Tearfully telling tales of the terrible tear

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 4.47.43 PMI thought I’d left my problems behind.

They haven’t left. They’ve only moved to the right.

And that ain’t right.

I’m now four months removed from surgery to replace bone and cartilage in my left knee with sturdy titanium. I’m feeling so much better. On the left. The swelling has almost disappeared, save where it looks and feels like someone has hidden a wad of gum beneath my skin. There is still a lot of numbness, but I’ve learned that might be around for awhile. It’s a lot better than the shotgun blast that accompanied every step prior to surgery. A lot better.

On the left.

The right? Not so much.

So, it seems with all the attention on my left knee, the right side got a little jealous. Ice. Aspirin. Bandages. Magnetic healing tape. All of those gifts have been for the left side. My right knee? He’s been a quiet, cooperative little guy.

So much for that.

The pain on the right side started the morning after my daughter’s wedding. That was March 5th. I woke in a dream state, still unable to convince myself that I’d actually married off my second child. The celebration ended abruptly with the realization that I actually had another knee fully capable of bringing me to my…uh…knees.

For two-and-a-half weeks, I limped around in utter denial. This just doesn’t happen. No one has surgery on one knee only to injure the other before all the hospital bills are paid.

I ignored it. I iced it. I took enough Aleve to send a mobster to the bottom of the East River. Nothing worked.

Back to the doctor.

Without an MRI, we won’t know for sure, but it appears I’ve torn the meniscus. It’s a common injury. Quite common. What’s uncommon is the timing. In fact, that’s downright maddening. Nothing funny about it at all.

Only…I had to laugh when my orthopedist asked how it might have happened.

So, back to that wedding.

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 4.48.05 PM

It’s the only reasonable explanation. My daughter wanted our father-daughter dance to be something memorable. She choreographed. We rehearsed. I was a little concerned about soreness to my restructured knee, but what the heck? It would be worth it.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

A jump. A few twists. A half-dozen kicks. There was that nifty little move designed by my daughter that had us clicking heels and spinning…

Yeah, that probably did it.

And still, I’d do it all again.

The delightfully damaging daddy-daughter dance. What a blast.

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 4.48.08 PM

At this point, the plan is to wait a bit and see if the tear heals naturally. So far, not so good. If I’m still grimacing in a month, I’m going back for the MRI. I may not make it a month. It’s possible I may be in for some arthroscopic surgery. Not a big deal. It’s straightforward, quick, and I won’t miss any work.

Still, there’s that word. Surgery.



Well, what I’ve got left of my body is doing alright.

And that’s worth a dance.


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