I’ll be away for the next few days so if you get a spare moment please send me the following message by ESP:


Thanks, comrades!

. . .

I’m a wee bit guilty of censoring lately. I’m just at the point where I don’t feel like writing if it’s going to be something whiny. There’s nothing worse than going away for a few days and leaving a woe-is-me essay at the top of the page, creating a fabulous impression for any first-time visitors.

That said, I need to rant about my frustration with my stupid knee. I’ve cocked it up again! Pain, crunch, grind, kapow!

Not that it was ever fixed, but it was getting somewhat better.

How about a quick recap! A Kneecap Recap. Haw haw!

May 2005 – First hurt knee during The Great 5K Training. After my race saw a physio once, who put it down to overuse and weak quad/hamstrings. Stopped running, did Spinning instead, did not go back to physio because I saw stupidly myself as Fat Wannabe Athlete who didn’t warrant medical attention. Big mistake!

May 2006 – Knee worse! Particularly bad after attempted comeback at Body Combat class. Grinding noises like plunging your hand into a box of Rice Krispies. Saw doc who sent me to lovely sports physio who basically gave it the same diagnosis as the 2005 dude. But now it had a name, patellofemoral maltracking. Treatment: More exercises and banned from all weight bearing activity – no running, no Body Pump, no Spinning classes with heavy resistance. Basically I’d been making my knee worse for almost a year, so we had a lot of work to do to calm it down.

July 2006 – Knee not better. Limped for a week after doing a set of pushups. Cue depressed blog ranting and raving and a total ban from ANY cardio.

August 2006 – Knee finally FINALLY getting a little better. Was determined not to screw it up so exercised cautiously and wore sensible shoes. Could now walk up and down hills with minimal pain. Could sit at desk without knee cramping up. Could move to standing position without knees catching painfully. Could to kneel to scrub bathtub without pain! Not that I did that very often. Hehe. Could also resume cycling for the almighty duration of twenty minutes!

September 2006 – Physio and I part company for four weeks, with me to continue building up my exercise and him aiming to discharge me at our next meeting. Hurrah!

October 2006 – Did two swimming lessons and one aqua aerobics class in attempt to get variety. Knee felt alright after first class, since I didn’t actually swim anywhere. Starting hurting day after second class. The following week during the aqua class I felt it twinge when we had to "run" down the pool and when we did kicking drills. Remember thinking at one point, I should stop. This ain’t quite right. But then… Surely it’s nothing! I’m in an aqua class and we’re the only ones under 75! It can’t hurt me!

But by the weekend I was limping. Knee horribly tender to touch. It was like the bad old days — couldn’t sit longer than five minutes before it ached and seized up when I tried to stand. Painfully slow to walk down stairs. Couldn’t sleep on my side coz it was agony. Blah blah blahdy blah.

So I went to the physio last Tuesday and he was just as crestfallen as me that he wouldn’t be dismissing me and my creaky knee after all.

I had a minor breakdown and blubbed, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME, will it ever get better, will I ever Squat again, will I ever walk down a hill again, did I need surgery? But he felt there wasn’t anything more sinister going on than the patellofermoral thingy, and rather that the swimming – particularly the breastroke kick – and the pool running re-aggrivated it. It was the only thing I’d done different in the four week break, and I’d had weeks of minimal pain before that. Seems the knee is still sensitive and the lateral movement was too much. But he assured me it was an acute episode and I have not undone months of work. He even offered to treat me for FREE until it calms down again. How noice is that? He is a true Prince amongst Physios I tell you.

I dunno why I didn’t write about this before. For starters, I was quite embarrassed for hurting my myself doing Granny Sports. I only tried swimming because after all these months I was so sick of plodding away on an exercise bike, I thought my knee was ready for something different.

Second, I hate being a whingy git as it may read like a flimsy excuse for my mediocre results in the Going For Gold challenge. It’s affected my morale more than I’ve been willing to admit. I froth with jealousy when I read blogs of people running and kicking and general MOVING. Since I started physio in May, I’ve been losing and regaining the same three kilos. There’s not much room for error with your food when you’re not doing as intense cardio. It’s just been a very frustrating time.

