Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Worst part of pre-patella bursitis:
  • Having a knee swollen to the size of a grapefruit

  • Spending six hours at the hospital, in one of those designer gowns

  • Having a doctor jab your swollen and tender knee joint to drain fluid

  • Getting highly irritated underarms from using crutches

  • Wearing a leg immobilizer

  • Children who complain that you cry when they sit on your affected knee

  • Inability to help rebuild Temple in Jerusalem

Vote in the poll!

I've been in worse shape -- the times I had amebic dysentery, and dengue fever spring to mind -- but to tell the truth, I feel fairly rotten.

We took the girls up to Morristown National Park on Sunday to see the Revolutionary War encampments at Jocky Hollow and to see the Wick house, where Tempe Wick lived. (There's a neat story about Tempe that Evangeline recently read as part of our study on the Revolution, and she's been begging to go see the house ever since she realized that it was a real place.)

My best guess is that I put some undue stress on my right knee when I carried Evangeline up a fairly steep hill to the (presumably rebuilt) cabins used by the Pennsylvania Line soldiers. Sunday evening my knee was becoming fairly uncomfortable, and around 4 a.m. Monday, it hurt so much that it woke me up. By morningtime, it was visibly swollen, red, and warm to the touch.

I ended up going to the doctor that afternoon, and he concerned enough he sent me to the emergency room with the warning that I might be there overnight, or longer. It turns out he was concerned they might have to operate on my knee.

Luckily, and I use the term with a measure of irony, all that happened is they drained some of the fluid from the joint to perform a culture, gave me an antibiotic IV drip and left me shivering in that stupid gown for about two hours until I reminded them that I would really, really like a blanket. (It took another two hours before I got them to understand that I really, really had to pee.)

The long and short of it is that I have bursitis, and am taking Keflex to kill the infection. I've developed a slight fever, have sore spots from the crutches and my knee is in steady pain. I'm also tired all the time, which is ironic, because I don't feel "sick," if you know what I mean.

Luckily, and this time I use the term with a smaller measure of irony, my mother came up today, with plans to stay for the next week since I'm unable to drive comfortably, even if I take my knee out of the leg brace.

The worst part has been that my girls are fascinated with the leg brace and have tried to play with it and with my leg. Ruth sat on my knee twice yesterday, and Evangeline unwittingly kicked in a few times. Today, Ruth kept trying to climb all over me, so I switched sofas. She immediately complained: "No, daddy, I want to climb down your leg!"


Still, it's nice to know that I have friends. Because Natasha was unable to pick me up at the hospital, she asked a friend if he could, and although the hour was late, he was more than happy to do it. Tonight he called just to ask how I was feeling.

I made up a list of reasons psoriasis was a good thing to have, a while ago. Now I'm trying to come up with a similar list of reasons to have bursitis. There has to be something good about it, although it is hard to appreciate when your knee looks big and round enought to be the grapefruit on someone's breakfast table.

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