Friday, December 05, 2008

Gimme an "A"!

In my senior year of high school I was a cheerleader. I hate to admit it, but I was. I tried out as a favour to my best friend and actually made it - to pretty much every one's absolute surprise. I don't want to misinform anyone here, our school was not known for its competitive squad, athletic cheerleaders and/or "professionalism". I was o.k., I kept up, but certainly, as squads go, this group and particularly myself, weren't stellar. We didn't have an adult adviser or a coach; we just set aside our P.E. period and went through our drills and stunts and whoever shoved the others hardest was in charge. We went to 'cheer camp' and learned the new year's routines and a few stunts, pyramids and that kind of junk, chants, and how to run a pep rally.

One of our favourite stunts was a combination on a "Russian" (um, not me in the photo, some gal named "Katie" from stock photos. Go Katie!). While we were in the air doing our "Russian" it looked pretty awesome. But the real stunt - the crowd pleasing stunt- was the landing... flat on our knees... not our feet, our literal knees. It took a bit of practice to land on your knees and not have it kill you, but after a couple of days we all mastered it. It was a combination of "WOW!" and "OH MY HECK!" from the audience as they not only saw us land but heard the sound of our knees against the hard woods. Ka BAM!

We enjoyed performing this stunt during every game, several times, sometimes multiple times in the same routine. A rippled, BONK! BONK! BONK! BONK! BONK! BONK! or one extremely loud CLUNK! altogether. It got huge applause and gasps every single time.

So one year in my youth was spent doing our famous Russian Knee Drop over and over and over again. When I talk with other cheerleaders I realize that, although we were pretty lousy, we were nothing if not supportive. If there was a sport, we cheered it. Everything from football to track to baseball, basket ball, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, swim meets, you name it we went there and cheered like idiots...and each event had at least two or three Russian knee drops.

Fast forward to a few Tuesdays ago when while walking around Texas my left knee decided it was going on strike. NO. MORE. WALKING! After waiting two weeks to see an orthopedic doc the conclusion is that you get what you pay for...or rather, you pay for what you did in your youth.

Diagnosis: "You were dumb. Now you're old. Stinks to be you." The damage I did to my knees has caught up. My knee caps no longer align (which is not uncommon as we grow older), little bits of broken cartilage under the knee cap (big surprise), the muscles around my knees have no clue what "body building" means, and the kicker: I have a lot (read: more than normal for my age and circumstance) a lot of arthritis under my knee caps and a good amount around the knees in general. Fun!

So the dear doctor got out his needle and shot my knee and under my knee cap full of cortisone (which is really a delightful five minutes...everyone should try that! Or not.) Along with the cortisone he gave me a zillion doses of heavy duty Motrin to take to reduce the inflammation. He also gave me a brace to help push my knee cap in the groove, and two sets of muscle strengthening exercises that involve a ball, a chair, and a wall (actually pretty easy...who knew?) Contrary to popular belief ice really doesn't help anything, it works more as a placebo than anything real, so yippi on that note...I'm not a fan of cold knees.

Oh and if any of you are going to the gym and are using this machine (the one that uses your leg to pull up the rolled bar) the doc says this should be outlawed -it's that bad for your legs and or knees. Just FYI.

So now I limp a bit, much less than the last couple of weeks, but still, and the doc says this might be the walk of choice for me now. I am an old sweater, as he put it. (I'd explain, it's kind of long, but it made sense when he said it.) There ain't no fixin' an old sweater. You can patch it, but you can reweave the darned thing.

In the long run it could be worse, but for now, I am just hanging around, wishing it had come after Christmas was put up and then celebrated and then taken down. For now, this year, Christmas will go undressed.

add to sk*rt


The Pea said...

This will be me and my ankles in a few years, I should not have danced so hard on my flat feet!! I glimpse into my future... maybe I should try to look into what I can do now??
I am so bummed about your Christmas trees. I will miss them all!

Robyn said...

I am so sorry for your knees. Heck who would have known all the floor slams could do damage? I hope you are feeling better soon, did they mention a knee replacement in your future?

S'mee said...

Pea, yes, if you can find a kind ortho doc or sport therapist I would ask what you could do.

Robyn, do I detect a tinge of sarcasm? You kill me. Not only was I athletic, I were reel smart to!

The only mention of surgery was a quick, " surgery for you until another ten to fifteen years go by...they don't last long enough to do one now." Who knew you could be both way old yet too young all in the same five minutes?

Robyn said...

Let's hear it for doctors!

Boy Mom said...

Every knee shall bow...some just need a little cortisone and TLC to do it.

Glad you don't have to ice, not a fan of the ice on body parts.

S'mee said...

yeah doctors!

Boy Mom...that is hilarious!

Robyn said...

hey did you feel that quake? It was huge! We didn't feel it at all!

LeaAnne said...

Sorry friend:( If I were closer I would come and help you with the Decorations..I just know you are a every tree limb lite girl (like myself)
Well, I guess the good news is you don't have to do any obligatory cheering with the squad at any upcoming reunions ;)

But I am sorry that your professional
Ice Scatting career might be cut short~

S'mee said...

Robyn, yup! We could even tell that it was coming from the east and going west! It was a nice bump, then consecutive rolling for a bit. Thor and I just sat there like lumps and made comments, but not much else! When the big one hits we'll be the dolts they send out the hounds to search complacent to get excited. ugh. oh well at least we're not hysterical!

LeaAnn, it would great to have you close by, but not just for the decorating...we'd have a blast otherwise!