Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bad Fall, Competition Demon, A Gold Medal in the Worrier Olympics

I was walking downtown to the bus stop on Thursday when I tripped on the pavement and went down so hard on my left knee that I went into a sort of semi-shock and was unable to get up. I just laid there on the sidewalk, stunned with pain and completely disoriented. Luckily, two nice ladies happened by at that moment and very sweetly and efficiently helped me to my feet. I was trembling and near tears, but I assured them I was okay and that I just needed to sit for a minute before continuing on. I hobbled over to some nearby steps and lifted my pant leg to survey the damage. It was horrendous. Huge, angry scrapes and bruises and bloody cuts. I limped back to my office, fished some bandages out of a First Aid kit, and cleaned up. On the overcrowded bus, people kept sliding their stupid backpacks and tote bags over my super-swollen, tender knee, so I was in agony by the time I got home.

My left knee was in bad shape the next day, but with ice and aspirin, I managed to keep the swelling under control. However, last night, I was playing “Spiderman-Coke-Case-Tube-Slide” on the floor with Buddy (the mechanics of which I will explain shortly), when I felt a severe pop in my right knee. About twenty minutes later, a cyst literally the size of an egg appeared just under my right knee cap. I guess I hit my right knee pretty hard in the fall, too. Mr. Typist and I stared at the gigantic lump in horrified amazement and contemplated a trip to the ER. Luckily, after about an hour, the egg shrunk to half-size and turned into a swollen bruise. Today, it’s just a slightly raised black bruise. However, my entire right shoulder is in agony. I have a huge scrape on my right elbow, so I think I must have fallen with quite a lot of weight on my right side. I’m a mess, folks.

All of this leaves to wonder what is up with my LEFT KNEE? Why do I have bad left knee karma? I need to consult Louis Hayes, even though I think her message has been pretty horrible and destructive, allowing self-righteous New-Agers to blame people's bad attitudes for their own mental or physical ailments so they don't have to face the fact that something bad might happen to them, even though they do yoga and eat organic. Nonetheless, I am very curious about why I have had four major injuries to my left knee in the last eight years. I would never blame anyone for their ailments, but I do have a very strong sense of mind/body connection from my many years as a massage therapist and mind-body counselor, so I can't help but think that there is some unresolved spiritual issue that’s causing me to continuously injure myself in the same place. Or maybe it's just purely a body mechanics thing. All I know is that I’m in for some aspirin and an Epsom salt bath, stat.  

I’m making good progress on the grant. I’m almost done with my writer’s resume, although it feels absurdly thin. I've assured myself over the years that I have been building up "quite a body of work", but when I really scrutinize my resume, it doesn’t exactly reflect a prolific writer. I think this grant application has been bad for my writing self-esteem, but then again, I don't have that much ego invested in my successes. It's only when I enter into some sort of competitive situation that I start to get all insecure and weird. Like when I completely lost my bloody mind during Project Verse six years ago. I was totally confused by the competitive monster that awoke in me, unbidden and unfamiliar. I was obsessed with every tiny criticism, and my entire life and emotional health was centered around this ultimately rigged and stupid contest which turned out to be wracked with scandal. I have a lot of compassion for those cooking and runway show contestants now.

After my fall, I was texting my co-worker, who was worried about me and thought I should go to the doctor. I told her she was a world-champion worrier, but that I probably shouldn’t talk since I could easily win a gold medal in the Worry Olympics. Then I thought that there should be an actual Worrier Olympics! I don’t know how it would work, exactly, but there must be a way. Speaking of games, I shall now explain the intricacies of “Spiderman-Coke-Case-Tube-Slide”:


Small stuffed Spiderman chew toy
Empty 12-Pack Cardboard Coke Case
Fast Reflexes


1.       Close the flaps of the Coke case but leave enough open space to wiggle Spiderman in a narrow opening.

2.      Open the case flaps at the “Cat entry point”.

3.      Situate Cat on “the runway”—make sure he is far enough back to make a running leap at the case entrance.

4.      Wiggle Spiderman in the small flap opening.

5.      Get your hand the hell out of the way as Cat tears across the floor, dives into the case, and captures Spiderman in his razor-claws.

6.      Reward Cat by rolling him around in the case roughly and praising his hunting prowess.

Easy, cheap, and hours of fun! I’ll try to post a video soon.

--Kristen McHenry


John Socrates said...

Fantabulous post, my dear. Sorry for your fall. Hope get well soon and good karma will come to your left knee!

Jeannine Hall Gailey said...

My physical therapists say that once you injure one joint, it's easier to injure it again - and, if your biomechanics are off (mine are - I've got mild scoliosis, but enough to keep me slightly off balance) then you're more likely to fall, and your frequently-injured part is probably going to be weaker and go first. That's not spiritual, it's just body logic. (I am an expert on this because I've injured my left ankle about twenty times, and my right ankle, like, eight times. Why the disparity? Now I use tape around the joints when I do serious walking (Kensio-tape, is I think the name, but most PT people can show you how to do it to reinforce your tendons/muscles where they're weak.) Good luck and speedy healing! Also, keep off your knees as much as possible while you're recovering!

The Good Typist said...

Thanks, Patrick! Hi, Janine! I think you're right about the biomechanics thing--I have a leg length difference and some other structural issues that cause ongoing aches and pains. I was also wearing really shabby shoes that I kept telling myself I was going to replace soon. I finally went and got new shoes today for walking back and forth from downtown to work (about two miles, mostly uphill on the way in.) I'm a bit better today, just bruised and sore. I'll take it easy!

Nancy Harris said...

Hi Kristen,

I hope you are feeling better from your fall. It might not hurt to consult a medical doctor for your injuries. Certainly, a good chiropractor would be helpful if you continue to have shoulder and back pain. Loved your post, and, as always, I wish you the best! God bless!

Janice O'Donnell said...

sorry about your fall. am familiar with such things.

mostly I want yo to know that your poem Autodidact is profoundly important to me. I don't know that I've ever connected with a piece of writing (and I read A LOT) that has spoken not just TO me, but OF me. Thank you