I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having some knee pain for a while. It hasn’t gotten much better and in fact, in one knee it’s gotten markedly worse. Worse as in if I walk too long I feel a sharp pain and my knee starts to click. Not awesome. I can’t walk around for more than about a half hour without big time fatigue in both legs. I checked in with my doc about it and she said that if the pain is there in another 2-4 weeks, we’ll start physical therapy. I’m frankly not in love with this answer, as it didn’t do two things. One, she didn’t acknowledge that having pain in my knee is, quite frankly, a pain in the god damn ass. She didn’t do this when I first went to her either. I’m not asking for coddling. I’m asking for acknowledgement. And perhaps some docs just aren’t like that – I really don’t know because i haven’t been to that many. And two, she didn’t even speak of the possibility of the pain coming from something other than running and then not running for a while. I know my body, and this feels like something a bit more than “you were running for a while and then you stopped, so now you’re knees are going to hurt for over a month.” I don’t know, I’ve clearly gone over into the frustrated side of the process. And I’m trying so hard to cling onto the gratefulness. Grateful that I can walk, grateful than I have health insurance such that I can just go to the doctor when I want/need to, grateful that I can afford ibuprofen, grateful that I have most of my mobility, grateful that I’ve been healthy as all get out for most of my life.
But right now it’s just fucking hard to do that.
I feel like this is all my fault. I feel like if I wasn’t so fat, this wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t have to hobble around and ask people to slow down when we walk together, or take so long to get up the stairs to my house. I feel frustration every day. I do believe that my weight might have something to do with my injury, but it’s tough to remind myself that it may only be a correlation, not causation. If I weighed less, there is a chance that the recovery time wouldn’t be so long, or even a chance that I wouldn’t have gotten injured in the first place. Then again, it may have absolutely nothing to do with my weight. But that certainly isn’t the narrative I choose to tell myself every day. The narrative I choose to tell myself is a bit more harsh: your fat made this happen.
The other weekend I went hunting and 4-wheeling (on a quad or All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for those of you folks not from the country) with my dad at his step-brothers ranch outside the salinas valley. It. is. gorgeous. And to be clear, when we hunt it’s mostly tootling around on the 4-wheelers, taking in the breathtaking scenery and trying to spot as many different kinds of wildlife as possible (lots of quail, squirrels like they owned the place, a bobcat!, etc). It’s a lot of gorgeous vistas, lots of this:
With the occasional these:
While riding these:
All in all, a positively delightful way to spend a couple days. That is, unless you go down, flip the quad, and have it run over you. Which is what happened to me. The short story is: the front right tire got stuck in a rut while we were going downhill, the quad started rolling, I fell off of it and onto the ground on my back, looked up and saw it coming over me, put my hands up to get it off of me (at this point dad says when he looked back up for me, I was smooshed in half with my legs up near my forehead), sat up with the wind knocked out of me, and watched the quad take about 10 full rotations as it careened down the hill. Needless to say, the thing is totaled. We couldn’t find the seat. It got tangled up in a eucalyptus grove and dad dragged it down to the road.
When it was happening, I wasn’t particularly scared and in fact it felt a teeny bit funny to me (apparently this is how I deal with stressful situations. giggle.) I kept thinking “holy shit, a 4-wheeler is about to RUN over me. this is happening. who does this happen to? what the hell?” But here’s what happened physically: a sore shoulder for a couple of days (turns out quads are heavy!) and couple of bruises that are popping up here and there, but that’s it. This is, to put it bluntly, kind of amazing. People break limbs on quads. They get paralyzed. They die. You get the point. Shit can get gnarly, so to speak. It took me a couple days to be able to process it, but I’ve come away from it with this: damn, my body can handle some stuff. And for that I am incredibly grateful. I am amazed at my body right now.
And I’m trying desperately to hold onto THAT feeling, that feeling of immense gladness for my strong arms and legs, for my flexibility, for my health. I just wish it were easier to do that.