wounded knee

Last Tuesday morning, I damaged my knee. Cycling back from church, at some considerable speed, I went off the path, slipped on some mud and lost control.

I remember flying through the air, then the next thing I recall is yelling in pain. Almost immediately, a woman with her young daughter and small dog came to my assistance. They were so nice. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask their names, but thank you whoever you are. How often it is that something bad happens and almost immediately something good happens too.

They helped me to my feet, and after assuring them several times that I was OK, I hobbled slowly home. I spent the rest of the day doing very little except putting off going to the hospital in the hope that I really was OK, but I wasn’t.

That evening a friend was good enough to drive me to the hospital. In Addenbrookes, we Cambridge folk have one of the best hospitals in the world. We are very lucky. I have waited for hours in other A&E/Casualty departments, but never here. Soon enough, they had me X-Rayed, and a nurse practitioner had a prod around, established how to hurt me(!), and pronounced that I had most likely slightly torn the ligament at the back of my knee. She showed me a slightly fuzzy white area of my X-ray to validate her claim. She strapped me up in the peculiar armour you can barely see in the photo, gave me a set of crutches, and sent me packing with an appointment to come back and see a consultant the following week.

I returned a week later and was examined by the qualified gentleman. He had a good poke around the distressed joint, and declared there was no way to say for sure what damage had been done. “Carry on as you are for another 4 weeks or so”, he said, “and then we’ll give you an MRI scan.” So rest, regular ice packs and elevation are now my key activities.

I have never before had to use crutches. At first it was awkward and difficult. Two weeks on and I have become quite adept. Nonetheless there are a great number of things that I either cannot do at all, or only do with great difficulty. The upside of this is that I can turn my attention to things I have been neglecting. Reading and writing immediately spring to mind. Since I am effectively under doctors orders to keep my feet up as much as possible, I might as well enjoy it.

All my advisers, qualified and otherwise, have said that injured knees take time to heal, and that above all patience is required.  I am not very good at this. Yesterday I did a bunch of tidying, cleaning and moving stuff around in my office/studio. I was determined to get to a certain point, and in doing so, overdid it. My knee was not happy. I will try today to make up for it, by doing, at least physically, the bare minimum. Wish me luck.

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