Swollen knees and a smile (UPDATED 2016)
A silver lining to swollen knees
I made a strange discovery a couple weeks ago in the bathtub. Not Roo’s plastic goldfish. Round knees. (Swollen knees).
Shaving my legs (I hope the guys won’t mind this story too much…) I was amazed how easily the razor glided around my knees. Inspecting them afterwards, the proof was undeniable: No corners equals no cuts!
How about that? A benefit of swollen knees! No razor nicks. I’d have noticed sooner, but I prefer waxing. How many other advantages are there to living with Rheumatoid Disease (RD) that I’ve missed so far?
Want to read more about swelling?
Finding something to be glad for (or at least smile at)
That first year of RD, I remember finding a small bright spot. I realized that since I wasn’t able to fix my hair and it was too difficult to put on makeup, instead, I’d just go get in the car when it was time to go somewhere. I remember telling someone it was like a burden lifted to be free to come and go like a man – at a moment’s notice.
Of course, I was making light of a big adjustment. But laughing helps. I’ve had my share of crying days too.
Maybe we can find an advantage to the crepitus we talked about last week:
- People can hear me coming if my joints snap.
- The sounds can break an awkward silence.
- I can’t play hide and seek (so I don’t have to!)
- I’ll never accidentally walk into an awkward moment.
CAN YOU THINK OF ONE?
Swollen is in the knee of the beholder – or maybe not
Here are a few recent swollen knees shots made into a collage. I poked my fingers in to show how deep the doughy-ness was. Yes, I’ve seen knees far more swollen than mine. But these are the knees I walk with, and they hurt. These are the knees that hate to sit, carry invisible icepicks, and refuse to straighten.
These are the swollen knees that have never been examined by a rheumatologist, even though Dr. Smart once eagerly put a photo of them in my medical file, saying, “That’s a Baker’s cyst!” Another doctor once told me sarcastically, “My wife’s feet are fatter than that.” Does it matter if his wife has chubby or swollen feet? What should matter at that moment is that my skinny feet – and knees – are bony and sharp. When they aren’t swollen.
I’m not sure it should matter how swollen a knee looks if it’s swollen – so long as it’s easier to shave.
As I update this in 2016, I’ve had a couple more years of living with RD, a couple of steroid shots in my knees, and I use a knee brace occasionally. They stay swollen most of the time, and very stiff. And I still try to smile through it.
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