trace back to a laundry list of unfortunate occasions, the kind that will react to rest by just shortening up more. After a lot of prying it is all much better, but the quantum jump was that wrench on the stairs. I run to adhesions between muscle layers and they just have to be ripped away like a Band-Aid off a hairy guy.

      • I like your imagery — a bandaid off a hairy guy. You know your body better than most people. Still, sometimes after the ripping and tearing it doesn’t hurt to sit down for a day or so. Not that I ever really do this, you understand.

  4. So healthy exercise and life style can be detrimental to one’s health? I thought massage therapists were immune from those type of injuries but prone to back pains. At least our former masseuse neighbour was.

    • Not so much healthy exercise and lifestyle as heaving the snow from yard-deep blizzard and then spraining a toe just enough to screw up my gait. This is an unusual one for me and that is why I have no patience with it.

      My back was a lot crankier before I started heaving big iron around. If it feels stiff, I always know I need to get under the plate press.

  5. My hips are always cranky, I blame all those hours in front of the computer. But there’s so many kitten videos to watch, and so much news to sift through for potential posts…

    • Your diagnosis is correct. Our bodies did not evolve while we sat for long hours. They were designed to travel long distances while looking for food. Someone did a study and determined that the average Stone Age man walked around 20 miles a day during the course of its hunting and gathering activities.

  6. Ow, ow and ow. I, too, am very much of the ‘stop whingeing and get on with it’ school of injury-treatment. However, knees are the one area I take especial care of: my mother has already had to have one of hers replaced and she’s only 63 years old. Admittedly, she has been carrying about 5 stone more than is healthy for most of her adult life as well as damaging her knees in a car crash when she was 18, but still, better not take any chances. 🙂

    • I ended up having to go one more round with the mo’fo, basically prying apart a last few layers of scar tissue, but it’s back to normal now. As much as any of me ever is.

  7. Pingback: YESSSSSS!!!! « Sixteen Tons

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