Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I have found yet another way to get hurt. This should not come as a big surprise to people who know me.

The worst part is, I don’t even know what I did, but at some point in the last two weeks, I wrenched my knee in a way it did not appreciate. It’s one of those now-it-hurts, now-it-doesn’t sort of things. Walking is fine. Running is occasionally fine and occasionally not. Abrupt, weight-bearing turns are not. There is no swelling, no heat, no bruising.

The vagueness of the injury is keeping me from going to the doctor. When I go to the doctor, I like to present solid symptoms, like running blood or a heart rate of 200 beats per minute. That gets their attention and they take me seriously. Trust me on this. It's the voice of experience. Going to the doctor and saying, “Sometimes my knee hurts and sometimes it doesn’t” sounds wimpy. I don’t need to kick out a $25 co-pay to be told, “Go home, take anti-inflammatories and put ice on it.” That’s a trial entry, for heaven’s sake.

Or worse yet, they could say, "Try to stay off it." Yeah, right. I'll just put the maid, gardener, cook and laundress on overtime pay for a couple of weeks, no problem.

In the meantime, I went to the drug store and bought a knee brace. It’s one of those snug, neoprene type things and it is truly the only thing that got me through three 12-hour days at my club’s obedience trials last weekend (that and a lot of ibuprofen). I was measuring the passage of time not in hours but by how many “fasts” I had yet to do in the ring with my dogs (one on Friday, seven on Saturday, three on Sunday.)

In case you’ve never had reason to buy one, generic drugstore-type knee braces come in three sizes: small, medium and large, depending on how big around your knee is. How many of you know your knee measurement off the top of your head? How many of you just went and measured your knee for kicks?

Not having measured my knee at any point in recent memory, I agreed w/the clerk who suggested a small would probably fit. Since it was obviously a guy’s knee pictured on the box (or an extremely hairy woman’s), I figured the things probably ran large.

I changed my mind about that after I put it on. I also decided A) I would probably end up being buried in it and B) if I ever managed to get it off, I was going to spray my leg with cooking spray before putting it back on so maybe it would slide without peeling off the top layer of skin in the process. Long story short, I ended up going back and exchanging it for a medium, which was easier to put on and take off. A little. But not much. Maybe they only fit fashion models with super sculpted thighs and no body fat. No one will ever mistake me for a fashion model.

I’ve given myself a one-week window of no deliberate exercise and very restricted heelwork training with Phoenix. If things aren’t better with my knee by next week, I will call the doctor and say, “Sometimes my knee hurts and sometimes it doesn’t” and hope I don’t sound too stupid. This is the same clinic I went to when I gave myself severe tendonitis a couple of years ago throwing balls for the dogs with a ChuckIt. Fortunately, the practitioner I saw then has moved to another position. Although I think she and I had reached an understanding since she diagnosed my exercise-induced asthma after several long and rather odd conversations about dog agility and my inability to breathe. I don’t think this knee thing is a dog-induced injury, however, so it might be easier to explain to non-dog medical personnel.

Stay tuned.


  1. LOL - the first thing I thought when I saw your post title was "Ah jeez... what did she do NOW?". Hopefully that knee brace and rest does the trick.

  2. I toqured my knee one day when a viszla tried to bail off my grooming table at work and I caught her. A pop and OUCH. I couldn't put weight on it at all for about a week. Got a knee brace like yours and waited. Now 18 months later, it still occassionally aches after a long weekend and soemtimes 'goes out' on me when running, but I decided another surgery for a dog-related injury wasn't in the cards at this point. Only when I can't walk any more . . .

  3. Forget the doctor except to get directed to a physical therapist. Ice and PT.