&%$@@!%$ (&^%$@^*

Hark, another swear word. What’s going on?

I have mentioned my recurring knee issue in previous blogs.  I’ve been doing my very best to rest it between training strolls and apart from the swelling on the front below the kneecap, it’s been pain free and only mildly uncomfortable. But last night, I was on the exercise bike in the gym and with little warning I suddenly had that horrible feeling, as if my knee was about to lock. Accompanying it was pain – not excruciating, but enough to sound alarm bells.

I stopped cycling, of course, but the pain continued and did so for the rest of the night, despite ice packs and ibuprofen gel. And this morning it was still hurting enough to leave me worried. Ibuprofen helped, as did a tight bandage. But it was clear that there was something more than a week’s rest could fix.

I have 44 days of training left. The training plan calls for two 6hr hikes this weekend, including ascent and descent with back pack. In the following three weeks, I need to do another three 8 hour hikes plus increasing amounts of cardio-vascular training in the gym. By my estimate, I have a two week window to rest the knee and hope it gets better. Even then, there is no guarantee it won’t go again either during the final training or on the mountain itself. On my last trek 6 people had to be evacuated down the trail, two by helicopter. A couple of those were as a result of pre-existing conditions. It nearly cost all of us our chance of getting toe Everest Base Camp. I’m not going to do that.

I went straight to the doctor who confirmed what I already knew, that two weeks wasn’t nearly long enough to sort the problem out. I’m having an X-Ray done too, as there may be more to it than simply Housemaid’s Knee. As long as it has a name with multiple syllables that sounds vaguely heroic, I don’t care.

So, reluctantly, I have decided to postpone the Kilimanjaro trek. Postpone, not give up. I’ll be back next year.

My knee

You know this knee now. The purply red bits are the culprits. Grrr!

I feel gutted and frustrated. Part of the preparation was psychological. I still remember climbing Kala Patthar in Nepal – and that was ‘only’  5,545m. Kili adds another 450m on to that. I can’t risk my knee giving out at that late stage. More importantly, when the adrenaline runs out and we’re heading down, that is when the damage will happen and I’m planning on using my legs after Kili.

Watch this space. I’m guessing the next post will be about the experiences of trying to claim off my travel insurance.

 

Bl**dy typical

I have trekked to Everest Base Camp twice. I have Climbed Kala Patthar in Nepal at an altitude of 5.5km above sea level. I’ve scaled Ben Nevis twice. I’ve done Snowdon 8 times, including the Crib Goch ridge twice. I’ve done three other Munros, the Carneddau, several Wainwrights and most of the mountains in the Brecon Beacons. I’ve got to the top of Pen y Fan 44 times and Corn Du 35 times.

I’ve completed three Gower Gallops – over 30km each. During the preparation for the treks, I regularly walked 16km a day. In May I hiked 128km. I did 60km in one week with Rufus.

In all that time I haven’t really had any serious injury. For that I’m grateful.

But now I have Housemaid’s Knee! The following space is the space I give you to laugh.

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Housemaid’s Knee! The doctor stifled back a snigger as he asked whether I spent a lot of time on my knees. I have the sudden urge to get a feather duster. I may scrub the porch steps later this evening. As a bloke I refute the existence of dust but as a housemaid, I know dust exists. I am confused.

Below is a picture of a Housemaid’s Knee. You can see the swelling (it’s soft and watery to the touch) beneath and slightly to the left of the kneecap. It aches a little.

My knee

Housemaid’s Knee.