Thirdly, every time I write about my knee I get people emailing me with alternative diagnoses, which are always well-intended but I feel bad because there’s always more detail to these things than what you can express in a blog entry. I really have had various medical opinions and feel confident we know what’s wrong. It’s a common as muck knee problem, just a bit of bitch to heal.

A week later the ol knee is already feeling less tender and easier to move, but I’m taking it slow. Mr Physio says I am really going to have to focus over the winter and do my exercises every day. Consistency, grasshopper! I need to build up the muscles around the dodgy knee, they are so pissweak compared to the left leg.

I am also to stay oot of the pool and stick to cardio "in a straight line" for the forseeable future. Zzzzzzzzzzz. So it’s back to simply walking on a flat surface, cycling with low resistance, and upper body weights.

This whole entry was inspired by the lovely Smaller Sue who’s having knee woes of her own. I really admired her positive attitude in that post, so I decided to have a wee rant and think things through and figure out how to get through this. Thanks for the inspiration, Sue baby!

So no more shortcuts, no more premature "comebacks". It’s been 16 months of this dodgy knee shit and I am so tired of being patient, but I need to be so now more than ever.

31 thoughts on “Kneecrap

  1. Ahhhh poor old you. The rice krispie thing sounds completely awful. Do what the man says and take it easy for a while – there’s plenty of time for exercise after its better. No point in trashing it even more.

    Might it be possible for you to be comfortable lying on your side if you were to put a pillow under your knee to support it (worked for me when I buggered mine up a couple of years ago.)

    The email thingies ARE working.

    Have a lovely weekend – I shall ESP you all weekend with ‘CHOCOLATE BARS ARE NOT A MEAL’

    Sarah x

  2. Hugs.
    I am truely grateful for my knees continuing to soldier on while carrying all this excess weight. I do occasionally get a twinge type pain when climbing stairs but never anything as serious as you describe. BUT I am very aware that I should relieve the pressure on my poor joints.

    Body Combat can be difficult and I have stopped going in the past when they had twisting and kicking moves – because one false move can cause a lot of problems for a heavy person!

    BTW: I need the same chocolate message. I visited the Montezuma shop today and had no self-control whatsoever…

  3. Alleve can also help… I am no doctor, but it’s the first thing that actually made the ‘ouch’ go away while I did my physio…


    Eat green.

  4. Oh man, your poor knee! Just remember that with all this kneecrap (heh, love it) that even though you’re gaining and losing the same 3kg repeatedly, overall that means you are NOT GAINING WEIGHT even with an injury stopping you from working out energetically.

    I know that’s not your goal right now, but it is still a honking great big victory.

  5. Hey, I, too have patella-femoral issues. To brighten up your day a bit, I have been able to run, water run, spin, etc. with this problem. How, you ask? πŸ™‚ Seriously, the strength/stretch regime that your physio has provided for you will be your knee’s lifesaver. Basically, I do strength and stretch exercises EVERY day for this problem. And I’ve been doing this for about two years. All this to say, it WILL get better–the problem is ensuring that it does not get worse, again. That is where the exercises come in. Also, I think that generally, my new inclusion of yoga and pilates into my exercise regime has helped enormously. Good luck!! IT WILL GET BETTER!!!

    Cheers, Wilma

  6. Dammit! How frustrating! The nerve of that knee! You’ve been working so hard for so long. You think that damn kneecrap would have the decency to finish out this journey with you!

    My brother went through this same fisaco. Only he broke his in a soccer (footbal!) game. Went through the rehab, blah, blah, blah! And TADA! Wonder knee! Ok, so maybe not so much, but it is immensly better. Hang in there. You’ve proven you can get through just about anything!


  7. I feel lots of sympathy for you with your knee. Here’s an inspiring story for you, though the moral might be these things take time.

    About ten years ago at school I royally hurt my knee while playing hockey. I went one way and it went another way and it hurt a lot! after that the one thing which really really hurt it was doing the breaststroke kick. I did everything I was meant to do to heal it, and avoided breast stroke from then on – or at least the kick. These days I can’t even remember which knee it was, except on the odd occassion when I stupidly think a bit of breast stroke kick might be a good idea, and then I get a twinge or two. But it has healed completely – it never hurts apart from that.

