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!

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