Chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia patella. It’s not really arthritis behind my knee, as Dr. Max said. The physician assistant at the orthopedist told me it’s more about the way my knee is set. So, here it is, my knee:

As you can see, my kneecap is way over to the right. It’s the same in my right knee, so it was only a matter of time before that one would start to hurt too. He said I can’t run. Then he said I could run, but that I’d have to experiment a lot with pain killers, and that ultimately it’d be about how much I can tolerate.

So how much can I tolerate? I haven’t run in about a week, and because I’m so confused I haven’t really done any exercise. Meanwhile, it’s not like life has become less stressful (although that would be nice, to be able to turn off the stresses of life while you get your act together.) So, I still have stress but don’t have a way to deal with it. I’m grumpy. No, I’m angry. I snap. And because I can’t snap at my coworkers or I’ll face serious reprecussions, I’m snapping at my husband and my daughter. And they don’t deserve that. I don’t like how I’ve been acting over these past few days, and it’s all because of my stupid knees.

The PA said I should go to physical therapy and if possible, get a personal trainer who can help me find an exercise that I love that won’t hurt my knees. I plan to do both.


I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and one of my favorite characters is Lula, a spicy former hooker with tons of attitude. Whenever she hears something she doesn’t particularly like, her standard reply is “hmnh.” It’s perfect, you can just hear it off the page.

Dr. Max said I have chondromalacia patella, which he said is like arthritis under the knee. He said it’s not related to my Crohn’s, but that I probably shouldn’t run. Ever. Hmnh.

He also said I should try for physical therapy instead of going to the orthopedist, and that I should do the eliptical instead of running. But that I can do brisk walking as long as it doesn’t hurt my knee. Hmnh.

Actually, there are other four-letter words I’d rather use than hmnh right now, but this is a family blog.


My daughter has 5 men in her life. One is her daddy, one is her grandpa, and the other three are her little friends who I’ll call A, E and T – three-year-olds like her, and each of them holds a special place in her heart and life. And somehow it feels like each of them love her more deeply than I would have expected from the preschool set. It’s so adorable I can’t friggin stand it.

She goes to daycare with A and T, and the teachers report that they regularly fight over her, with at least one of them ending up in tears. Usually the fight occurs because they both want to hold hands with her, and she’s a one-guy-at-a-time kind of girl.

This weekend we had a playdate at the zoo with E. They held hands the entire time.

The same evening T came over for a playdate and dinner. He brought a rose, wrapped up with baby’s breath in florist paper. His mom reported that on the way they passed a florist and he begged her to let him get a flower for my little munchkin. When they arrived at the door and he had that pink rose in his hand, I almost fell over.

She tells us she wants to marry A, but that all three are her best friends.

Running Therapy

I’m trying hard to go about my life, but I keep having to go to doctors and get blood tests and put everything on hold because of my stupid body. In other words, same old. But this time, it’s not because of Crohn’s.

As those who’ve been reading know, I started running about two months ago. I’ve been doing Chubby Jones’ couch to 5k in an effort to get in shape and not lose my mind. But a few weeks ago, my knee started to hurt while I was running. Then it started to hurt even when I wasn’t running. So here I go again to the doctor, but this time it’s the orthopedist. And at the same time, I’m still doing my weekly blood tests that I’ve had to do since the miscarriage, so they can see if my hormone levels are still raised. (Ben and Jerry’s can tell you based on how well their stock is doing that yes indeed my hormones are still raised, but that’s another topic, thankyouverymuch Chocolate Therapy.)

Image from Ben & Jerry’s website.

Anyway. Since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s about a decade ago, going to the doctor is pretty much old hat. But for the first time in a while I’m going and I don’t really feel confident that I know what I’m doing. Should I be going to an orthopedist or Dr. Max, my rheumatologist? Does my knee hurt because of the running, my stupid Crohn’s, or the miscarriage maybe? So I’ve been doing what any geek worth her salt does today – crowdsourcing. I’ve been asking EVERYONE’s opinion. My sister, who runs triathlons, told me I’ll have to get an orthopedist someday so may as well do it now. My friend Eugene, who does Tough Mudder (crazy bastard) thought it was weird that I was having knee problems and told me that I should be having shin splints instead. My friend Mo, who doesn’t run but does have RA and takes Humira like I do, told me I shouldn’t be running at all and that instead I should ride a bike. He’s never seen me try to ride a bike, so I can’t blame him for the recommendation. But watching me trying to ride a bike is like watching a toddler try to send an email. It’s a little cute, mostly awkward, you know it’s not going to work and probably someone is going to get hurt. Last time we went for a little afternoon ride, a man my dad’s age in a car pulled over to shout encouragement out his window – it was that clear to passing motorists that I was a mess. Anyway.

So I made an appointment for next Friday at the orthopedist’s, and I’m going to give Dr. Max a call today. I’m also going to see my new GI next week, so I feel like I have all the bases covered.

Because here’s the thing – I need to keep running. Before I started, I was sliding into a deep dark place that I don’t think I could have gotten out of any other way. I joke that running has saved my sanity, but joking aside – running has saved my sanity.