Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Need Your Knees

You take a lot for granted about your body when everything is working as it should. You forget that the whole is the sum of its parts. When a part isn't doing what it should it just might bring the machine to a halt.

My left knee just about brought this old contrapion called me to a stop. I wrote about the pain a week ago, so consider this a progress report.

Knees are ugly things, at least on me they are. They are bumpy and scared, and of course a popular gathering place for my psoriasis. I don't really have to look at them all that much. They are down there someplace kind of in a blind spot. I barely consider them, except on those occasions with Mr. Arthur Itis comes by to visit those joints. But as I last reported his cousin Mr. Bur S. Itis moved in this month, lock stock, balloon  and red-hot poker.

There's what he looked like back on the 23rd in the right photo.

He blew up enough to take out some of the wrinkles, but who cares if their knees are smooth? Fact was it hurt like blazes and I couldn't bend my leg, not a wit, not an inch.

It is a real inconvenience when the knee won't bend, especially with the pain. I couldn't easily get in the car. I had to push my self up high and half over the passenger seat to slide that left foot up and in. Once I got the leg and foot in the car it was agony driving even short distances because I couldn't stretch it straight out and that little bend I forced upon it keep burning at me all the way.

Getting dressed was another interesting maneuver. You can't bend the thing and you can't hardly lift your foot without Mr. Bur S. Itis shooting a dart down your shin. I had to devise a way to manage.

I would have to hold my underwear so the leg hole was an open target. Lift my left leg a inch while gritting my teeth and then wave the shorts back and forth until I lassoed the toes. After that I gently tugged them over the foot and then slipped in the right foot, because that leg I could bend and pulled them up. Somewhat the same with trousers, except they were too long and bulky to wave at my toes. I would place  the left side of them pretty much down on the floor, then ease my foot up on them hoping to get into the top of the leg. Now again an easing up inch by inch until my foot peeked through the other side. Then dip down the right side and slip in the right foot and pull into place.

I would put my right shoe on first. I would place my left shoe on the floor and again force my left leg and foot off the found and over the back into the opening. After than I just had to press until my foot was inside, which usually broke down the back of my shoe under my heel. It wasn't easy getting that leather out and back where it should be either. A lot of pushing with my other foot.

Of course for the first week I couldn't tie that shoe. My wife had to do it for me. "Thank you, mommy. Someday I'll learn to do it myself!"

Now I didn't mention something else. Something goes on between the pants and the shoe called a sock. I figured out how to get the pants on Larry and the shoe over my toes, but I found no way to get the sock on. Again, I had to ask my wife to do it.

So I was dressed with no where to go, because I couldn't blasted walk. I was more or less a paperweight for a week. Then it began to improve a bit. I could bend it a teeny tiny bit.

Here is how I measured progress. "Mommy, mommy, I tied my shoe all by myself today!" Yes, it bent just enough I could lean over while standing up, just grasp my shoelace ends and by gritting my teeth manage a reasonable bow knot. I still couldn't get my sock anywhere near my toes though. I was still dragging myself into the car and trying to hide the pain of driving. I still couldn't sleep but in one position at night, assuming I could get to sleep at all.

But a couple days ago the pain easied and the knee bent a little more. I could actually change how I lay at night and sleep. It was getting easier to dress and to get in the car. Then another day and a bit more bend and bit less swelling. Now I had almost no pain, unless I forgot myself and bent my leg too far. It wasn't too far to too far, either.

I felt my leg was about 85% back to normal. I felt no discomfort now driving, although I still had to be careful getting into a vehicle. And then I actually managed to put my sock on myself. It wasn't all that easy, but I can do it.

I still couldn't cross my legs, but I was walking almost like a human being again.

Now today both my knees are looking more like their good old wrinkled up ugly selves. This morning they almost look like twins, although you can still see a little swelling in the left.

However, I can't catch a break. I woke up at two o'clock this morning from pain. It wasn't my left knee.

It seems Mr. Arthur Itis took up residence in the apartment below. My ankle is killing me and I'm back to an old man's shuffle.


Ron said...


I'm laughing but I do feel for you. Waving your shorts back and forth until you lassoed the toes? Looks like you'll have to go back to wearing your thong. You won't have a problem then. But seriously (he said), I had a similar problem when I sprained my right arm several months back. For the first week I was without the use of my arm. I tried to use it but excruciating pain shot up through my shoulder every time I tried to do just routine tasks like putting on my T-shirt, shaving, brushing my teeth and even wiping myself when used the bathroom. Apparently I'm terminally right handed at EVERYTHING. I tried to use the left hand but it just wasn't the same.
I guess it's a good thing your knee is better but I'm concerned that the pain has migrated to a different part of your body. Do you have any idea what is causing this problem?

Larry Eugene Meredith said...


I'm fairly certain my knee problem was bursitis. I have had that in my elbow a couple of times. With the elbow it was mostly because one leans on the elbow so much. The knee may have been stressed from tripping or I may have banged it. It began to bother me three weeks ago but I had a lot of things I had to do, some of which put more pressure on my legs and knees.

The ankle is arthritis. I've had it there before and I know its feel. Hopefully this is a short attack. It has eased some over the course of the day.

I am a little tired of all this pain, though.