My right knee has been acting like a cantankerous cry baby. I gave it painkillers. It didn’t give two-hoots. It rolled in the grass with spurts of tears and got itself locked in a thorny shrub. That was another invitation for it to wail even more. It stamped its feet and cried, “I want my mommy.” I told it to go look for its embryonic stem cell because that is where it came from. It threw a tantrum of hopeless cries.
It was snotty but refused to clean itself.
“Who do you think is going to clean you up?” I asked.
“You,” it responded.
I massaged it with an ointment that the Artzin had prescribed. [Artzin – in this language I’m currently learning – is a female doctor]. I used my palms to knead it like dough. I applied the back of my hand to rub it. I used my forehead and cheeks to show it my reflexology skills. I took care of it the best way I knew but – as unappreciative as it is – none of what I did was good for it. It thought my palms were too rough for its liking.
“Your palms feel like sandpaper on me,” it said the other day.
Can you imagine? Such a spoilt knee. These knees of the 21st Century are so entitled. Mscheeeewww. Who do they think they are?
It’s now dressed in a fine bandage with filaments that are softer than a baby’s butt. What could be softer? Nothing. Probably cotton candy. This bandage has the smoothness and elasticity of a stress ball. Not even a spider’s web’s elasticity can come close to it. It gives off a level of cushioning that the amniotic fluid in the womb acknowledges as extraordinary. It’s the best nanny my knee could ever ask for at this point, the best goal keeper too. Oh, this bandage. It provides the right amount of space for aeration and insulates my knee from unnecessary temperature fluctuations. Surely, there shouldn’t be any excuse for it not to heal.
To show it how much I care, I’ve added extra layers of prayers to God in heaven for healing. With all this pampering, if my knee raises its middle finger to me this week, I’ll place it in ice. I’ll freeze it to the point its vessels will know what crying means. I’ll keep it at below zero degrees and let it mourn through the biting cold. I won’t cover it. I won’t warm it.
I’ll sit back and watch. I’ll watch German TV, following a debate on carbon emissions in cars. I’ll not understand most of what will be discussed but that’ll be more entertaining that paying attention to a knee that thinks it can do whatever it wants. I’ll see how it’ll save itself. This time, I won’t be very nice to it. I’ll raise two middle fingers to it.
Maybe that’s how it’ll wake up and know that I mean business. Probably my brain will then remember to send an army of neutrophils to support the healing process. I don’t want us to get to that point because; let’s face it, neither of us wants to go through that hustle and extra pain. But man’s got to do what he’s got to do to force his knee to heal if it can’t play nice. And no one will blame him for his actions.
Anyway, I went to the Krankenhaus on Monday. Krankenhaus means hospital. Google Translate says, Krank means “Ill”, Kranken is “Suffer” and Haus is, just that, “House.” So Krankenhaus could be “Illhouse”, “Sufferhouse” or “Illsufferhouse.” My German teacher tells us not to try to translate some of these words to English because they won’t make sense.
Krankenhaus sounds like that song Soulja Boy did over a decade ago. I was in high school then. What’s that song again? It had its own dance. Come on, help me. It had men wearing oversize shirts and buggy shorts, their arms stretched to the side and their feet hopping in the opposite direction to where the hands were pointing. There was snapping as well in the video. Hold up. Eine moment bitte. One moment, please. I’m heading to YouTube to find that song. I’ll be back before you’ll blink.
I found the song. It’s Crank That. Those three minutes and 59 seconds of Crank That got me dancing on my seat. I wish I could dance on my feet.
So yeah, I went to the hospital.
“Entshuldigung,” I said to a lady who walking out of the Krankenhaus with her two children, “können sie mir helfen bitte.”
I was proud of myself for speaking that sentence. I learnt it in class last week. My teacher Tania would nod in approval.
The lady stopped to listen to me. I should’ve continued speaking Deutsch but the spirit of English attacked me.
“Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut. Kann ich bitte Englisch sprechen?”
She said okay and allowed me to speak English. Thinking about it now, I should’ve continued my conversation with her in Deutsch. It wouldn’t have mattered whether I spoke it correctly or not. It would’ve been good practice. That was a missed opportunity, a regrettable one. I can’t learn a language by avoiding speaking it. I should be ashamed of myself. Except, I’m not.
The next opening for me to speak Deutsch was at the reception. I spoke English. I spoke to the doc in English and I spoke to everyone else in English. A guy from The Gambia that I met at the hospital said to me, “Yo’, you’ve got to speak German. Speak it as much as you can. No one will laugh at you for saying the wrong thing.”
The doc sent me to the radiology section to have an X-ray procedure performed on my knee. It was one floor up. I used the steps. Bad decision. My knee took a jab at me while I walked up.
I lay in my underwear on a raised bed, my face looking up the ceiling and then, to the side with my knee folded. My feet were in happy socks that shouted and painted the room yellow. It was quick.
I took the elevator to the Emergency section where I was being attended to. Yeah, my case was an emergency.
“The X-ray hasn’t revealed any damage to your joints or bones,” the doc told me when I went back to see him. “We’ll need to do an MRT to establish the source of the pain. It’ll help us find out what exactly is causing the pain.”
He walked out of the room and came back with papers; a referral to do the MRT and a note to the first doc I saw.
So here I am folks. Ich kann jetzt nicht richtig gehen. I currently can’t walk so well.