    From all the knee stories I’ve heard it seems to be that they just take longer to heal than other injuries – not that they don’t heal, but they take longer.

    Wishing much speed and ease with your recovery – may the knee demons be gone soon!

  8. You talked about how your reduced exercise regimen is affecting your weight loss, but I’m really struck by how it’s affecting your mood. You’ve got that dark Scottish winter coming up… perhaps you need to come up with another way to get the happy endorphins/seratonin/whatevers up. I long ago realized that even if exercise doesn’t seem to do much for my weight, it DEFINITELY keeps my mood elevated, which of course helps keep me on program and contributes to my physical and mental well-being in so many, many other ways. I dunno what to suggest as a substitute…yoga? more snuggles from the SC? ???

  9. Ya sure we’re not cosmic twins? The other night I re-buggered my groin that I strained last year. Thankfully, it wasn’t an outright strain this time, more like it caught me bitching about it and is now really shitty.
    I’ve been getting more up close and personal time with my new paramour Mr Icepack, than my husband. And Mr Icepack leaves me nothing but frigid. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you recover well and fully this time. Here’s to no more Rice Bubbles! Unless they’re in chocolate crackles or something.

    Mork calling Orson, come in Orson! No, wait, wrong channel. {places finger tips to temples and concentrates harder} Kada calling Shauna, come in Shauna. “Chocolate bars are not a meal” ACK, for some reason in my head that comes out along the lines of that kid from the Uncle Toby’s ad. “That’s no’ how ye meke porrrudg!”

    Ok, enough babbling. (am excited cause a friend I haven’t seen in nigh on two years is flying in today.)

  10. Bad knees suck! No advice for you on that one except to follow the physio. Having gone through three years of physio, I know it helps so it’s good to keep up at it, even if it’s just every now and again to make sure you’re doing things right (walking posture, etc….)

    Hmmmmm, the chocolate thing. I heard in the background chatter of the TV this morning that *gasp* chocolate sales in the UK are down and that the stocks are taking a beating… hmmm – maybe that’s not the kind of news you need to hear, eh?

  11. Oof! How fucking frustrating. Yes I used the American Version of bloody- I felt it was warranted. I’m amazed at your level of patience- I would have gone crazy by now and gained 20lbs! Yet you continue to stick to the plan and steadily chip away at your life long goal. Remember- life long goal. You’re doing it- you will get there! Hang in there!

  12. You will heal — eventually. I know it seems to take FOREVER, but take it from me — DON’T PUSH IT!!! You may not ever be able to do weight bearing exercise again (I can’t) but you will be able to bike, swim, and work out on an elliptical. I miss step aerobics something awful (can totally relate to the jealousy).

  13. Wilma’s completely right, do the stretching and strength training! I’ve had the same problem since I was 12 years old, and although I wasn’t diagnosed correctly until my 20’s, I did discover that the only time I didn’t have a problem was when I was in training for soccer (football…) probably because my quads were getting a lot of exercise. It comes back when I’m not careful, but you really will get through this and still be an athelete!

  14. On the bright side, I bet you’d never had an athletic injury before you started this diet & exercise gig. I had my first athletic injury a couple of years ago, and was almost proud. After all, it was a sign that I was exercising. πŸ™‚

    All that said, hope the knee’s better in the shortest possible time.

  15. Granny sports? I think not. I used to be quite disparaging about aquafitness classes – until I tried one, as part of the prac component of my fitness instructor course. Man! I could barely move for a week afterwards. I have new respect for the “grannies” who do those classes regularly.

    And chocolate is not a food group. But it SO ought to be.

  16. Hey, Shauna’s knee? C’mon. Be nice to her.

    I greatly sympathise, having missed running this week because of a mysterious pain in the arch of my foot – and that’s only this week (or so I hope). Your physio sounds like a star, though. Hope it starts to improve again soon.

    Chocolate? Nasty brown sticky stuff. Bleurgh*.

    *not actually my real views.

  17. Hey DG, my heartiest sympathies… I too have kneecaps that don’t play nicely with the groove in my femur. The x-rays are spectacular and it sounds like I keep a marble collection in there. I have been exactly where you are.. not being able to turn over in bed (let alone do anything else in bed!) made me want to cry. My physio banned breaststroke and I was crestfallen, because I didn’t think I was fit enough to swim freestyle only. But I built it up and now I swim only freestyle, and haven’t done a single breaststroke kick since 1998. Knees much, much happier. My knee still goes out every now and then, and I’ve very careful of it, but it will, will, will get better. Wishing you good knee karma.

