Tuesday, February 22, 2005

knee worries

After two days of rain we have a beautiful warm day today. I went for a hard hour's bike ride this morning, and was very happy that my knee didn't hurt the way it did on Saturday. That knee isn't the strongest--I dislocated the kneecap while sailing in college and several times afterwards. Since I learned to stretch it it hasn't dislocated again. I was discouraged to have it hurt (now and then) while bike riding Saturday, and it was stiff the next day so something significant clearly was going on. The rain kept me off the bike a couple of days, though I swam Sunday and ran a mile and a half yesterday. Today the stiffness in my knee was better and I tried raising my bike saddle and I only had one tiny twinge while riding. So I hope I've headed off that potential problem.

I was on the sailing team in college. Usually the women's sailing team had its own regattas, but the men's season started earlier and women were allowed to sail in men's races. So I was crewing in a men's regatta at MIT, sailing on the Charles River in Boston in early March in a Tech Dingy. It was windy, and I was hiking (leaning way out of the boat) with my foot hooked under the seat to hold me in. My knee gave way and next thing I knew I was in the water. The water was so cold that I didn't feel any pain--I didn't learn how painful a dislocated kneecap is until the next time it happened, several years later. I went to an orthopedist for the problem once and he said he could cut the tendon on the other side of my kneecap so both sides would be equally weak. I said I would wait until they invented a better treatment.

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