Hang Ten, baby…
In an effort to save $300.00, we vacationed in September. We had perfect weather, no wait at restaurants, and less crowded beaches. The exception was rip currents.
Wind, waves, and science were involved in explaining rip currents. I could only explain the effects of rip currents. I’d never experienced a wave that so thoroughly pounded me into the sand while body boarding. September waves kicked butt unlike July waves. I accessed the damage and came away with a skinned knee.
Three weeks later my biggest fear became reality: granny knees without grandchildren. A single pudgy knee made it obvious that the skin I left behind to feed crabs wasn’t the only injury from my wipeout.
When you’re a body boarder who’s no longer fifteen years old, (as my husband constantly reminded me), your body was less resilient to trauma. Thus began photography sessions with more poses required of me than from my sister an actual photographer. Pictures of bones and internal icky things guaranteed I didn’t want to see those photos.
I shelled out serious cash and had yet to see the doctor. Relief came in the form of Jack Daniels and ice at this point. Tip the Jack. Ice the knee. With Jack, I had multiple visits for the price of a specialist’s co-pay.
At the next visit, co-pay due at sign-in, the actual doctor held a chart and diagnosed a lateral tear of the meniscus. Hubby expressed that was the result of boogie boarding when past the age of fifteen. Doc said if I’d have been fifteen, I might have a torn ACL too. A perk of age, and I found it, yeah!
The doctor offered two choices. He could shoot the knee with something that may or may not work. Like with a taser? Didn’t tasing also make you piss yourself? Or I could choose surgery that would definitely repair the tear. Surgery, duh, but was Doc saving his first look at the knee for when his hand held a knife?
The doctor prescribed physical therapy first. If I tore my jeans, I didn’t put them on and do squats thinking deep knee bends would close the tear. I sought someone to fix the rip before I needed a patch the size of Arkansas to cover my ass.
“ Insurance might not pay for surgery until you try therapy.” Doc said.
With healthcare insurance the way it is, big business first and your health considered secondary, I scheduled physical therapy. Some torture is legal. It’s referred to as PT. My weekly wage paid for torture.
With the doctor over scheduled for the next few months, PT gave me something to do until surgery. This fooled none of the involved, especially me, to believe PT was a cure for a torn meniscus. I couldn’t help but think a shark bite would’ve been a bummer, but more readily fixed by healthcare professionals.
During preoperative testing, my second biggest fear became reality: Yeti legs. As a preventative to infection, I refrained from shaving the week before surgery, both legs. If I nicked one leg could bacteria jump to the hairy leg waiting for surgery? Furry legs felt like wearing long johns. I kept the legs out of sight. I didn’t want anyone to feel the urge to pet me.
The doctor saw my knee in all it’s Yeti glory when he marked it with a pen before surgery. He offered the pen. I took it. It probably cost me $20.00.
The hubby suggested I write “boob job” across my chest and get a two for one. I thought how selfish of him when I’d rather have liposuction. Alas, an orthopedic surgeon won’t perform either procedure. Vanity wasn’t a middle class option.
After surgery, Doc said he had more repairs to the knee than he’d expected. No kidding? I hobbled around like a penguin with an elephant knee for months. Then Doc sent me back for more water boarding.
One consolation through the experience of saving $300.00 was that I’ve now made many others prime season people who won’t pay themselves or colleagues to repair their meniscus if they’re not fifteen and body board.
“Thinking about retiring the boogie board?” Hubby said.
The knee felt better. Anyone know of a cheap beach house for rent in July? You only live once.