Not my type of fluid

Today was the last day I was going to be at work before the Easter break, and my last Easter on that delicate cusp of a decade, when you are the -0 number, and before you start the inexorable slide (you hope, because who wants the current alternative?) towards the next ‘significant birthday’.

Any plans to spend the Easter break celebrating madly will be cut short before they begin tomorrow on Good Friday, which  is actually in the Guinness Book of Records as the most boring day of the world when it happens it Western Australia. Buyer beware: if you want to buy some wine to have in addition to the stuff you may be drinking at church, WA shuts down on Good Friday. Completely. If you want to know what the apocalypse will look like, come on over – or I can just save you the airfare and tell you: deserted, boring and dry in every sense of the word. No pubs, no bottle shops, just you staring at your family member, spouse, friend or the four walls of your home, with not even a cracker to pull- and doing it stone cold sober if you have not had the foresight to stock up during the days before.

I did have the foresight, which was odd, because I have not been drinking at all lately, but there is something about the total alcohol ban on Good Friday that drives me to drink. But first I had other fluids to worry about. Today I was going to give yet another medical profession a stab – literally – at sorting out my knee. Following my last appointment with my surgeon I had swum a couple of times, which I felt was helping a bit as long as I iced it afterwards. I was going to try and get a final swim in before the jab yesterday, but I spent it buying Hot Cross buns and booze, be sued I was worried they would tell me to rest my knee and I would not be allowed to stomp around shopping centres.

I know a few people who have had cortisone injections, and they all advised that I would need to keep the joint as rested as possible after the procedure, to let the evil steroids do their thing. They also told me it would hurt. I sat on the bench staring glumly at the walls and wondering just how they managed to get them that particular shade of dusky pinky beige.

As it happens, my advisers were right about the first.

‘Oh yes, you can walk about afterwards, ‘said the doctor, until I asked if that included walking the dogs then added, ‘Hahahahah. NO.’

They explained they would do the injection guided by ultra-sound image as long as there was enough excess fluid in the knee. Bugger. I had been taking a prescription anti-inflammatory and I thought the swelling had gone down a bit. Turns out I was wrong again. The image appeared on the screen with a large black area and I watched, momentarily distracted from the paint scheme, as the needle made its way into the cavity. It did not hurt at all, which was great as the local had hurt like hell. Then, instead of injecting stuff, he started to draw out the fluid into a big tube – over 50 mls of the stuff. It was clear,  but pale yellow. I wondered if this was the stuff that formed crystals that give people gout.

‘Where did that fluid come from?’ I asked, hoping to extend my knowledge of the body’s response to trauma in circulatory and muscluar systems,

‘From your knee,’ he said. OK, message received, no director’s commentary on this film.

After the drainage, he filled my knee up with considerably less cortisone and I was out of there. The whole thing took around 15 minutes and cost around $140. I was definitely not going to bugger this up and walk the dogs later. I went home and lay on the couch.

I buckled about four hours later, but actually did not walk the dogs, just drove my car down, parked it about five metres away from a bench and sat there with Archie on a long lead and Lucy skipping about as other dogs did the circuit.

Another day of rest and then we wait and see if it works. Fingers, or rather knees crossed!


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