On gimpy knees


So much hinges on the knee. 


During our move to the new house, I did something to offend my right knee. I don’t know if it was something I said or did, but it has been complaining day and night for about a week. After several particularly heated arguments, I tried cooling it down with ice. That worked for a while. Various creams and gentle massaging have helped, too.




My knees never used to be so touchy. We traveled everywhere together; my silent partners who helped my thighbones and shank bones stay connected. I admit I complained about their shape for years. I’ve never had shapely legs, and even though I’m not overweight, my knees are pudgy.



I searched online to find out more about cranky knees and discovered I have at least 8 or 9 serious joint/ligament/cartilage/bone diseases, syndromes, and conditions. I should know better than to use Google as a diagnostic tool, but I can’t help myself. Unlike my knees, I’m slightly unhinged.



Ever since the right knee started whining, I’ve been expressing how grateful I am for my legs and for my knees in particular. Without them I would never have been able to skate around the block as a little girl, pigtails flying and both knees skinned up by the cracks that caught the wheels and brought me down.  I would have missed getting up on the dance floor to do the Twist, the Watusi, the Pony, and the Mashed Potato. And how else would I have been able to roll out of bed at 3 a.m. for a crying child who found sleep again only as I paced and hummed across the living room floor? These legs with their pudgy knees hiked up the 300 steps of the Sacre-Couer Basilica after a day of sightseeing just to delight my two eyes with a panoramic view of Paris and never complained when I then asked them to take me up the 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Across streets, up and down stairs, on concrete walkways, over dirt paths, atop tiled and wooden floors, and through yards of green grass, my legs and knees have shown me 10,000 miles or more of our sun-warmed world. So perhaps a little complaining is to be expected.



This morning the right knee hasn’t said much. I’ve been much kinder to it this week, so perhaps that helped. I hope Google and my imagination are wrong about all those knee ailments, but I’ve passed into the land where the traveler is often waylaid by disease and deterioration. From here, it’s hard to tell if the road ahead leads upward, downward, or stays flat. I’m counting on my knees, gimpy or otherwise, to get me to my destination.



Photo courtesy of AKha


21 thoughts on “On gimpy knees

  1. Yes, I have reached an age where my knees are strictly for walking!
    Stay away from google.
    I googled my blocked salivary gland…big mistake…when they started talking about tumours I rushed straight out of there!

  2. Be kind to your knees. After I was hit by a car with a resulting plateau fracture to my left tibia that required surgery and three screws to repair, I find kneeling excruciating–the joint is now fine but the nerves got seriously confused and offended and when they hit a solid surface they send alarm signals so urgent that I’ve stopped trying. Not to mention the shift in center of gravity that has accompanied the various body redistributions of middle age, making getting down and getting up rather more challenging anyway….. Here’s what I’ve learned: you don’t have to be Catholic (I’m not) to find not-kneeling Hell. You need those overworked and underpaid joints! Massage them, fish-oil them, heat and cool them, and most of all let them know you appreciate all their faithful service–let them read this wonderful blog!

  3. I’m sharing sympathy pains. It’s my right foot that’s kept me off the jogging and walking trail for over a month. I am certain it must be a life-threatening disease, but I’ve not worked up the courage to get a doctor to confirm my diagnosis. I wear soft shoes and complain instead.

    • I need to get back to my walking now that my knee and I have stopped complaining. I’m sure there’s some medicinal value in complaining. I complained and now my knee is better!

  4. Though it was years ago, I still remember my last move from one home to the next. As the movers were taking a beautiful wooden table down a staircase, I observed a leg fly off the table. Seeing my face turn pale, they laughed and said, ‘don’t worry, we can glue it back on’. Of course when it comes to our own person, especially as the years go by, it’s harder to recover, but I wish you a speedy recovery.

  5. Now that I have one knee replaced and the other rapidly deteriorating toward joining it, I can fully appreciate good knees. Take care of yours. They are squeaking for a reason!

  6. I don’t know if you prefer homeopathic remedies, but I would highly recommend the Old Goat joint pain remedy from The Vermont Country Store — very effective and all natural ingredients such as peppermint, pepper, eucalyptus, etc. I use it on my neck and shoulder so I don’t smell like a 90 year old by using Ben-Gay. It’s an excellent topical pain reliever. There’s also Spring Chicken body rub which is like an Icy Hot kind of thing that smells like cinnimon and is pretty good as well. And if you just need to take a bath to unwind, you can’t beat the Tired Old Ass bath salts.

  7. Dealing with a cranky knee is tricky business. To walk on it or rest it, to ice it or heat it, to flex it or keep it still…what’s a body to do? I think everyone is different and you will find your way through to your old happy knee self again. I myself find that gentle yoga stretches is the magic formula for me. Be well.

    • Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I’m glad you liked the photos.

      Thankfully my knee has quieted down and hasn’t complained for weeks. In the past I did take glucosamine for a sore knee and it seemed to help.

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