It started as nothing, like most things that derail your plans. I was standing at the dishwasher, which I consider one of my favorite inventions of all time. I turned away from it, like I have a million times before, and felt a quick sharp pain in my left knee. Then it went away.

“Huh,” I said to my husband. “That was weird.” I chalked it up to the odd little aches and pains you get sometimes. Sure it felt like my entire kneecap had decided to experiment with a new location, but then it was fine.

The next morning, walking down the hall that quick little pain came back but this time it was like the kneecap was slipping and sliding in a way that it is not supposed to. Luckily, because we have way too much furniture, I was able to hold myself up.

Then, after a minute of sitting down, it was fine. Completely fine. I stared at it. It ignored me, remaining completely normal.

“Look,” I said to my knee. “I have to go to the airport today. So if you really can’t handle it, I kind of need to know.”

My knee remained silent. Mireya and I went to the pharmacy and while we were there, we bought a knee brace. Because probably it just wanted some support. I mean, who doesn’t need support every now and then?

“I think Grammy has crutches,” she offered helpfully.

“No way,” I said. I’m not particularly graceful in the best of times. But crutches with a suitcase and a backpack? It would be a disaster. Besides, my knee was fine all of a sudden. So I put on the brace, then walked down the block, because if my knee was really a mess, then I’d rather find out at home.

Nothing. Right as rain. I congratulated myself on buying a knee brace and headed to the airport. I parked in the garage, gingerly unloaded my suitcase. Tested my knee. Perfectly fine. Once again, I had clearly solved the problem.

I stopped 50 feet from the lovely folks at the TSA to pull out my driver’s license when my kneecap did its thing again. Luckily I was standing by a counter that I could hold on to.

“Are you kidding me?” I hissed through my teeth at my knee.

I swear it smirked. I could feel it smirking.

I hobbled back to my car, and slowly it stopped hurting.

“Oh no you don’t,” I said, lifting my suitcase into the back of the SUV. “I get you now. You’re going to wait for the worst possible time, then BLAM.” I shut the hatch with authority. “You have e-knee-betrayed me.”

It’s unfortunate that both bad puns and a stern talking to is ineffective with joints. Hopefully in a few days someone in the medical establishment will have a more useful strategy for dealing with this crazy knee. Otherwise I’m only going to walk near counters and sofas, which is a tad limiting.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, a wife, and a working mom of two girls, two cats, and one ridiculously enthusiastic terrier mix.

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