Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Putting my Knee Down

I almost didn't contribute a Weird Romance this year.  I'd been otherwise preoccupied with other things that'd been distracting me; the least of which was that I noticed that I was having trouble walking.  Lately, I would attempt to go up stairs, or crawl around, and feel a lingering pain beneath the waist.

Then I noticed that my knee was bloated and swelling on one side.

It didn't take too long to figure out the cause of this symptom.  Normally, when I switch positions while sitting on the computer, I'll opt to sitting on my knees for extra pressure, since I enjoy the feel of heavy G's on my person.  Unpredictable light touches make me nervous, but direct heavy force calms me.  I've always carried a heavy backpack since my school days, since I feel comfortable knowing that I've got everything I need in there.  (It also makes it easier to lean my arms against a thick spine of books while riding the bus)

However, one thing that religiously devout people don't mention about being on your knees all the time is that it builds up callouses, just like any other part of your body.  I was utterly surprised to find out that other people didn't normally develop white crusty blisters on their elbows and knees.  I thought it was a naturally occurring symptom.
Not mine, but a medical representation.
Mine also had two smaller calluses below the knee where I rested my legs.
I've been so used to being on my knees while on the computer that I didn't even notice that my knees were developing pus-filled burst blood vessels until it became too painful to ignore.  I tried to relieve it with some leftover cream, but it'd apparently passed its expiration date some years ago, since it wasn't working.  Obviously, this condition wouldn't be easily cured overnight, which meant a visit to the walk-in clinic, but I'd have to wait the next day, after making an overnight appointment beforehand.
My general philosophy of "Maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away"
wasn't proving to work out after the second day.
The worst part was having to tell the clinic people that I'm Deaf and have Aspergers, to the receptionist, then to the nurse (who I always mistake for the doctor) and again for the doctor himself, since it's been ages since I last went, and they'd forgotten they had my file on record.  Also not an easy concept to manage for someone with social anxiety.  Fortunately, having somebody else to fill in the details of how to speak to me helped.
I can't understand how anybody can get used to asking the same questions
multiple times a day.
When the doctor showed up, the Nurse gave him the heads-up on my condition, but failed to pass on the necessary information on how to properly talk to me, so upon finding out I was Deaf, he talked to me in a shouting haltingly manner, which I told him wasn't necessary.  (Normal speech in a clear concise manner is enough)  His previous contact with Deaf clients were mainly elderly people who refused to acknowledge or admit that their hearing was going, so he didn't have much experience under his belt.  I was the first Deaf person below retirement age he'd ever seen.

The doctor gave a prescription, and a warning to stop sitting on my knees for the time being.  While it sounds obvious, it's not very easy for someone so ingrained with certain habits to break them, despite all evidence to the contrary that these actions are hazardous to your health.

I thought I'd have to reorganize my current writing space, so that I could work standing up by leaning up against a long flat surface (somewhat like against the back edge of a filing cabinet), since it'd save the effort of having to buy a new piece of space-wasting furniture, and it'd be easier than having to use one of the newfangled "standing stations" that revolutionize office work.  But then it was decided I needed a chair that didn't restrain my legs from spreading wide enough.  (Preferably one with elevated armrests)
I take a weirdly morbid sense of pride in my calluses.
Currently, the swelling's gone down, and the pain's been relieved, but there's still a worrying red spot that hasn't gone away.  And chances are it won't take long for me to fall back onto my old patterns, despite repeat proclamations of the risk and dangers I'm putting my body under.

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