I warned you. OKAY.
So I was born with this little thing called patellofemoral tracking syndrome. If you don't want to click on the link and read all the medical mumbo-jumbo, essentially it means my knees are screwed up.
(That's a very technical term, by the way: "screwed up.")
What I understand to be the case is my patellas (kneecaps) are out of whack. Or they're out of place. Or they do weird movements. Or something. But this leads to significant knee pain when they're overworked.
We discovered the problem when I was a little kid in gym class, having to run laps and play sports, which caused a lot of knee pain. I was incorrectly diagnosed with tendonitis in both knees for a long time, but in 5th grade I got the proper diagnosis. My paternal aunt and grandmother also have it, so I suppose it's genetic.
Basically, it boils down to this: I can't do much running at all, have to be careful not to overuse my knees while swimming, avoid extensive bicycling, etc. As long as I don't do anything that causes repetitive stress on my knee joints, I have very little knee pain anymore.
Except for once a month.
(Oh, and occasionally I get a dull knee ache when it's going to rain. No, really.)
I always know when I'm about to start my period because I get excruciating knee pain. I'm talking crying on the floor in the fetal position knee pain. As I've aged the pain is less during most months, but for whatever reason (it befuddles doctors), without fail, I do get knee pain every month on the day I start my period.
I've gotten smart about it, over the years. If I think I'll be starting soon, I'll pop some preliminary advil, since the knee pain/period usually wakes me up early in the morning. Other times I'll get no notice until the knee pain kicks in, and then I just hope to god I'm close enough to advil to take some before things get bad. (Note to self: start carrying advil around with you. Srsly.)
But last night...oh, last night was a bitch.
I started a new nanny job! I don't think I've told y'all that! I really like the kids a *lot* (OH AND MY EMPLOYERS ARE THE BEST EVARRRRRR COUGHandtheyreadmyblogCOUGH). So in order to guarantee I would be at my HIGHEST LEVEL OF ENERGY for kid-wrangling, I went to bed early last night.
I was asleep by midnight. I was so proud of myself! But oh wait. Auntie Flo hates me.
At 1:08, I woke up because my left knee was hurting so badly I thought my leg was going to fall off. I whimpered, crawled out of bed, and limped to bathroom to get a tampon. But OH guess what. There was a cockroach in the cabinet with the tampons.
And I *seriously* have a mortal fear of cockroaches.
Especially at 1:08 a.m., under full hormonal influences, and with knee pain that makes me want to give up on life.
So I ran screaming from the bathroom. Well, not ran, since I'm not supposed to do that. The left knee pain was so bad that I could feel it spreading and radiating in my left hip. My parents heard me screaming (or limping, or whining, not sure which) and came to my rescue. My dad got me advil, my mom braved the cockroach to get me a tampon, and I strapped BOTH of my knee braces around ONE knee to try to relieve the swelling and pressure.
(Usually both knees hurt badly. This time, it was just the left one, hurting quadruple-badly. I have no idea why.)
After all was inserted and taken and strapped on, I began to pace the living room, trying to help alleviate the knee pain.
Oh, jeebus, it hurt. Luckily, the double dosage of knee braces helped significantly, and after the advil kicked in, I was able to get back to sleep.
But so much for getting a good night's sleep. Luckily, the baby is super-duper-SO sweet, so today went well anyway :)