Quick question. Don’t cheat by Googling.
What do columnist Cindy Hval, former Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy, former Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson and former New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd have in common?
Answer: all have suffered meniscus tears. (The meniscus is a c-shaped piece of soft and fibrous cartilage in the knee.) Sure the injuries of the latter all occurred while playing for the NFL and this columnist’s injury apparently happened while strolling around the block, or sleeping, but still – I’d like to think the four of us could bond over a beverage whilst discussing physical therapy protocols.
The hitch in my gitalong happened last fall shortly before we visited The World’s Most Beautiful Boys (our twin grandsons). I noticed a twinge in my left knee during my regular walk but dismissed it. I’m prone to dismiss twinges, which is why we arrived at the hospital a scant 20 minutes before the birth of two of our sons.
While in Ohio, chasing after toddlers proved painful, so the day our plane landed in Spokane, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment. An X-ray showed no fractures and very minimal arthritis for “a woman my age.” Diagnosed with a suspected sprained knee (though I hadn’t fallen or even twisted it that I recalled) my doctor prescribed ibuprofen, ice, elevation and rest.
Then my knee started buckling without warning. The swelling didn’t abate and the stairs in our split-level home became my idea of the old lady Olympics.
With another visit to the twins coming up, I finally sought physical therapy. After some poking and prodding, the therapist said she suspected I had a slight tear in my meniscus. She felt optimistic that with diligent home exercise and physical therapy I could avoid surgery.
That was six weeks ago, and I have seen lots of improvement, though how the injury occurred in the first place is still a mystery.
Last week I celebrated another 50-something birthday and I’ve noticed one side effect of aging is the increase of mysteries.
Example: Yesterday, I brushed my teeth after breakfast, but when I got ready for bed at night I couldn’t find my toothbrush anywhere! I scoured cabinets, tables, nooks and crannies, before finally finding it behind the coffee maker.
Obviously, I wasn’t caffeinated enough to wield a toothbrush.
A sore neck puzzled me for weeks. No amount of pillow-fluffing alleviated the ache. Then I read that many who work at computers all day don’t have their monitors at eye level which causes neck strain. Currently, my monitor rests on a copy of “E-Myth Mastery” and “Greenhouse Gardner’s Companion.”
Recently, my husband and I planned a Netflix binge of a suspense series we’d wanted to catch up on. Halfway through an episode, I awoke with a start. What woke me? Derek’s snores. We had to start the entire episode over.
“That’s what we get for trying to watch late-night TV,” I said.
Derek cleared his throat.
“It’s 9 p.m…”
Earlier this month my 90-year-old mom had another dental emergency. I scheduled her appointment and we arrived early. A full day early.
“That’s OK, sweetie,” she said. “I’m used to it. Your dad got everywhere early. He even showed up in Heaven early.”
Speaking of Mom, last week I was at her senior-living apartment making a list of items I needed to pick up at the store for her. It was a mental list, which turned out to be a big mistake.
“Did you say you needed paper towels or toilet paper?” I asked.
She narrowed her eyes.
“Aren’t I supposed to be the one with dementia?”
I may be aging, but I’m still young enough to get schooled by my mother.