Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vicodin, beer, and bowling!!!

Who would have thunk it? One quick stick-and-almost-faceplant-at-the-line moment at the High Roller has gone from a minor knee ache to a full-blown I-think-there-may-be-something-wrong-with-my-knee issue. I get extra credit for using hyphens in case you were wondering.

Less than one month to go before Nationals, and I have knee pain. Like I needed an extra hurdle to jump. Now for a Monday night recap....

I showed up early to throw some practice shots and check the level of pain in my knee (it's my right knee, which is my slide foot). The verdict was not favorable. It feels OK when I move side to side, but unfortunately I don't have to sidestep and break a tackle in order to throw a bowling ball. However, I must stay solid at the line and stay down while I'm throwing the ball. That is not possible in my current physical condition. As soon as I start to slide, the pressure below my kneecap gets very intense. I can just barely stay down long enough to throw the ball, then I have to step out of the shot. I have never been the poster boy for good form, but lately I have felt very, very solid at the line, keeping my head still and staying in the shot. Anyway, I know that I am not going to make it through three games on my own. So I pop two Advil and get ready to see Dr. Bud Light for some medicine. Then Steve offers one of his precious Vicodin to me. I am very hesitant to take any kind of pain pills. I have an addictive personality, and I do not want to turn into Dr. House, popping pills at regular intervals. So I normally suck it up and deal with pain. So I politely said no thank you, I'll be fine. After the third frame of the first game, I reconsidered the offer and he graciously went to his truck to get my fix. To make a long story short, I took the pill, continued drinking beer, and shot 218, 190, 183. My knee pain was gone, but I still couldn't knock them all down. That pissed me off. I should have went without the drugs to bowl like that.

So after that display of bowling greatness, I decide to bowl pot games. Genius! Ken just shot 812, Alan was crushing the pocket in league, and I am loaded for bear. Fast forward two hours...I have $80 less dollars in my pocket, the right handers beat my brains in, but my knee held up through the shitty bowling. Actually, I bowled pretty good. But 220 does not win pot games. At the end of the last game, the Vicodin started to wear off. I knew I had had an icepack in my near future.
And guess what I learned about Vicodin? It shuts down the pain receptors that send the message of "Ouch". It also shuts down the receptors that say "you should stop having more beer, that's enough". So I woke up this morning with a swollen knee and a pounding headache. I didn't even have that many beers, but there is some sort of exponential equation in the relationship between painkillers and beer. If I would have taken a Vicodin and won $200 or shot 300 I would feel a lot better right now. But all I did was donate money and buy a headache. What a waste!

Back to the knee--it's been bothering me since I stuck at the line during the High Roller. I wrenched it pretty good, and I've been icing it a lot to keep the pain at a minimum. The knee brace I wear now during bowling has been good enough to keep everthing in place. Saturday afternoon I helped Kelli's dad install some French doors at their house. Something bad happened inside my knee while I was kicking on the frame to move it into place, or when I was kneeling down to shim the threshold, or some other random event. I don't recall any specific action to cause pain, but when we were done it hurt below my kneecap toward the outside of the knee. Now it hurts a lot. I don't want to see a doctor about it. It seems like a waste of money right now. They will either say that I have inflamed something-or-other and I need to ice it (which I'm already doing now), or they will say that I need to stop bowling (which is not an option until after league is over), or they will say that I need surgery (which I can't afford). All those options added together means that I will continue to score Vicodin off my buddy Steve every Monday, drink NO beer when I take them, and deal with this like a big boy. Maybe it will magically heal in the next few days. You never know......

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