Friday, August 30, 2013

Knee Deep

So, my knee clicks.  That's the word written on the medical report.  In reality, it's like a sharp snap that pulls my kneecap out and a bit to the right.  It happens every time I straighten or bend my knee, which is a lot.  Every once in a while, it locks and sends an intense jolt of pain through my leg that takes my breath away.  It's especially great when this happens while I'm sleeping.  The best part is that it's obvious and noticeable.  What I mean is, you can touch my leg and feel it happen, and if it's quiet enough, you can even hear it.  So, what the heck?  After having half a dozen or so medical professionals play around with my leg, I might as well let everyone else in on the weirdness, too.

To figure out what exactly was going on in there, I got to see an orthopedic surgeon and then get an MRI.  This doctor specializes in knees, particularly the left one.  (Had I known back in pre-med that I could have established a career as the "Left Ear Lobe Specialist," I might have stuck it out.)  The surgeon moved my knee around every which way, looked up at me, and said, "Well, you've got a neat party trick here."  Party trick.  Really.  I mean, I'm about as socially awkward as a person can be, but even I know that busting this thing out at a shindig is no way to get down.

After my MRI (see previous post), I knew what to expect from the doctor and waited for the explanation of all that was to come.  Unsurprisingly, he started out by asking me how my "party trick" was doing.

Me:  Well, it's actually a lot cooler than I knew.
Doctor:  How so?
Me:  You know how some people have joints that predict weather patterns?  Like, 'My elbow aches, so it's definitely going to snow today.'
Doctor:  Yeah, I guess...
Me:  Well, my knee can tell you where Jimmy Hoffa is, which is a hell of party trick if you ask me.  Who needs to know the weather in Austin?  Hot.  Every day.  I'd say the location of a notorious criminal is much more relevant.

Sadly, Hoffa's fat pad edema is in fact named after some boring doctor who isn't even related to Jimmy Hoffa (allegedly).  It's much the same as the Baker's Cyst, which has nothing to do with baking, even though that would have made total sense to me because I spend most of my free time doing stuff like this:

So, that was two major let-downs on the knee injury.  He asked if I had any other questions before he went into detail about my options.  Of course I did.

Me:  Well, the PA said that I have extra high-riding kneecaps and extended mobility.  Is that like a super power or something?  Like, maybe I can end world hunger with the extra knee work?
Doctor:'s not really a good thing.  I mean, it's not...the worst thing.  It's just not what we typically see in the average patient.
Me:  So what are you saying?  I belong in a freak show?  "Come see the girl with High-Riding Kneecaps! She's not normal!"
Doctor:  Okay, well, I wouldn't go that far.  It's just that there's a range of normal, and you're at the very high end of normal or perhaps even the low end of abnormal.
Me:  I don't believe anyone has ever described me so aptly in one sentence before.

Abby Normal.  I'm almost sure that was the name.
As we went over the options, he discussed the pros and cons of each choice.  Basically, the bottom line is that this clicking and aching is going to stay with me for the rest of my life, and there isn't really any good procedure for a permanent cure.  The doctor noted my frustration and said, "Hey, it isn't cancer, and you aren't going to die from it."  Well, those were two outcomes I never worried about.  Thanks for making me feel like a jerk for complaining.  I know it isn't cancer.  It isn't a lot of things, like starvation, or EF-5 tornadoes, or even the Zombie Apocalypse, but it is my knee.  And it is also quite unpleasant.

So I now have a non-life-threatening, "it's not cancer," snap crackle pop in my knee, and it can't even tell you where Jimmy Hoffa is.  This is the worst party trick EVER.  Thanks a lot, Suburban, thou lump of foul deformity!

No comments:

Post a Comment