Is ‘knee-jerk’ a diagnosis or a job title?

So my torn meniscus and I took a trip to the mall a few days ago. I got my toes and even my fingernails done (OPI Big Apple Red…thank you very much), drank a fancy coffee and then an even fancier Jamba juice (add antioxidants, please), and bought some cool stuff at Sephora (the girl’s version of Home Depot). It was a lovely time until my damn knee decided it was DONE for the day. My heart wanted to keep going, but my joints were just shopped out.

“And how did you tear that meniscus?” you might be thinking to yourself. “Isn’t that an injury typically reserved for professional athletes?”

Oh no, I’d have to tell you…it’s for professional athletes AND drunk dog walkers wearing the wrong shoes. (Don’t forget, this is from the woman who shared with you her tale of plantar fasciitis woe, caused by spending a week on ladders while wearing flip-flops. The odds were against me, I tell you!)Angel

About a month ago that same poor, pitiful meniscus and I went to the doctor. We imagined that our orthopedist would be a sweet-faced, caring man in a white coat…a look of concern in his eyes when he realized the pain I’d been in. Instead, we got a very tall, lanky, athletic older man in scrubs, dainty ankle socks and crocs. I somehow couldn’t take my eyes off of his feet…the socks weren’t frilly or anything, but they were so strange. When I did finally drag my attention to his face, well…there was no mercy in those steely eyes.

“So you have a couple of pretty serious tears in your meniscus. How did you do it?” he asked.

“Oh, well…I was just walking the dog and I…um, stumbled…and I, ugh… had on shoes that weren’t really supportive,” I lied, knowing that no one with those ankle socks was going to be understanding about my penchant for post happy-hour shenanigans.

He then proceeded to explain to me that injuries like this were common in middle-aged women who were overweight. I glanced around the room, doing my best to avoid the incriminating stare of the anklet wearer. (My brain was racing…Did he really just tell me that? Should I blame the vodka, or will he then call his psychiatrist friends and have me locked up? Will they wear socks or just bare feet with crocs?! And, most importantly, does this guy have a whole sock drawer full of these dainty little socklets? Does his wife roll them up into tidy little mini-sock-balls?)

I like to remember this scene with me throwing in a light-hearted, “Oh…you mean ME?” or something witty. In truth I just sat there until I had no choice but to look back at my accuser…my head hanging a little lower than it had been when I came in.

“Well alrighty then,” I finally broke the uneasy silence. “I’ll bet you really love this part of your job, huh?”

He actually looked a little relieved that I didn’t burst into tears or even try to (defensively) explain the size of my butt (But see, I have this Cheetos addiction…and my thyroid meds need to be, um…tripled!) We just talked about how I need to lose a ‘significant’ amount of weight, be more active, and basically turn into a new person who enjoys riding a stationary bike and eating lettuce with water on the side. I thanked him for his candor and couldn’t get back out into the real world fast enough, where I’m trying to get a little more exercise, where my knee is feeling better (unless I shop too much), and where doctors worth their salt wear REAL SOCKS, damn it!


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