PAMIE: [Answering phone] Hello?
MOM: Do you have something you need to tell me?
PAMIE: … Um… uh… well, uh… do you want to maybe give me a hint or a topic? Because this seems like a trick.
MOM: Your knee.
MOM: I do read your website, you know. I didn’t, but I do now. Again. And you’re right. I was watching that game going, “My baby’s hurt! Don’t show other people, show my baby!” But you got back up and skated again so I wasn’t worried.
PAMIE: That’s why I got up.
MOM: I know. But you were hurt. You were lying.
PAMIE: No, I didn’t know how bad it was until the next day. I was dancing that night and everything. They said this kind of thing takes a few days before you really see what’s going on.
MOM: And what did you hurt?
PAMIE: I’m waiting on the results, but I think it’s my PCL.
MOM: Oh, no. That’s terrible. That’s what was wrong with Sage.
[Sage was the beloved family dog.]
MOM: She got it from chasing squirrels. You and Sage, both breaking the same part. That’s kind of funny.
PAMIE: Yes. Awesome.
PAMIE: [Answering phone] Hello?
DOCTOR: Well, I have to congratulate you on your Internet research skills.
DOCTOR: You tore your PCL. It’s a relatively uncommon injury. Now I don’t think anybody would recommend surgery for you at this time. We’ll just wait to see, and if your knee doesn’t start to tolerate it, then we’d have to talk.
PAMIE: “Tolerate” what?
DOCTOR: The tear. It’s torn forever, most likely. But eventually, with rehabilitation, your knee shouldn’t be able to notice it.
PAMIE: It’s torn forever?
DOCTOR: Usually. That’s why it feels like your leg is “falling off,” like you said. The PCL helps keep your shinbone from gliding too far back. So we put you in rehab so that your knee learns how to compensate. You’ll have to build up your quad muscles.
DOCTOR: I meant you’ll have to build them back up again after the injury heals, in like a month.
And then I started bothering him about when I can do things like run or jump or squat. He said I am not allowed to do anything that might cause me to fall on my knees for at least three months, and at one point said, “Fine! You can do some yoga. I understand you might be feeling antsy, but I don’t want you to do anything. Leave it alone and rehab it. Physical therapy, three times a week. No skating, no running, no falling. Just rehab the knee until I tell you that you can do otherwise, okay? And as long as you do that, I don’t see any reason why you’ll need surgery.”
But the Wonder Killer couldn’t be satisfied with this answer. I said, “Doctor, I was looking at my MRI scans, and… I thought I could tell where the PCL tear was. What would it look like?”
There was a good ten second pause before he said, “You know, looking at an MRI scan is… there’s… I’m a doctor, and there was another doctor who looked at them and… I don’t… I could show you, but… you know what? I’ll email you what the other specialist said.”
But when I found one online, it looked exactly like the same frame on my own MRI, where the night before I said, “This looks like something bad right here. That’s where it hurts. I bet this is it.” Diagnosing knee injuries and sending books to libraries. Is there anything the Internet can’t do?
So, while the diagnosis is not exactly something to jump around about, I’m glad I will probably be able to avoid surgery, and I’m really glad I listened to my body (and the Internet) when I knew something was wrong, and I am glad I didn’t break like, my face.
No skating, no running… I can control that. But no falling? That’s something I do a couple of times a week just trying to make the bed. Oh, man. This will be a challenge. Falling used to be my best skill. Now: my enemy.
And finally, from the files of my text messages:
ME: Torn PCL. No skates for two to three months, at least. Physical therapy three times a week. Kind of what I figured. Doc complimented my Internet skillz.
TARA: Hooooooooly balls. I’m sorry! But no surgery?
ME: It’s okay. But I’m gonna kill it at physical therapy so that I don’t have to have surgery, nor do I limp.
TARA: You are going to be the star of so many inspiring movies.
ME: I am my own Emmy award-winning HBO series.
TARA: “Gimp.” They pair it with “Hung.”
ME: Nailed it. My show is also called “In Treatment.”
TARA: I wish I could quit my job and come be in your supporting cast.
ME: That’s the best pun you’ve ever made.
TARA: Nailed it twice.
ME: And you have the tendoncy to make really good ones.
TARA: The show will be a Pam Ribon Joint.
ME: You kneed to watch this.
TARA: You must be swelling with pride!
ME: I’m just glad I finally got a leg up in this business. You know who will be in my PCL show? Rip Torn.
TARA: No premiere date yet — it’s TiBiA.
ME: Awesome. They were going to put the show on after Treme, because they thought I said “FEMA.”
TARA: I was trying to get a FEMA one! Well done.
ME: Thank you. But you really kicked it off.
TARA: None of this would have fallen into place without you.
ME: That’s true. I’m not afraid to go out on a limb.
TARA: It can be a GAMble!
ME: Hee. That was so good I had to go take half a lap to calm down.
TARA: Heh. I should have quit on tibia.
ME: And I should have quit in the third quarter.