I hurt my knee.
Not in the crutches-sympathy-let-me-bring-you-a-pillow way.
More along the lines of the mommy-why-does-that-man-walk-funny way.
I hate that. There isn't even a scar. What's the sense of having pain if there's nothing to show for it? I showed my knee to my wife, who is an expert on injured bodies, and although she was trying to be supportive, she couldn't really detect any swelling or other malformations. A good scar can make up for a lot of pain. I mean, if you notice the two inch long scar on my right hand and ask me about it, you're not going to have to say another word for 15 minutes.
I don't even know what I did to my knee. I was walking along, carrying something I probably shouldnâ€™t have been carrying, and heard (or felt) a little internal "pop." And now it hurts.
Some people might say this is a sign of age. To those people I say, "Shut up."
I don't like it that I've apparently reached the point in my life that my body has begun to malfunction just because I use it to do the things it's supposed to do. If I had been bouncing on a pogo stick while carrying a Jersey calf on my shoulders, I'd have no complaints if I'd had a few twinges afterward, but I was JUST WALKING.
My wife thinks I should go to the doctor. I don't really want to. My opinion is that the doctor will ask me what's wrong and I'll tell him that my knee hurts and then he'll tell me to rub some dirt on it and get back in the game.
That's what happened the last time I told someone my knee hurt.
Okay, that's not quite true. That's what happened the FIRST time I told someone my knee hurt. Of course, he was a football coach who shall remain nameless just on the off chance that he's managed to survive 36 years of me sticking pins in a giant, fat-bellied, bellowing, voodoo doll.
When I was a sophomore in high school, one evening during a football game a couple of guys on the opposing team made my knee bend in a manner I did not believe it was meant to do. I hobbled off the field and the large, profane fascist who was nurturing my athletic career put his arm around my shoulders and told me that real players played through pain.
I'm not sure that was useful advice to give a 15-year-old, and 10 years later I had my opinion confirmed when an orthopedic surgeon looked at my x-rays and said, "What the hell were you thinking?"
It wasn't a big deal to fix. A couple pins, some staples, a large cast that made my foot turn purple when I stood up, about six months of rehab, and I was good as new. The only real cost was the voodoo doll and extra pins, although I did have a couple of former teammates who chipped in for those.
Well, I learned my lesson. My knee may hurt a little, but Iâ€™m certainly not going to tell a doctor about it or, for that matter, a coach. All I ask is that if you see me, please don't let your kid tell me I walk funny.
I'm serious. I can get another voodoo doll.