The average school milk carton contains 8 fluid ounces. Imagine having well over half of that milk carton sucked out of your knee through a needle.
This morning, I went to the doctor, she stuck a needle in my knee, drained out fluid until the syringe was full, then did it again, and again, and again. It felt just as good as it sounds. Then she gave me a shot in my knee to reduce inflammation and another shot of steroids which is supposed to do something, I don't know what.
The only amusing part of it was when she asked me if I was on the athlete drug testing program. I told her I was about a quarter-century past that, but thanks for asking.
Maybe it is just old age catching up with me, because I could not remember any specific thing that caused my knee to swell up like a basketball. The doctor said that sometimes continuous overuse can cause real problems. We did have six hours of judo each day at the camp this week but it wasn't that much more than a usual weekend at the West Coast Judo Training Center.
I felt bad I could not go to practice this weekend, but I am now sitting here with doctor's orders to REST (pretty much stated like that), and our other coach, being one of LA's finest, has been called in to work and assigned to watch Michael Jackson's house, so we told everyone to go fight in the tournament in Claremont. An extra tournament is good for them anyway.
Thirty-three years and six operations ago, when I first injured my knee, the original physician told me if I kept this up I would not be walking when I was forty. Fortunately, medicine has progressed a great deal since then, and I can still walk, although I haven't been able to run for a few years.
As she walked out of the room, the doctor smiled knowingly and said,
"Sometimes you have to pay the price for the choices you make."
Before putting the dressing on my knee, the (much-younger) nurse looked at the scars and asked,
"I do martial arts myself. You've certainly been through a lot because of judo. Was it worth it?"
I thought to myself, 'Son, you don't know the half of it.' then I told him,
"Yeah. It was worth it. I'd do it all over again."
I am mad at my family, though. I never cry, no matter how much something hurts, no matter what. That may be a bad trait, but there it is. So, they never worry about me much. Dennis went and got a haircut. Jenn went out with her friend. I drove myself to the doctor, to the pharmacy and home. While I was out, Julia called five times about whether I would take her rock-climbing, to the movies, to her friend's house. So, I came home, told everybody who was here how rotten they are and went to bed. In an hour or two when I am done being mad at them, I am sure I will feel the ungrateful, unhelpful children were worth it, too.
I wasn't going to take the painkillers the doctor prescribed because that would make me feel a little too much like Michael Jackson, besides, taking drugs is bad, right? When I talked to Jake he reminded me that when he went to medical school, he stayed awake and learned stuff, and suggested that perhaps my doctor did, too, and I should follow her advice.
Steroids, Vicodin and God knows what else. It's a damn good thing they don't have USADA testing for coaches or just old people in general.