Rough time for my left knee


Between racquetball, this running habit I’m trying to start, and the general clumsiness that characterizes my day-to-day existence, my poor left knee is a mess. The major problem is that one of the bursa near the knee is swollen and painful, making walking, running, biking, and even standing too long pretty painful. The treatment is rest, ice, compression, elevation (plus ibuprofen and a bad attitude); and yet, it’s just getting more stiff and swollen and hot to the touch.

As I write wrote this, I was sitting in the health center at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for what I hope is the last time (but I’ve got a week, so, probably not; in fact, I see the dentist this afternoon), waiting for the ortho guys to weigh in on my xrays remotely. I got sent their way on a pair of crutches. Turns out student insurance does cover crutches, so hooray!

Now I’m sitting waiting for the doctor here at Nebraska Orthopaedic to squeeze me in between appointments and see if my knee is infected or otherwise F-ed up in a way that needs immediate treatment. Details later (if they’re cool. Otherwise, know that my knee is fine but overworked).

What have I learned from this experience so far? Well, I’m not good at “taking it easy” and sitting around with my leg elevated. And I’m too stubborn about some things, like sticking to a schedule for getting in shape even if my body isn’t up to the task at hand. And seriously, Gibbons, there’s no reason to take pride in overdoing things! Pride goeth before the fall and all that, except I didn’t even fall. I just ended up with a swollen knee. I’m so lame (pun intended).

Mathematically, I’m curious to know what the normal volume of this particular bursa sac is, and how the surface area of my knee changes over time as the ibuprofen and ice pack benefits wear off. There’s kind of a gradual ballooning that takes place, which could make for an interesting multivariate calculus problem (change in surface area and volume over time? Application of Green’s theorem, maybe?). Leave me some ideas in the comments!


Oh, I do relish a good juxtaposition: the first post of the new blog is about saying “goodbye.”

In almost exactly one week, I drive from Lincoln, NE (my home for the last 6 years and change) to Clinton, NY (my forever home, I sincerely hope). We’re not even going to touch that emotional black hole in this post, though, except obliquely.

Today, one of my best friends from graduate school is making the drive from Lincoln to University of Northern Alabama, and here I am, sitting in our regular coffee shop, hoping she’ll stop for one last earl grey on her way. Ashley and I were always friendly, but I’d say we became friends through our repeated visits to this very coffee shop. We enjoyed watching the cast of characters. She plotted with me to get my one-time barista crush to notice I existed. Our relationship moved from the Coffee House (13th and P; best coffee, cutest baristas) to the racquetball court and to our Tuesday night “seminars” where we caught up on the latest episode of Castle before heading to compete for bottle openers at a local trivia contest.

As a gift, Ashley made me a set of Doctor Who themed coasters: the 9th through 11th doctors and Captain Jack. There are 8 coasters; four of them are shirtless pictures (these range from pleasant to…please, someone cover that up with a drink, stat). And I adore them! My gift to her was showing her how to get into one of the harder-to-access places in the math building.

I’m going to miss her!

So this is practice at commemorating a great friendship through blogging (not that it’s over, but it will definitely change forms now that she can’t quite so regularly wipe the floor of the racquetball court with my sorry ass). Ashley, I’m looking forward to following your progress from newbie to indispensable pillar of the math department. That’ll take, what, a week?

Safe driving, friend.