What I Kneed…

Meet Walker Texas Ranger, my companion for the next few weeks (hopefully less — shhh, don’t tell him I said that). If I have to use a walker, it’s gonna at least be fashion-y but look trashy.

Hopefully, as you’re reading this, I’m parked on the couch, heels resting on fluffy pillows perfectly placed on the coffee table while a cocktail of Extra Strength Tylenol, ibuprofen and hydrocodone squashes any throbbing in my right knee.

Which, actually, could be describing any ol’ day of the week except this time the Tylenol is for surgery-related pain rather than the usual creaky arthritis. Yup, this was a big week. After years of physical therapy, so many X-rays, an MRI, multiple purchases of Costco compression sleeves (2-for-1!) and two spendy braces, I moved one step closer to becoming one of my childhood idols* — Jamie Sommers, aka The Bionic Woman.

Look what I came across in the process of double-checking the spelling on Jamie Sommers. What the heck? There is a market for bionic Barbie parts. I am very curious about and concerned for these people selling used Barbie parts.

I got a robotic partial knee replacement.

You know how in school the smart kids get to skip a grade? Well, this is the medical equivalent of my very advanced right knee skipping ahead two decades to much-needed surgical intervention. Every medical professional has gasped, “You’re so young! How did this happen?!” Maybe they’re just sucking up, but I’ll take it.

And how exactly did this become kneecessary?

I’m SO glad you asked.

Years ago, when I was a cub newspaper reporter and there was no such thing as GPS or MapQuest or even smart phones, the city desk dispatched me to a house where police were serving arrest warrants in the tragic murder of a convenience store clerk. It was an unfamiliar neighborhood and I’m already naturally directionally challenged, so of course I got lost and had to pull over and consult my old-school city map. 

I heard a commotion outside the car while I scanned pages looking for the right street. A young man was booking down the road, running right at my car. In the distance a dog and several cops were in hot pursuit. But this guy was headed straight toward me. 


He got closer and closer and so I waited for the right moment and opened the door. Boom! Splat! It was just like the movies. Flattened like a buckwheat pancake. My Honda Civic’s door knocked him clean out. I rolled down the window to make sure and yup, he was unconscious. In what turned out to be a not-so-smart move, I swung open the door and stepped out — right as the police dog reached the scene. I felt sharp teeth clamp around my ankle. I instinctively pulled away, wrenching my knee in the opposite direction and … that did it.

Isn’t that a wild story? Isn’t it a great reason to need a knee replacement? Too bad it’s not true. Well, part of it is — the part about me getting lost. I made up the rest. It’s a much better excuse than bad genetics.

I never tore a meniscus or ACL in the process of making an amazing overhead smash to win the high school state tennis championship.

I never blew out my knee trying to make the junior national Olympic bobsled team.

Although this one time, I knelt down to take a super cool picture of a horse-drawn carriage pulling people through a pumpkin patch and the next day my knee was swollen like a balloon.

The truth is I have boring bowed bones that smacked together too much and ground up every last bit of cartilage on the inside of my knee.

But since I have to push around a walker for a few weeks, I’m gonna need a better story for everyone who asks, so I think I’m going to polish that bobsled thing.   

*Wonder Woman was and always will be my absolute favorite of all time, but The Bionic Woman was pretty badass. 

And Now, Some Surgery Shorts

Did you know surgeons, much like designers, like to promote their brand by scribbling initials on the defective body part? Post surgery, I did a double take because it looked like someone had drawn a penis on my leg. And I’m not the only one who thought that. Side note: I requested a lightning-bolt shaped incision for a cool scar later and was brutally rebuffed.

I was most dismayed that leopard-print compression thigh-highs were not an option and it will be duly reflected in my Yelp review of the surgery center.

Check out my fireproof blanket. Post surgery, I pulled it all the way up over my head because it was so bright in my room and I was still groggy and wanted to sleep. It caused a bit of a commotion at the nursing station because they thought I’d made a break for it. Au contraire, I was taking full advantage of a napportunity, which I never ever get at home.

I almost forgot my favorite text, which arrived a few hours post surgery from No. 2…

3 thoughts on “What I Kneed…

  1. Oh my goodness! I’m sorry to hear about your surgery, but wish you a speedy recovery. You really had me with your story about knocking out the suspect with your car door, though! So funny! Take care of yourself, Bionic Lady. 💕


  2. I was embarrassed that I never knew about your valiant fighting of crime! You really had me going!


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