Snap Shot #60– Knee Trick


I’m standing on Bondi Beach’s grassy hill watching Nitro the Two Toned Cavoodlle playing chasey with an especially energetic Boxer pup. Though young and boisterous, the Boxer is considerably bigger than my galloping Cavoodle. As Nitro zips past me, the Boxer barrels behind, his head ramming into my right knee. I collapse, pain shooting up and down my leg. I yell abuse at the big dumb dog and his owner. “I’m just about to go skiing – and now my knee is fucked. Thanks a lot!” The Boxer woman sheepishly apologises, clips a lead to her beast and drags him away from the crazy Cavoodle man. Despite the pain, I manage to ski anyway, discovering sliding on snow hurts considerably less than walking. Only after my return do I go to the doctor. I’m sent off for my first ever MRI scan – an annoyingly loud process. Reading the report, my doctor refers me to a knee specialist he respects for not being overly scalpel happy. “He won’t chop you up unless absolutely necessary.” How re-assuring. I rock up to the surgeon’s office and am immediately impressed. Hanging on the wall is an extraordinary collection of sports memorabilia – signed Sydney Swans’ and Roosters’ footy jerseys, an Australian cricket team bat and an autographed Wallabys’ photo. He’s a laid back and modest man, admitting that he’s not really much of a sports fan. But because he’s a knee guru, he gets lavished with gifts from grateful sports stars. He has a quick look at my knee and then sits opposite me at his desk. He places the large white envelope containing my MRI scans between us. He takes out his pen. “Ok – I’ll take a look at these in a tick but I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on with your knee.” He then proceeds to draw a knee and begins labeling each bit, highlighting where the damage is. But I find it hard to follow. Not because what he’s saying is especially technical or complicated. No, I’m distracted by the fact that this man has the mind blowing ability to write upside down and backwards. Everything from ‘Meniscus’ to ‘Medial Ligament’ to ‘Calsification’ is written so I can easily read it. In fact, his backwards upside down writing is much neater than my forwards right side up attempts. I point this out to him and he shrugs. “I’ve had a lot of practice”. After detailing what he thinks is the issue, he takes out the scans and places them on a light table. He nods. “Yes – just as I thought. The good news – no surgery.” Phew. “The not so good news – you’ll be in pain for about another three months.” Bummer. As I hobble out of his office, I conclude that if either of my knees ever do need to be sliced open, then I want it done by a man whose hand can write upside down and backwards.


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