  18. I’m sorry about your knee. Perhaps if you got really fun music for your not-exciting cardio it would make it easier to bear?

  19. I feel your pain (not literally). But there is nothing more frustrating then actually WANTING to exercise and not being able to. It’s not fun! *hug* I am sending you lots of feel better thoughts.

  20. Courage!
    I found my way here from your Pussycat blog, I just wanted to congratulate you on your great progress. I haven’t read all your archives, and I am sure you get more advice than you ever would ask for, but anyways… clicking around I happened upon your description of what you had to eat during one day, and, well, it just sounded to “diety”.

    I have been dieting on and off my whole grown up life (yo-yo +/-5kg/size 38/40)experimenting with food without end until I moved from Sweden to France and had a bit of a lifestyle revelation.

    I am since trying to stop dieting once and for all (not easy when you have a perverted relationship with food) and to have a gourmet look on life – good quality in small quantity, as opposed to the diet food/binge eating I have been doing so far.

    This comment is not to sabotage your Going For Gold effort, goals are important, but drawing an imaginary line in time when everything will start (the words of Milan Kundera) can be enough for never getting there…

    If you started eating “as if” you had already reached you goal – what would your weekly menu look like? Surely not the pancake on a stick, but maybe not the daily Quorn with steamed vegetables either…

  21. Oh man, I can totally commisserate with the knee probs. I stuffed one of mine about 14 years ago and its never been the same. Since I’ve lost a bit of weight, I haven’t had too many problems thank god.

    Hope you feel better soon

    Em πŸ™‚

  22. I’ve had dodgy knees since I was nine years old, so I genuinely feel for you! I inherited my grandmother’s knocked-knees — I am physically incapable of standing up completely straight with my knees touching — although I’ve gotten a little better since losing weight. I also have to make sure to keep the muscles around my knees strong, or before long I’m dislocating left and right (literally!) Good luck, and don’t forget, chocolate is not a meal!

  23. Oh, how I hear ya, sista! Luckily, I too have a lovely physio, who just happens to be Scottish. Gorgeous man.
    This morning I aquajogged for 30 minutes and the knee did okay. Apparently this qualifies well for the non-loadbearing cardio in a straight line!

  24. I’ve just made some brownies – (with some difficulty, owing to extreme absentmindedness). Would they be a meal, I wonder? Thought not. I’ll try my ESP on your knee. Heal, heal, heal.

  25. DG, I discovered your blog two weeks ago and could not stop reading. Just today, I finished going through your ENTIRE archive. You have really given me inspriation and I even started my own weight loss blog/journey because of you. What I’m trying to say is…no matter what happens, just remember that you have already helped countless individuals with your writing and incredible life. This knee injury doesn’t even have a chance against you! Just keep doing what you have been doing for the past five years. Learning, and then teaching it to others.

  26. Hang in there…I know that is not much encouragement, sorry! I have problems with my kneew also. They are touchy creatures! Hope you are on the mend!

  27. I injured my knee in 2000 on a recumbent bike … I didn’t adjust it properly and let me knee slide off to the side instead of pedaling up and down. It gave me grief for the longest time and still, if I don’t keep the little muscles strong on either side of my knee, it’ll slide one way or the other (or at least that’s the way it feels). Eventually you just get to know “what will make your knee angry”. Of course I’m old and fat and have to use a cane when my knee really kicks up a fuss … but that’s only after walking entirely too far or doing entirely too many steps. I know beforehand when I’m going to do something to aggravate it and start talking anti-inflammatories before-hand.

  28. Hey Shauna. I won’t say anything about the knee because you’ve had heaps of advice on that one. But I will share something with you that my Pump teacher once said to the class as we were finishing up one day. He said, “Good workout people. You’ve done your bit for the day and now I want you to think about your food intake. Eat clean, healthy food.”

    Clean food – any food that has not been tampered with or only changed a bit. What has happened to make chocolate chocolate? Definately does not fall into the clean food category.

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