Bum Knees And Bifocals – Not-So-Gracefully Growing Old

Did I mention I’m going to physical therapy three times a week? A couple of years ago, four months after Cassie was born, my husband mistook me for a six-foot, seven-inch, 200 pound man during a self-defense drill in karate class and knocked me hard enough off my feet to blow my right knee out. Four months after that, someone else got a little intimidated during a sparring match and took out my other knee. The end result? Two bad knees that sound like Rice Krispies cereal every time I go up and down the stairs. Snap! Crackle! Pop!

My knees got progressively worse during my last pregnancy, thanks to relaxin and all those other fun pregnacy hormones. The crunchy sound I was making going up and down the stairs got so bad that it creeped out one of my best friends (who just happens to be an emergency room nurse and so is not easily creeped out). Since I’d still like to be able to walk when I hit fifty, I decided to see an orthopedist who sent me to a physical therapist who told me that my knee caps are tracking to the outside of each leg and that if I don’t correct it now, my knees will eventually migrate to the back of my thighs, causing me to walk like a bird with my legs bent backwards for the rest of my life.


So in addition to all the other stuff I’ve got to do, I’m now going to physical therapy three times a week to fix my knees. Actually, the therapist says the problem is easily correctible if I keep up with all my therapy appointments and do the at-home exercises. I can make it to all the appointments. I’m determined to do that. But remembering to do the exercises at home on top of everything else is a little challenging. I’m trying though. I’ve got to stretch my outer thigh muscles while strengthening the inner ones. This is something I’ll probably have to work on for the rest of my life, seeing how weak and unstable both knees are, but at least it won’t take surgery to correct.

The biggest problem with the therapy is I have to slow down on my exercise and karate. It’s partly because the therapist doesn’t want me to overexert myself until my knees are stronger, but it’s also due to the fact that I’m in her office so frequently that I don’t have any time left to exercise during the week. I hate that. I just got my schedule set up so I could start practicing karate again and go to the gym on a regular basis and now I’ve got to spend that time at the therapist’s office instead. I know, physical therapy is exercise, but it’s exercise that is only concentrated on one part of my body – my knees. The rest of me needs a workout too, you know.

Of course, if I fix my knees, I can go back to having wild sex. I’m not kidding about this one. The last time Michael and I had sex, I just about dislocated both knee caps. And we weren’t doing anything all that kinky, just trying out a perfectly normal position that put a little too much pressure on my knees. I miss my sex life. I want my knees back.

Strong knees will let me get back to sparring (not my favorite activity, but I like being able to brag to weenies who are too scared to step into a sparring ring), it will let me get back to kata, kobudo, running, weight lifting, and sex. All those fun hard core activities that I love that make me feel young. Bum knees make me feel old. I hate feeling old.

Being told I will probably need bifocals by next year also made me feel old. That came up during my last eye appointment. What the hell? I just had a baby. I’m a new mom. Why is my body falling apart now? Oh, wait. I’m thirty-seven, going on thirty-eight. Forty is just around the corner. The warranty has apparently run out on my hot sexy bod. Oh well.

I will not grow old gracefully. I will fight it tooth and nail, kicking and screaming all the way. If nothing else, the resulting temper tantrum should make me look like a three-year-old, which is much younger than a thirty-seven-year-old, and since the goal is to look young(er), I think I can be happy with that.


Here is the artwork from yesterday. I’m going to work on figures for a while. I’ve been drawing heads and faces for so long, they’re easy. Now I need to be able to do the same with bodies. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to quickly sketch out a human figure though. None of the books I’ve got do a good job showing how to go from basic shapes to a completed figure. It’s almost like they’re leaving out a key step that I can’t identify. Very, very annoying.

Figure sketches, 18 September 2006

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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