Knee Jerk

The day before yesterday, on my way to the pool I passed a nursery and was reminded of my desire to start growing a new bay tree in a pot.  I had in mind finding a small tree and trying to bonsai it.  I turned aside to see if they had one in stock. Unfortunately the turn was rather sharp and I ran the front tyre of the bike off the path into soft sand. The wheel went down.  I was tossed immediately.  Apart from a graze on the side of my knee I was unhurt. No one witnessed the incident so my pride was intact. I picked myself up and furthered my enquiry at the nursery.   Unfortunately no bay trees.  I carried on to the pool and went for my swim.  Then I rode home. My knee seemed fine so I applied some Betadine to the graze and I thought no more about it.  By bed time, however, I was quite stiff and sore.  I put a pillow between my thighs and went to sleep.  At 4 am I awoke in severe pain with a hot and very swollen knee.

I could barely move. But I got up and limped painfully to the loo for a pee.  On my return I took a couple of paracetamol with codeine, prescribed by the doc for just such an occasion. Washed down with a tot of Kraken rum.  Not prescribed, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

A magpie began its predawn call as I awaited the kick-in of the painkillers.  It was well after five before I could crawl back into bed. I may have sipped a little more rum than I intended but at least I managed to get some sleep. I awoke at 10:30  and knew I would not be pedalling far today. I was still in pain and too unsteady on my feet to be sure I’d be safe riding.  But I thought I could still swim so I drove the cruiser to the pool.

The relief from gravity was heavenly.  With good music to listen to I swam steadily and completed 120 laps, 3,000 metres, in 165 minutes.  Slow and steady.

Another bad night followed, but I managed without the codeine.

Yesterday I was still swollen and unsteady on my feet so I did not ride, but took the cruiser again to the pool.  The relief was again immediate once I was in the water and this time I swam on for 175 minutes, completing 3,200 metres.  My 5,000 metre goal is looking more achievable, but I am still going to have to swim over four hours.  I could easily have done that either of these two days. What caused me to end my swim both days was not tiredness or boredom, but extreme hunger to the point I developed the low blood sugar shakes.  Feeling wobbly when one is already unsteady and in pain is not a good idea.  If I want to do a marathon swim I need to have a better breakfast and perhaps bring some food along with me for a mid swim snack.  And perhaps I’d better wait until my knee subsides.  It feels odd to be favouring my left leg rather than my right.  Emerging from the pool after nearly three hours of weightlessness I could barely walk to the changing room and shower.

Today I can still barely move.  I want to swim if only to experience the relief given by the support of the water, but I have prescribed myself another rest day.

Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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