Once upon a time, we were quadrupeds. Then someone stood up — and the knee injury was invented.
Our knees are God’s big joke on us. The cruciate ligaments and cartilage are not designed for the impact of stairs and running. They are fragile and badly adapted to the bipedal situation.
Of course, I didn’t really appreciate that fact until January. I’ve been going to the homes of union members all over Queens and Brooklyn, involving bus/subway rides of up to two hours each way, and lots and lots of stairs.
In the winter I wear a heavy coat (faux-fur: 5+ pounds) and carry both a 25-pound back pack and a shoulder bag. And, at my age, I weigh 15-20 pounds more than I ever used to. The stairs provided too much impact for such a load.
About three weeks ago I incurred so much pain in my right knee I could barely hobble. The fact that I kept on working made things much worse. Now it’s spread to my IT band (from knee to hip) and my lower back.
So tomorrow I’ll have to quit my sales job. It was designed for people with cars, anyway, and if you’re over 30, it won’t do your body any good.
I may even have to have knee surgery down the road: and without the Workmen’s Comp that my clients enjoy! In fact, I have no benefits at all (as in all my NYC jobs, I’m a contract worker).
So now I can do therapeutic exercises and hope to find a job that keeps me off the stairs (and off my feet for most of the day, as well).
I used to think being a biped was cool: but not so much now.