The Road to Nowhere

I messed up my knee the other day. Could be MCL. Could be ACL. Could be meniscus. Could be a combination of these things. But what’s pretty clear is that something is torn. I’m hoping it’s just the meniscus and that I somehow won’t need surgery. But I need to get an MRI as soon as possible. I need to figure out what’s going on down there. I need to figure out how I can get healthy so I can start bouldering again, so I can surf, so I can be active. I’m not going to let this stop me from bouldering, from continuing to climb harder. But it will stop me, probably at least for a few months.

All will be well.

Tomorrow I’m going back to San Francisco to get my car and at that point I’ll have a decision to make: keep going south, or go back north to Seattle to get my knee looked at. Even if I go south I’ll still get an MRI, I’ll just get it in Mexico. I should probably just get some snus and head south. Cross into baja california, be in my element, head further and further south, maybe even take the ferry across to Mazatlan, maybe even drive to Mexico City, maybe even drive further.

The only thing I know is that something is seriously wrong with my knee. But the fact that there’s almost no swelling, only some stiffness, gives me hope that maybe somehow it’s not that bad. But i don’t kow what happens when you tear your ACL. I don’t know where it’s supposed to hurt. Mine ONLY hurts on the outside of my knee. The FAR outside. Not in the center. Not in the center left. Not in the back. Only on the far outside of my left knee.

More diagnostic work remains to be done.

Going back to Seattle wouldn’t be the worst thing. I could fly back to Seattle from LA, or from San Diego, or from Loreto, or even from La Paz or Cabo. If anything surgical is required I’ll be required to fly back to Seattle. To see a knee specialist and get an MRI using my insurance I’ll be required to go back to Seattle.

I feel like my car doesn’t have too many more of these california trips left in it. My car has 276,000 miles on it.

The best thing to do in these situations is to not be precipitous. Start with what you know. I can’t boulder anymore, I can’t surf, I can’t do anything active except walk. I know that my knee is injured. I know that there were tearing sounds and a popping noise. I know it felt awful despite not being that painful. I know that it would be nice to know what’s going on and not just be guessing. I know that for any major medical work I’ll need to go back to Seattle. I know I can also get an MRI in Mexico for less than $500, and possibly even as little as $200. I know I could probably even see a knee specialist for pretty cheap. I know that regardless of any MRI’s I get in Mexico I’ll have to do them all over again once I get back to Seattle, but that’s OK. I know I need to accept this injury, because not accepting it just causes mental anguish. I know there are plenty or worse things that could happen, and I know I need to count my blessings.

God why did I do that stupid heel hook.

I know that I hate taking ibuprofen.

I know if I go south tomorrow I’ll probably stay the night in San Luis Obispo.

I know that if I go north tomorrow I’ll probably spend the night in Ashland (again).

I know that I like REI.

I know I climbed my first V4 a week ago.

I know I had my sights set on a V6 a week ago.

Who knows how long it will be until my hands touch rock again.

SILVER LININGS:

1) This will give my right middle finger a chance to finally heal.
2) It will give my left shoulder a chance to further heal.
3) It will force me to take a break from bouldering, and breaks can atually be really good for progression.
4) It will push me to climb in the gym more, since gym climbing is usually safer (and also lamer but still super fun).
5) It will give me a chance to devote time to hobbies that had been pushed to the side to make way for bouldering.

Anyway, I hurt my knee. That’s all I know so far. No need to stress.

Help me.