The Good News, The Big Shorts.

posted in: Day In The Life 17
The shorts. Note boots to the left of the chair for scale. Photo: Me.


I had my knee appointment yesterday. The good news is that I don’t have to have my knees replaced this summer, which is what I had convinced myself I was going to have to do. They’ve been hurting so terribly and really, I think I was looking forward to major surgery in some sick way: It would mean I’d have to stop moving. Think of all the reading I could do!

So no surgery, but I do have some kind of patella syndrome. Can you believe that? Patella syndrome! Just when I thought I was gimpy enough, I gotta have some kind of patella syndrome. The nerve(s).

That my patellas have syndromized* is what my knee doctor told me, anyway. He was capable and I liked his Maltese accent, but I do think I’ll get a second opinion; there were a few concerns he didn’t address even after I mentioned them a couple times and feel like I owe my (cute, beguiling) patellas another looksee. I have a script for some physical therapy, but the meds he recommended I can’t take because of UC-related stuff. I shrug, I wince, I get the second opinion and wonder if I’m really weird enough to want someone to tell me that I have to have double-knee surgery so I can rest for Lord’s sake.

What I really wanted to tell you is that at the hospital yesterday I got to wear a pair of absolutely ginormous paper shorts.

My X-ray tech was named Angel.

“Hi,” I said, putting out my hand. “I’m Mary.”

“Miss Mary,” Angel said, “it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please put on these shorts. I will wait outside; you let me know when you’re ready, okay? Just knock on the door.” I thanked him and he went into the hall.

Apparently, all they had were XL paper shorts. The shorts I was holding were pure comedy. I’m not saying that extra-large shorts are funny: I’m saying clothes that are way, way too big or way, way too small for a person are funny. It’s like a basic rule of comedy. And when the clothes are made of paper and have elastic… This is commedia dell’arte stuff.

I chatted with Angel while he did my X-rays. He was such a cool guy. He moved here from El Salvador twenty years ago and worked his way through radiology school while working as a janitor at Northwestern. He told me about his daughter  and how she’s already talking about being a doctor.

“You have to tell her how cool the clothes are,” I laughed. “Scrubs, paper shorts…”

We laughed. We talked about the election. I asked him if I could keep the shorts when we were done. He looked at me like no one had ever asked him that before.

“No one has ever asked me that before,” he said. “But…be my guest.”

Last night, because I am so cool, I posted a series of pictures on my Instagram account of me posing and duck-facing with my shorts. I used them as a cowl, a hood, a hat, a scarf. I’m glad my knees aren’t as bad as I thought they were. I just wish they didn’t ache like they do.

Interesting note: While I was goofing off with paper X-ray shorts on my head, they didn’t hurt at all.

*my term