The surgeon looked at me with the kind of disgust one saves for making sure the cockroach is dead before you throw it in the trash.
“What do you mean it still hurts?” he said. “You had a leaf tear and I smoothed it all out.”
It had been 10 days since he took the micro-shaver to my meniscus. He pushed on the inside of my right knee. I grimaced. He got that look again.
“I expected you to come in here with no pain at all.”
Shit. Now my fucking knee pain is my fault. I thought I was going to get a gold fucking star for walking in the office without my cane.
Usually someone my size and age doesn’t have a clean leaf tear of the soft tissue. It’s all raggedy and squished up and shit. You can smooth it out with a belt sander, but it just falls apart as soon as the fat old man takes a few steps.
“I was really surprised when it was a clean tear,” the surgeon said. And he looked at my beer-keg-sized belly and nodded with his own silent diagnosis of the problem. (It was the kind of body (or face) shaming that only Kate and ole What’s her Name can so easily and unconsciously hurl about the Third World Club.)
He pushed and prodded, and bent my knee a little bit.
“Is that as far as it will bend?” he asked in the same disappointed tone my parents used when they reviewed my high school grades.
“I haven’t been pushing it,” I said. “That’s how I ended up on your table.”
His gaze moved from my knee to my face, and if it was even possible “the disgust” grew.
“It’s a tiny bit swollen,” he said. “That’s going to give you a little pain, but you have got to work through it.” He didn’t say “you god damn pussy.” But he was thinking it. Everybody in the office knew, he was thinking it.
So it’s back to the bloody anti-inflammatories (Advil) and back to the gym and no quitting when it hurts.
“If it’s still swollen in 6 weeks, I’ll drain it and shoot it up with coritsone,” he said.
He dropped his chin and looked through the top of his eyes like Robert DeNiro…
“But it shouldn’t have to come to that.”
OK. We’ll see about that. None of the fixes for these knees have gone to plan since 2016. But it would be awesome if something did. So maybe this post-op bullshit knee-pain shaming will do the trick.