Inside the floppy drive

Today an MRI of my right knee was done. I hurt it more than three months ago, while exploring one of the mud caves in Anza Borrego. One stupid false step, and now the knee is giving me trouble for three months already. It bothers and annoys me! It kept me from other excursions that I had wanted to do in the desert this winter (returning to Andrade Canyon in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness, for example) – I can’t trust the knee, and doing hikes that involve scrambling over rocks or short climbs up a dry fall are simply out of reach because of that.

I’ve never had an MRI done before. When the doctor ordered it, when I made the appointment, and today before the procedure, they asked me whether I had any metal implants. Other than 80ies metal in my head sometimes, I don’t have any. The procedure itself is a little bit like being inside an old flatbed scanner, or an ancient floppy disk drive with a very loud stepper motor. It’s so loud that they’ll hand you earplugs. With the earplugs, it’s still loud, but tolerable – and pretty boring, because you have to lie still for at least 20 minutes.

So I lie there and breathe, because that’s all there is to do. And then something feels uncomfortable, and I’d like to move but don’t because I’m supposed to lie still, so I try to think of something else. Of course, I think what the hell might be wrong with the knee. I can walk and all that. It makes funny sounds when I walk upstairs. I can’t jog like I used to though. And I want it back normal because – I’m a young man! Or at least I thought I was – until now.

Is this how “getting old” actually begins? With whatever bodily defect that just won’t go away anymore, while you’re still feeling young? Crud. And I remembered Louis C.K., and will just conclude with that:

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