On Robots, Knees and Empathy

I love my family-of-choice.  They have quite literally saved my life on more than one occasion.  Apparently, my body has developed a sort of empathy in that, hours after learning that one of my FOC suffered a leg injury, I promptly injured my knee.  The Universe has a sense of humour.  We’ll be together soon.  Hopefully, that will be enough to stop this chain. 🙂

Monday, I was helping a friend tidy up and slipped in some mop water.  My foot stayed stuck to the floor; my knee turned sideways and made a somewhat grisly pop.  For a minute there, I sat still on the floor and waited to see what might happen.  Soon enough, though, the pain made a decision for me.  My friend and her husband promptly pulled me up and got me to the hospital.

The hospital visit– which reminded me oddly of medieval torture descriptions– was quick and to the point.  I have a minor tear on the meniscus of my right knee.  It could have been quite bad, in that this is an injury that sometimes requires surgery to correct.  Mine tore in what the doctor referred to as the ‘good spot’ (I was not in agreement at that time) so it can be corrected non-surgically.  I left with a prescription for pain meds, a brace, and some lovely crutches.  On Monday, I have a follow up appointment and will get the further plan.

The brace is the aforementioned robot.  It provides nerve stimulation to help with circulation and pain.  It fits fine under trousers, but it seems a bit like something out of a science fiction novel.  Little electric pulses are given through four electrodes attached first to the brace and then to my knee.  The intensity is controlled by a button on the side of a re-chargeable ‘power pack.’  The buttons are accessible from outside the trouser leg, so I can discretely turn it off and on so the pulses are only delivered fifteen minutes out of every hour.  It actually does help with pain, if only because the pulses are bloody annoying.

All in all, I do feel quite fortunate.  Being blessed with all the grace of an elephant on roller skates, I could have done quite a bit more damage.  As it is, I’ll keep my bionic knee elevated and rested as it mends, truly happy that the injury is minor.


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